While India grapples with the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Cabinet Secretary on Wednesday (March 11, 2020) announced that all states and Union Territories shall invoke provisions of Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 by means of which all advisories issued by the Union health ministry and state governments from time to time are enforceable.
The number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed 70 on Wednesday, with the Union Health Ministry confirming at least 10 new cases amid new restrictions to control the spread of the virus. The decision was taken at a meeting organized in Delhi by the Cabinet Secretary. It was attended by secretaries of departments concerned, representatives from the army, ITBP among others.
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said that sharing data of infected people on a daily basis with the public has created panic across the country. It appealed to the government to ‘classify the data’ of the pandemic and take appropriate action with ‘clinical precision’.
World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new guidelines to help protect children and schools from transmission of the coronavirus.
“The guidance provides critical considerations and practical checklists to keep schools safe. It also advises national and local authorities on how to adapt and implement emergency plans for educational facilities”.
The guideline further stated that in the event of the school closures, the guidance includes recommendations to mitigate against the possible negative impacts on children’s learning and well-being.
“This means having solid plans in place to ensure the continuity of learning, including remote learning options such as online education strategies and radio broadcasts of academic content, and access to essential services for all children. These plans should also include necessary steps for the eventual safe reopening of schools”, read the guideline.