UP govt bans pan masala, gutka during lockdown

| | Lucknow
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UP govt bans pan masala, gutka during lockdown

Thursday, 26 March 2020 | PNS | Lucknow

Deciding to start door-to door delivery of essential commodities, the UP government banned the sale of pan masala and gutka till the lockdown period with officials maintaining that the ban could be extended further.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said that the Food Safety and Drug Administration department had issued a directive to ban gutka and pan masala till the lockdown period.

“This (ban) can be extended,” he said.

Awasthi said that door-to-door delivery of essential commodities had commenced across the state and over 12,133 vans and hand-carts had been deployed for this.

“After home delivery of essential goods, the government in the next phase will go for setting up community kitchen to provide food to workers and the poor,” he disclosed.

The additional chief secretary said that officials had been asked to approach mutts, gurdwars, mandirs and other places which have been closed but have kitchen facilities.

“We will request them to cook food for the poor and prepare food packets which will be distributed among the poor,” he said.

Awasthi further said that the process to identify the suspected Covid-19 patients had been intensified .

“The chief minister is in touch with over 10,000 gram pradhans across the state and has asked them to monitor people coming from foreign land and ensure that they go for self-isolation for a month ,” he said.

The number of Covid-19 patients in the state went up by one on Wednesday, taking the number to 38. Eleven coronavirus patients have recovered and have been sent home.

“We are expecting that three to four patients would recover in a day or two,” Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said.

Addressing media persons on Wednesday, Prasad said that a three-tier medical system had been planned in which 2-3 primary health centres would be attached in an area to make it a Covid hospital in rural areas in the first level. He said district hospitals would be at the second level while medical colleges and other big hospitals would form the third level for treating critical patients.

“Besides community centres, schools and colleges in rural and urban areas would be taken for quarantine purpose. The government has set up a toll-free number — 18001805145 — in the state where people will get medical assistance related to coronavirus at their homes” Prasad said.

The principal secretary made it clear that OPDs in hospitals had been suspended but emergency services were operational with ambulances of 102 and 108 to ferry any patient in case of an emergency.

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