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Haryana under Manohar Lal Khattar held its fort strongly in fight against Coronavirus: The silent but effective fight

CM Manohar Lal Khattar has been proactive in communicating with various sectors

The Wuhan Coronavirus, which originated in the Wuhan Province of China, has disturbed global peace, order and security. As the world struggles to fight the Coronavirus, one must remember that China suppressed information about the pandemic for weeks after the first case was discovered in November. With China being in India’s immediate neighbourhood, the threat was perhaps the greatest for India, however, India has managed to tackle the pandemic rather well thus far. A section of the Indian media, however, have resorted to practice political partisanship even during a pandemic. The pettiness is such, that Haryana, which is doing a remarkable job at arresting the spread has hardly been covered or given attention, while Kerala and Maharashtra have been touted as doing a great job.

The Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar is not one who believes in PR campaigns but is an able administrator who knows the ins and outs of public policy. When he was briefed about the Wuhan Coronavirus crisis late February, he immediately reduced his public visits, asked leaders across political lines to do the same and even refrained from celebrating Holi with the public on March 15th.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nation-wide lockdown, two orders were extended. They were:

  1. Under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, all Social, Cultural, Sports, Political, Religious, Academic and Family mass gatherings of 200 or more people are banned till 31st March 2020 in the state of Haryana.
  2. Under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, all Cinema Halls, Gyms, and Night Clubs shall remain closed till 31st March 2020

Haryana then faced its first major migration challenge when the migrants’ workers started leaving from the 19th of March onwards. The state government acted decisively and asked districts, be it Faridabad, Gurugram or Palwal, to ensure that they deal with the issue. They were asked to first convince the migrant workers to stay in relief camps and ensure that they were taken carer of. Then, the government released funds to the tune of Rs. 1 crore to the districts on an immediate basis along with the existing funds.

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Here are some steps that were taken by the Haryana Government to fight the Coronavirus pandemic:

Health

The Health Department of Haryana performed an audit of their preparation to fight against the Wuhan Coronavirus and ensured that each district had sufficient ventilators and medical kits. There were some motivated campaigns by the Congress party to malign the government and demoralize the health workers too. A Medical student who had nothing to do with the Coronavirus fight was made to mount fake charges, which were immediately debunked.

Further, the Health Department of Haryana issues medical bulletins twice a day to ensure that people are apprised of the state’s fight against Coronavirus. So far Haryana has a total of 8 testing facilities, almost 9000 isolations beds in over 350 hospitals (private and government booth), close to 15000 capacity of quarantine facility at over 3800 places identified. Hospitals and Medical colleges have been asked to reserve 25% for COVID-19 patients. Ventilator procurement was increased by almost 40%.

A total of 177 cases have been found positive in the state as of the time of writing and 29 of them have been treated and discharged. A sudden rise in Haryana came as briefed by Health Minister Sh Anil Viz on the 9th of April. A significant number of these cases have links with the Tablighi Jamaat.

Lockdown Enforcement

The administration had a serious job to do here. Firstly, senior IAS officers were deputed in the district along with the concerned MPs and Ministers of the districts. The Police has significant responsibilities here, from distributing food items to ensure that no one gets out. Here are a few figures:

162 Inter-state border nakas setup; As per the request of MEA, Foreign National evacuation too is being done with the help of police. There are close to 150 foreign nationals in the state.

68 FIRs have been registered against 86 persons. 41 arrests have been made for speeding fake news, rumors on social media.

In general, a total of 6376 violations took place, 1892 FIRs registered, 2613 arrested and 7044 Vehicles seized.

To allow movement for the needy Haryana government had come up with the Saral portal, here you can register and make a request for the movement pass. The website is working since 27thmarch.

Supply of essential commodities

This was yet another major challenge faced, so the government came up a website where vendors can register their shops and accordingly, the administration would grant them permission with due approval with due checks. Here is the website.

Let me summarize the numbers here: Total count-55112; Milk-9807; Bread-5408; Eggs-2214; Groceries-9442; Vegetable-5773; Potato/onion suppliers -4367; Soaps/bathroom items-7450; Packaged food item-6659; Chemists-3992.

The registered shops have been categorized as per geographical areas and have been given to the helplines so that they can help people in locating them. This is helping people panic less as of now.

