On Friday, the essential items market will remain open from 7 AM to 1 PM in the state. Fruit, vegetables and milk will be available throughout the day. While four-wheelers will remain totally prohibited, only one person will be allowed on two-wheelers during the six-hour window provided in the state-wide lockdown. This decision was taken to prevent citizens from crowding while shopping for essential items during the 7 AM to 10 AM window allowed so far. Stating this, the Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat also said that if needed, 500-bed pre-fabricated hospitals dedicated to treatment of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be made in Dehradun and Haldwani. The district magistrates concerned should identify five acre land for this purpose. Further, officials should ensure that flour mills keep on operating. Immediate assistance should be provided to registered and other labourers in addition to the needy citizens. The Chief Minister issued these directions while presiding over a video conference on Thursday evening to review the situation and preparations in the state to tackle the threat of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.
Addressing the officials, the CM said that if needed pre-fabricated hospitals with 500 bed capacity can be made in Dehradun and Haldwani for treating COVID-19 patients. He directed the district magistrates concerned to select five acre land for this purpose. Assistants should also be provided to the chief medical officers (CMOs) and other officials whose phone numbers are being made public. Pharmaceutical units should continue operations with necessary precautions.
Those people who are coming from outside should be made to undergo home quarantine. The suspect COVID-19 patients whose reports are yet to be received should be made to undergo home quarantine strictly. Regular checking should also be done to ensure this. The district magistrates should cross-check this. Rawat further said that the home delivery system should be strengthened in the districts while observance of social distancing should also be ensured stringently.
Expressing satisfaction at the situation so far, the CM said that such execution of tasks with mutual coordination should be continued in the future too. Even petty negligence should not be allowed to take place, he stressed. Rawat said that while small flour mills should be allowed to operate, bulk supply should not stopped either. Rate list should be displayed mandatorily in shops.
Health and family welfare secretary Nitesh Jha informed that currently Uttarakhand is in phase one of the COVID-19 pandemic. The positive cases found in the state have come from outside with community spread not having taken place yet. The state will succeed in stalling the spread of COVID-19 if social distancing is effectively observed, he added. Chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh, director general of police Anil Kumar Raturi, secretaries Amit Singh Negi, R Meenakshi Sundaram and other officials concerned were present in the meeting.