Raksha Mantri launches SeHAT OPD portal


Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD portal through video conferencing on May 27, 2021. The portal provides tele-medicine services to the serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families. The services can be availed by registering on the website https://sehatopd.in/. This is the final version of the SeHAT OPD portal with advanced safety features. The trial version was made functional in August 2020. More than 6,500 medical consultations have already been carried on the beta version by service doctors.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh lauded Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Centre for Development of Artificial Computing (C-DAC) Mohali and other organisations involved in the development of the portal, saying that it reflects the Government’s commitment to ‘Digital India’ and ‘e-governance’. “It has always been our endeavor to provide better, faster and transparent facilities to our countrymen,” he underlined. The Raksha Mantri described SeHAT OPD portal as a great example of innovation, especially at a time when the nation is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, the portal will help reduce the load on hospitals and patients will be able to get contactless consultations in an easy and effective manner.

The Raksha Mantri urged the AFMS to consider adding specialist doctors to this portal and incorporating the service of delivery of medicines to the homes of the Service personnel. This will provide additional services and ensure greater convenience to the Armed Forces personnel, he said. Shri Rajnath Singh suggested that regular feedback of beneficiaries should be obtained for improved delivery of services.

Shri Rajnath Singh commended the role being played by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Armed Forces in the fight against the second COVID-19 wave. He made special mention of the COVID hospitals and Oxygen Generation plants being set up by DRDO at many places across the country including Delhi, Lucknow, Gandhinagar & Varanasi as well as the development of 2-DG drug to fight the virus. He also appreciated AFMS for deploying additional medical professionals in COVID hospitals and effectively dealing with the surge in cases. Shri Rajnath Singh lauded Indian Air Force and Indian Navy for working tirelessly to transport oxygen and other critical medical equipment on time from within the country and abroad. He urged them not to let their guard down and continue their efforts with dedication until the war against COVID-19 is won.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, DG AFMS Surgeon Vice Admiral Rajat Datta, Deputy Chief IDS (Medical) Lieutenant General Madhuri Kanitkar and other senior civil & military officials of Ministry of Defence attended the event virtually.

PM to visit Odisha and West Bengal on 28 May to review impact of Cyclone Yaas


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will visit Odisha and West Bengal on 28th May, 2021. He will chair review meetings in the two states to assess the impact of cyclone Yaas. Prime Minister will also undertake an aerial survey of the areas affected by the cyclone in two states.

Highest single day load of 1195 MT Oxygen relief to the Nation delivered by Oxygen Expresses


Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 18980 MT of LMO in more than 1141 tankers to various states across the country.

It may be noted that 284 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

Till the time of this release, 4 loaded Oxygen Expresses on run with more than 392 MT of LMO in 20 tankers.

Oxygen Expresses delivered their highest single day load of 1195 MT Oxygen relief to the Nation surpassing its previous high of 1142 delivered on 23rd May 2021.

Offloading of Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) in Delhi crossed 5000 MT.

Amongst the Southern States, delivery of LMO to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana crossed 1000 MT each.

It is worth mentioning that Oxygen Expresses started their deliveries 33 days back on 24th April in Maharashtra with a load of 126 MT.

It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.

Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached out to 15 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.

Till the time of this release, 614 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3731 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 656 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 5077 MT in Delhi, 1967 MT in Haryana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 1653 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 1550 MT in Tamil Nadu, 1190 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 225 MT in Punjab, 380 MT in Kerala, 1312 MT in Telangana, 38 MT in Jharkhand and 160 MT in Assam.

Indian Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO.

Criss crossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa , Baroda, Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to States of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Assam in complex operational route planning scenarios.

In order to ensure that Oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express Freight Trains. The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with a highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in fastest possible time frame. Technical stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections.

Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through.

All this is done in a manner that speed of other Freight Operation doesn’t get reduced as well.

Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

Our planet will not be same after COVID-19 : PM


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi delivered a keynote address on the occasion of Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Purnima through video conference. Members of Venerated  Mahasangha, Prime Ministers of Nepal and Sri Lanka, Union Ministers Shri Prahlad Singh and Shri Kiren Rijiju, Secretary General of International Buddhist Confederation, Venerable Doctor Dhammapiya were also at the event.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said Vesak is a day to celebrate the life of Lord Buddha and to reflect on the noble ideals and sacrifices he made for the betterment of our planet. He added that he dedicated last year’s Vesak day programme to all the front-line workers leading humanity’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, COVID-19 pandemic has still not left us and several nations, including India, have experienced a second wave. He remarked that this once in a life-time pandemic has brought tragedy and suffering at the door-step of many and has impacted every nation. He said the economic impact left by the pandemic is huge and our planet will not be the same after COVID-19. He said there have been many note-worthy improvements as well over the last year, like having a better understanding of the pandemic, which strengthens  our strategy to fight it and having the vaccine, which is absolutely important to save lives and defeat the pandemic. He lauded the efforts of the scientists for developing the COVID-19 vaccines within a year and said this shows the power of human determination and tenacity.

The Prime Minister said that the four sights in the life of Lord Buddha ignited within him the desire to devote his life to removing human suffering. He said that in the last year, several individuals and organisations rose to the occasion and did everything possible to reduce human suffering. Generous contributions of equipment and materials were made by the Buddhist organisations and followers of Buddha Dharma from around the world. He remarked that these actions are in line with the teachings of Lord Buddha भवतु सब्ब मंगलम  (blessings, compassion and welfare of all).

The Prime Minister said that while fighting COVID-19, one must not lose sight of the other challenges faced by humanity like climate change, etc. He added that the reckless life-styles of the present generation are threatening the future generations and resolved to not let our planet remain wounded. He reminded the Lord Buddha’s emphasis on a way of life where respect for Mother Nature is paramount. He announced that India is among the few large economies to be on track to achieve their Paris targets. He said for India, sustainable living is not only about the right words but also about the right actions.

The Prime Minister remarked that the life of Gautama Buddha was about peace, harmony and co-existence. But today, there are still forces whose existence depends on spreading hate, terror and mindless violence. He said such forces do not believe in liberal democratic principles and thus gave a call for all those who believe in humanity to come together and defeat terror and radicalisation. He said Lord Buddha’s teachings and the importance given to social justice can become a global unifying force.

The Prime Minister said Lord Buddha was the reservoir of brilliance for the entire universe. From him we all could draw light from time to time and take the path of compassion, universal responsibility and welfare. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi “Buddha taught us to defy appearances and trust in the final triumph of Truth and Love” the Prime Minister urged everyone to renew their commitment to the ideals of Lord Buddha.

The Prime Minister thanked the first responders, front-line health care workers, doctors, nurses and volunteers for selflessly risking their lives to serve others in need everyday. He expressed condolences to those who have suffered  and lost their near and dear ones.

India crosses 20 Crore Cumulative COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage


India achieved a significant milestone in its ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive today. On 130th day of the drive, the cumulative COVID Vaccination Coverage crossed the 20 crore mark (with 20,06,62,456 doses including 15,71,49,593 first dose and 4,35,12,863 second dose of COVID-19 vaccines), as per data available at 07:00 AM today.

India’s COVID-19 Vaccination drive, the world’s largest vaccination drive so far, was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 16th January 2021.

India is the second country after the USA to achieve this coverage in just 130 days. The USA took 124 days to reach the 20 crore mark.

Additionally, as per the data available on Our World In Data and multiple news articles,  other leading countries in COVID-19 vaccination drive include the UK which has reached 5.1 crore mark in 168 days, Brazil that reached 5.9 crore mark in 128 days, and Germany which reached 4.5 crore mark in 149 days.