This website also has a volunteer section. The great people have come forward in huge numbers. These volunteers are being engaged in various activities by the local administration. Here are the numbers:

Total volunteers-70,623; Doctors-1017, nurses-964, paramedics-2339, Home delivery-12375, Social Distancing Communicators- 12073, Public communicator- 14812, District Management -11847, others-15182

Financial Support

Haryana government has announced a 1200 crore package apart from the central government’s package. The brainchild of CM Manohar i.e. Mukhyamantri Parivar Samriddi Yojna has come to rescue. Families registered under the scheme are being provided Rs. 4000 with contributions to different insurance and pension schemes. As of 9th April, around 12.56 Lakh families have registered under MMPSY. A total of 6.23 lakh families have received a one-time payment of Rs. 4000, a sum of rupees 211.62 Crore.

Then the question of assign construction workers came up. So CM Manohal Lal Khattar came up with Rs.1000/week to each registered construction worker. Those who have registered with the Haryana Board of Construction Workers but have not registered under MMPSY shall be provided maximum a sum of Rs. 4500 per month on a weekly basis rupees starting 30th March. So far a total of 3.50 lakh workers have registered under Haryana building and other construction workers welfare board.

A total amount of over 70 crore rupees has been released as financial assistance to workers. However, the registration of such workers has been stopped on 7th April until further notice. So far, rations for the month of April has been distributed to 27 lakh ration cardholders free of cost by the Food and Supply department. A total of 6 lakh BPL families have received Rs. 1000 weekly as financial assistance, a sum of total 60.48 crore INR in its entirety; 585 shelter homes for migrant labour have been set up with free food and health facilities in which about 17,000 labourers are residing currently and over 63 lacs+ food packets have been distributed.

Helpline

Haryana State Control Room Covid-19

GENERAL HELPLINE: 

1100, 8558893911 (Except Gurugram & Faridabad)

1075 (For Gurugram & Faridabad)

FINANCIAL HELPLINE:

18001806222 (For Gurugram & Faridabad)

1100 (For Rest of Haryana)

108 for Ambulance

The direct helplines for districts can be found on this link.

So far, Over 1 lakh calls have been answered and help is being extended. The twitter handles of the Chief Minister and his office along with various government officials/departments are actively helping people as well.

Corona Relief Fund

It was an initiative launched by CM so that people could donate and help the government in their efforts against COVID-19. Here are the details of the same:

Account number: 39234755902
Haryana Corona Relief Fund
IFSC SBIN0001509
State Bank of India
Sector 10 Panchkula
UPI- hrycoronarelieffund@sbi

Communication

CM Manohar Lal Khattar has started addressing people on a daily basis at 5 pm since the 31st of March and he talks about one issue daily and tries to engage and explain various things to people. Here, the CM is playing the role of a guardian of 2.6 Crore people of Haryana as well as others who’re stuck in the state. Apart from this, various media houses and newspapers are carrying out the message and while I kept looking for advertisements from Government, all I could find was the one strip of 4*2 inches in newspapers telling people about helplines.

CM Manohar Lal Khattar has been proactive in communicating with various sectors. For example, he spoke to doctors on the 9th of April, religious leaders on 8th April and many other groups on various occasions. He also dials the phone of people randomly and talks to them. He has started his Digital Press conferences since lockdown. He connects with the journalists over the audio bridge and speaks to them. So far 3 such PCs have been done. He has been in regular sync with opposition leaders like BS Hooda, Ajay Chautala and various other senior leaders and except a few leaders, all the opposition leaders have been supporting and sharing their experience with CM Manohar Lal and team.

I’m loving the nonpartisan and proactive support of the opposition. Such tough times are bringing the best out of a democracy. CM Manohar Lal has also announced the doubling of salaries of all those who’re in the first line against the fight in COVID-19 which is much appreciated and a morale booster. The 22nd of March’s  clapping for the warriors of COVID-19 and 7th April’s lighting of Diyas and candles have brought people together. It was a nice experiment and the whole nation supported it and made it a huge success which was later followed by various countries.

I have seen various controversies related to the efforts being done by the government and people, I tried to ignore them as this fight against COVID-19 is for the survival of the people. Let’s join our hands together and assist everyone by following the guidelines issued by the government. I’ll sum it up with “Ev ya Tau (Manohar Lal) ne Thaan li hai, Corona harega bhi or Bhagega bhi” (Since Tau (Manohar Lal) has committed to it, Now Corona would be defeated and chased away).

Let’s stay committed to keeping ourselves at home. Stay safe, stay healthy. We’ll defeat Corona COVID-19.

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Shivam
I write about Governance, Policy, Elections and other contemporary issues.

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