On March 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak as a pandemic and reiterated the call for countries to take immediate actions and scale up the response to treat, detect and reduce transmission to save people’s lives.
India has been maximizing efforts to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. The Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Cabinet Secretary are closely monitoring the situation of COVID-19, invoking powers under The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to enhance preparedness and containment of the virus.
State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), constituted under Section 48 (1) (a) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, is now available with State Governments for responding to COVID-19, which has been declared a notified disaster. Various measures have been taken by the Central Ministries along with States/UTs in terms of strengthened community surveillance, quarantine facilities, isolation wards, adequate PPEs, trained manpower, rapid response teams for management of COVID-19.
There has been a barrage of misinformation, surrounding the deadly coronavirus, being spread through social media. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has changed the homepage of its website to show the latest updates on Coronavirus.
On this page, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has shared a helpline number and helpline e-mail Id through which the people may obtain any sort of help or information related to coronavirus.
The 24×7 Control Room helpline number for coronavirus provided on the official website is: +91-11-23978046
The helpline e-mail Id for coronavirus provided on the official website is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moreover, the homepage has detailed information, including the number of total confirmed Covid-19 cases across India, state/UT wise list of coronavirus cases across India, the total number of people screened at airports, the updated travel advisory, the orders including mass gathering advisory, the gazetted notification regarding masks, sanitizers and gloves, information regarding the awareness materials, information about comic books for children to provide correct information to them about the Covid-19 virus, the minutes of the meetings being conducted by high-level group of ministers to review the current status and action for prevention and management of Covid-19, etc, all in pdf format.
According to the website, the total number of confirmed cases in India, including foreign nationals as on March 15, 2020, 11.30 PM is 110.
The website shares a PDF of the comic book, the government of India has released, in order to pass on the correct information regarding this novel virus amongst children. The book provides child-friendly definitions and picture-illustrations regarding the effects and prevention of Covid-19. It says that the “comic has been created to learn, along with fun, and motivated children to be a hero of prevention by defeating corona.
Due to the rise in misinformation regarding the use of masks, which is deliberating people to stockpile them creating an unnecessary panic during the coronavirus outbreak, the website also shares a comprehensive 3 page PDF file on the guidelines for the use of masks.