As per the latest available data with the Union Health Ministry, over 34 percent population above 45 years has received at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine in India till date. Similarly, over 42 percent of 60+ years of population in India has received at least 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of date, India is using three vaccines against COVID-19 in its immunization drive; these include two made in India vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. The Russian Sputnik V is the third vaccine to get approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Emergency Use Authorisation and is being used in few private hospitals which are expected to be increased over the coming days.

In Phase I of the vaccination drive, started 130 days ago on 16th January, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) prioritized Health Care Workers, and Front Line Workers (both government & private sector). Phase II of the vaccination drive started from 1st March 202, focused on protecting the most vulnerable age groups. These prioritized age-groups included persons above 60 years of age and persons above 45 years with associated specified co-morbidities. This was further relaxed to all people above 45 years of age on 1st April 2021. In Phase III, ‘Liberalised Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy’ was adopted on 1st May 2021. Under this strategy, everyone above 18 years of age are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Jitendra Singh says vaccination drive is proceeding smoothly in India


Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India’s vaccination drive is unmatched in its scale and despite a large population of over 135 crore and heterogeneous character of the country, the vaccination drive is proceeding smoothly. In Jammu & Kashmir alone, around 66% population above the age of 45 years have received the first dose of vaccine, he said.

In an exclusive interview to Sansad/Rajya Sabha TV, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India was the quickest to administer 100 million doses of vaccine and fastest to begin vaccinating those above the age of 18. He said, instead of politicising the issue, we should all collaborate to make India’s vaccination drive a mass movement.

The initial hesitancy or apprehension about taking the vaccine, said Dr Jitendra Singh, has also been overcome. In every part of the country today, all the eligible age groups are turning out in huge numbers for inoculation. He said, the second wave of the pandemic has further reiterated the need to receive vaccines for all eligible persons.

Responding to a question about the recent surge of COVID in Jammu & Kashmir, Dr Jitendra Singh said, from the end of April and beginning of May, entire Jammu & Kashmir particularly Jammu District has shown increased positivity rate and increased mortality rate. It became a matter of concern for the administration and also caused apprehensions in the society. However, he said, over the last one week, there has been a downward trend in these parameters and positivity rate.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the mortality rate in Jammu & Kashmir peaked around 17th of May, but is now showing progressive decline. Another heartening feature, he said, is that around 66% persons above the age of 45 years have received the first dose of vaccine in the Union Territory.

Referring to reports about the Northeast turning into a hot spot, Dr Jitendra Singh said, there is no doubt that in recent times, the North Eastern States, which had remained unaffected in the first wave, have shown a steep rise in Covid positive cases. But the preparedness and the infrastructural capability is in place, with satisfactory handling of the situation and tremendous amount of confidence is there among the general public.

Dr Jitendra Singh also enumerated a number of initiatives taken by the Ministry of DoNER in the wake of the pandemic, He said, the Ministry of DoNER is helping State hospitals and other related health infrastructure in Northeastern States including Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, and Tripura.

Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to the support by Japan and UNDP who have come forward to set up 8 Oxygen Plants in different parts of Northeastern regions. Meanwhile, he said, over 71 lakh persons have already been vaccinated in the North Eastern region with the maximum number being from Assam.

 

History will remember Indian Railways for its immense contribution to the fight against Covid: Piyush Goyal


“History will remember Indian Railways for its immense contribution to the fight against Covid. While maintaining national supply chains, it has ensured that wheels of progress  keep moving at fast pace” said while Shri Piyush Goyal reviewing the operational performance of Zones & Divisions with top Railway officials today.

Shri Goyal said that during the last 14 months Railways has demonstrated a high moral strength and ability to rise to the occasion.

Shri Goyal directed the officials to go aggressively for full utilisation of record Capex allocation. Completion of infrastructure works would generate employment as well especially in challenging Covid times.

The Minister said that Nation is full of gratitude for all of those Railways employees who lost their lives while serving the Nation and offered condolences.

Shri Goyal observed that Indian Railways is transforming itself from just being a mode of transportation to an all a great engine for growth and that every one is committed to the success of IR and making Railways a self sustainable organization.

