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New Delhi, March 29: The government on Sunday carried out a comprehensive review of the situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic including treatment of affected people, movement of thousands of migrant labourers and supplies of petroleum products and essential commodities across the country under the nation-wide lockdown.
The review was conducted by a Group of Ministers headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and comprising several key members of the Union Cabinet including Home Home Minister Amit Shah, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
Government sources said the ministers deliberated on various arrangements put in place for effective implementation of the 21-day lockdown which began on midnight Tuesday and is aimed at checking the spread of the virus infection.
The unabated exodus of migrant workers from big cities to their villages after being left jobless also figured prominently at the meeting, they said.
The government took stock of the situation on a day the nationwide positive cases crossed the 1,000 mark with 27 people dead amid apprehensions that India may soon enter the community transmission stage of the pandemic.
The meeting was also attended by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy
The ministers were briefed about the situation including on availability and supply of essential commodities and medicines across the country by Home Secretary AK Bhalla
Sources said the ministers were informed that the availability and supply of food and medicines have been satisfactory and no major issues are envisaged about their supply.
Similarly, petroleum products are available in adequate quantities in all parts of the country and that government is ensuring that supplies for a minimum of 10 days are maintained.
The ministers also reviewed movement of essential commodities by train, air and road to various parts of the country during the lockdown.
The movement of cargo by three modes of transportation has been smooth and any issues that may arise locally will be resolved, said the sources.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said cargo flights will be used exclusively for transporting medical equipment and emergency goods, besides other essential items to the northeastern states
The meeting was of the view that the movement of migrant labourers and their gathering at various state borders is a cause for concern.
The government on Sunday ordered the sealing of state and district borders across the country in a bid to stop community transmission of coronavirus by migrant workers, and warned that violators face 14-day quarantine a their destinations.
The government has asked the states to make arrangements for their shelter at temporary camps and to provide food to them.
Only the movement of goods and of those involved in delivery of essential services is allowed during the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Modi on March 24.
States have been also told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut. (PTI)