Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday met United Nations Resident Coordinator Renata Dessalien and World Health Organization (WHO) India Representative Henk Bekedam. Taking to Twitter, the health minister discussed ongoing support being provided by WHO and UNICEF to battle the Coronavirus outbreak. Harsh Vardhan said that they appreciated the steps taken by his ministry and assured full further support.
Met @UN Resident Coordinator— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) March 25, 2020
Ms Renata Dessalien & @WHO India Representative Mr Henk Bekedam
Discussed ongoing support being provided by #WHO & @UNICEFIndia to battle #COVID19outbreak
They appreciated steps being taken by @MoHFW_INDIA
Assured full further support of 🇺🇳 India team pic.twitter.com/VQd1KqpQc2
The Union Cabinet met for a meeting at the Prime MInister's residence on Wednesday morning, the first since the 21-day Coronavirus lockdown was imposed. In the picture, the ministers can be seen applying social distancing.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh can be seen on either side of PM Modi on the far side. Also visible are Ram Vilas Paswan, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. On the near side are key members of the PMO, namely Principal Secretary to the PM PK Mishra and NSA Ajit Doval. Dr Harsh Vardhan was also a part of the meeting.
The UN has expressed solidarity with India in its fight against coronavirus, with a top official at the world body's health agency praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day nationwide lockdown as a "comprehensive and robust" response to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Globally, the death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 18,915 with more than 422,900 cases reported in over 165 countries and territories, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The number of coronavirus cases in India stood at 562 on Wednesday with nine COVID-19 deaths reported so far, according to Health Ministry data. In an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus in India, Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged people not to panic and assured citizens that there will be no shortage of essential commodities and medicines during the 21-day lockdown period. "There is absolutely no need to panic," PM Modi said in a tweet "Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this," he said.
Advising people not to hoard essential items, PM Modi said, "By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of Covid-19. No panic buying, please. Please stay indoors." According to the Health Ministry, India has reported about 562 Coronavirus cases in India, with 512 active cases. Eleven people have died so far due to the deadly virus.
(With PTI inputs)