Shri Goyal said that Oxygen Expresses have served the Nation in an extra ordinary manner and were game changer in the fight against Covid.He said that speed of response andquality of service has been appreciated by all. Front line staff has risen to occasion.

Shri Goyal said that Railways need to further enhance manpower efficiency in operations and there was a lot of scope of improvement in workshops as far as that is concerned.

Shri Goyal directed all the officials to go aggressively for full utilisation of record Capex allocation. Completion of infrastructure works would generate employment as well especially in challenging covid times.

Shri Goyal said that Covid challenges have demonstrated the resolve of Railways to fight back and emerge stronger. Mindset of Railways has transformed. It’s no longer business as usual for Railways.

The Minister complimented Railway officials for showing an extra ordinary resilience and ensuring that Indian Railways achieved a DOUBLE DIGIT growth in Freight Traffic.

Railways has recorded more than 10% increase in Freight loading as compared to normal year of 2019-20. In FY 2021-22, Indian Railways total loading is 203.88 Million Tonnes (MT) which is 10% more than FY 2019-20 loading figures (184.88 MT) for the same period.

The Minister complimented the officials of the Business Development Units for working on Mission Mode to boost the Freight traffic. He further directed that more efforts be made for developing infrastructure like good sheds, terminals, last mile electrification towards sheds, mechanisation of loading unloading etc to make things more efficient and easy for all operators.

Oxygen Expresses deliver more than 17945 MT of LMO to the Nation


Overcoming all hurdles and finding new solutions, Indian Railways is continuing its journey of bringing relief by delivering Liquid Medical Oxygen(LMO) to various states across the country. So far, Indian Railways has delivered more than 17945 MT of LMO in more than 1080 tankers to various states across the country.

lt may be noted that 272 Oxygen Expresses have completed their journey so far and brought relief to various States.

In a scale up of operations which continued till late yesterday night 12 Oxygen Expresses with 969 MT of LMO started their journeys from Cyclone hit Eastern States and beat tough weather to take relief to the Nation.

These 12 Oxygen Expresses include 3 trains for Tamil Nadu, 4 trains for Andhra Pradesh and 1 each for Delhi region, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam & Kerala.

Amongst the Southern States, delivery of LMO to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana crossed 1000 MT each.

Jharkhand received it’s First Oxygen Express to become the 15th State to get Oxygen from Railways.

It is Indian Railways endeavour to deliver as much LMO as possible in the shortest time possible to the requesting states.

Oxygen relief by Oxygen Expresses reached out to 15 states namely Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam.

Till the time of this release, 614 MT of Oxygen has been offloaded in Maharashtra, nearly 3731 MT in Uttar Pradesh, 633 MT in Madhya Pradesh, 4910 MT in Delhi, 1911 MT in Haryana, 98 MT in Rajasthan, 1653 MT in Karnataka, 320 MT in Uttarakhand, 1158 MT in Tamil Nadu, 929 MT in Andhra Pradesh, 225 MT in Punjab, 246 MT in Kerala, 1312 MT in Telangana, 38 MT in Jharkhand and 160 MT in Assam.

Railways has mapped different routes with Oxygen supply locations and keeps itself ready with any emerging need of the States. States provide tankers to the Indian Railways for bringing LMO.

It may be noted that Oxygen Expresses started their deliveries 32 days back on 24th April in Maharashtra with a load of 126 MT.

Criss crossing the country, Indian Railways is picking up oxygen from places like Hapa , Baroda, Mundra in the West and Rourkela, Durgapur, Tatanagar, Angul in the East and then delivering it to States of Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Telangana, Punjab, Kerala, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh & Assam in complex operational route planning scenarios.

In order to ensure that Oxygen relief reaches in the fastest time possible, Railways is creating new standards and unprecedented benchmarks in running of Oxygen Express Freight Trains. The average speed of these critical Freight trains is way above 55 in most cases over long distances. Running on high priority Green Corridor, with a highest sense of urgency, operational teams of various zones are working round the clock in most challenging circumstances to ensure that Oxygen reaches in fastest possible time frame. Technical stoppages have been reduced to 1 minute for crew changes over different sections.

Tracks are kept open and high alertness is maintained to ensure that Oxygen Express keeps zipping through.

All this is done in a manner that speed of other Freight Operation doesn’t get reduced as well.

Running of new Oxygen is a very dynamic exercise and figures keep getting updated all the time. More loaded Oxygen Expresses are expected to start their journeys later in the night.

Cabinet approves Opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives


The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the opening of a new Consulate General of India in Addu City, Maldives in 2021.

India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity. Maldives occupies an important place in the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and the ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Government of India.

Opening of a Consulate General in Addu City will help augment India’s diplomatic presence in Maldives and make it commensurate with the existing and aspired level of engagement.

The momentum and energy in the bilateral relationship has reached unprecedented levels under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Solih.

This is also a forward-looking step in pursuit of our national priority of growth and development or ‘SabkaSaathSabka Vikas’. Augmentation of India’s diplomatic presence will, inter-alia, provide market access for Indian companies and bolster Indian exports of goods and services. This would have a direct impact in augmenting domestic production and employment in line with our goal of a self-reliant India or ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

Additional 19,420 vials of Amphotericin- B allocated to States/UTs


Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri D.V Sadananda Gowda announced that the additional 19,420 vials of Amphotericin- B have been allocated to all States/UTs and Central Institutions on 24th May, 2021.

Besides this, 23680 vials of Amphotericin- B were allocated across country on 21st May.

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Yet another village in Ahmednagar district becomes Covid free following Covid appropriate behaviour


While the whole country is battling the second wave of Covid-19, a small village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra – Bhoyare Khurd has used the tools of widespread public awareness, following Covid-appropriate behaviour, regular health check-ups and isolation of infected people to control the spread of the virus and eventually become COVID-free.

Following the footsteps of Hivare Bazaar, whose success story is already well documented, this small village with a population of 1,500 people has demonstrated that collective efforts of people has the power of reducing COVID-19 to zero and make an entire village corona-free.

At a distance of about 20 km away from Ahmednagar city, Bhoyare Khurd is situated in a hilly belt. The area being drought-stricken, many villagers have migrated to Mumbai and other big cities in search of employment. However, after the State Government imposed lockdown, most of the  workers have come back to their native village.

In the initial phase, when 3 to 4 COVID-19 cases were detected in the village, the Gram Panchayat and the Health Department started conducting antigen tests for families with infected patients. The suspects and symptomatic persons were immediately isolated.

Following this, the villagers took upon themselves some initiatives to keep their village corona-free. All families in the village were checked from time to time with the help of ASHA and Anganwadi workers, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare from time to time.

“If symptoms like fever, cough or fatigue were observed, such people were immediately subjected to Antigen test and kept in isolation”, informs Dr Savita Kute who was involved in these works.

Simultaneously, a widespread awareness campaign was launched in the village temples where loudspeakers were used to convey messages about Covid Appropriate Behaviours every morning and evening. The villagers were informed about the disease and how to take care of themselves and their families under the prevailing pandemic situation.

Covid appropriate behaviour messages like wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, regular health check-ups and isolation of people, as stressed upon by the Centre and State’s Covid Communication Campaigns, were reiterated time and again.

After state-wide lockdown was announced, Bhoyare Khurd Gram Panchayat implemented “Gaon Band” initiative to check the spread of Covid.

Sarpanch Rajendra Ambekar said, suspected persons were persuaded to stay in an isolation centre set up in the village which helped to break the chain and this led to become the village corona-free by the month of May.  “If other villages follow the example of our village, it will not take long for them to become free from Covid-19”, added  Ambekar.

Speaking about the challenges faced by them, Gram Sevak Nand Kishore Devkar said “initially it was very difficult to convince village people to stay away from their families. But gradually, they understood the threat and it became easy for us to quarantine the infected persons.

UNION HOME MINISTER REVIEWED PREPARATION FOR CYCLONE ‘YAAS’


Union Home Minister, Shri Amit Shah held a review meeting, through video conferencing today, with the Chief Ministers of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh and the Lt. Governor of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, to assess their preparedness and that of Central Ministries and agencies concerned, to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone ‘Yaas’, which is forming in the Bay of Bengal. This follows yesterday’s high level review meeting by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.

Shri Amit Shah specifically reviewed and re-iterated to the States/ UT administrations to make adequate power backup arrangements in all COVID-19 hospitals, labs, vaccine cold chains and other medical facilities. Further, he advised them to ensure adequate stocks of all essential medicines and supplies in hospitals, keeping in view likely disruption of movement of vehicles. For health facilities, including temporary hospitals, likely to be affected by the cyclone, the Union Home Minister advised them to make adequate arrangements for securing them from losses and for evacuation of patients in advance, if necessary. The Union Home Minister said advance action taken in this regard on the Western coast ensured that there was no adverse impact on any medical facility.

The Union Home Minister also reviewed the impact of the cyclone on oxygen generation plants located in the States of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. He advised them to make advance planning for keeping a buffer stock of oxygen for two days and movement of oxygen tankers to allocated States, so that in case of any disruption, supply to allocated States is not impacted. Shri Amit Shah also asked the State Governments to ensure the safety of oxygen generation plants.  He also emphasized the need to make necessary arrangements for safety of power plants to ensure uninterrupted power supply to hospitals and health facilities.

The safety of all shipping and fishing vessels, and all ports and oil installations in the area was also reviewed during the meeting. In this regard, the Union Home Minister also reviewed the preparedness of the concerned States and UT to ensure that all fishermen are brought back to shore and the timely evacuation of people from low lying and vulnerable areas. He advised them to disseminate messages in local languages over mobile phones, television, social media and through village panchayats, with a view to educate and motivate people. As practiced by Odisha, volunteers, such as Home Guards, NCC and civil defence may also be mobilized in helping in the evacuation of people, Shri Amit Shah said.

The Union Home Minister stressed on the need to ensure safety of power and telecommunication services and their timely restoration. He advised the State Governments and the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to make advance planning and pre-position required manpower, equipment and material at vulnerable locations. He also emphasised on the need to look after the safety of power lines during the cyclone, and to promptly restore any damage that occurs. Further he said that timely pruning of heavy trees, will help in damage mitigation. Shri Amit Shah also advised the State Governments and the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to be in touch with the India Meteorological Department for their advance warnings and updated forecasts.

Shri Amit Shah assured the States and the Union Territory of all cooperation of the Central Government and its agencies, and directed senior officers for the same. He said that maximum resources, both Government and private, should be utilized to tackle the situation. The Union Home Minister re-iterated that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India will be able to successfully handle the impending cyclone.

Shri Amit Shah said that a 24×7 control room is functioning in the MHA, which can be contacted at any time for any assistance by the States and the Union Territory. He said the Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, the Army and Air Force units have also been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial sorties.

 

The Chief Minister of Odisha thanked the Central Government for convening the meeting and for extending assistance to the State Government in its preparedness efforts. He assured that all necessary steps have been taken by the Odisha Government to handle and manage the cyclone. The Chief Minister of West Bengal also assured that necessary steps are being taken to ensure that there is minimal loss of life and property due to the impending cyclone, and that the State Government is fully prepared.  The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh thanked the Central Government and assured that necessary precautions are being taken. The Lt. Governor of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands informed the Union Home Minister that the cyclone would have little or negligible impact on the Islands.

The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai; Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Health & Family Welfare, Power, Telecommunications, Road Transport & Highways, Port Shipping & Waterways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Members of NDMA, CISC, Integrated Defence Staff, Directors General of IMD, Coast Guard and NDRF. Chief Secretaries and other senior officers of the concerned States and UT also attended.