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Ensure all health facilities functional: Vardhan tells states

Ensure all health facilities functional: Vardhan tells states
Harsh Vardhan
NEW DELHI, APRIL 30 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/30/2020 12:24:34 PM IST

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday directed all states and Union Territories to ensure uninterrupted blood donation and transfusion services for people with blood disorders and advised all health facilities to remain functional and provide critical services to non-Covid patients.

In a letter to his counterparts in in states and Union Territories, he asked them to ensure that non-COVID health services were available. In the letter, states were also told that denial of critical services like dialysis, blood transfusion, chemotherapy and institutional deliveries to regular patients will not be acceptable.
States and Union Territories are advised that as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, all health services should remain functional during the lockdown period. The movement of service providers may be facilitated, especially for those working in the private sector.
The Health Ministers are also advised to ensure quick resolution of grievances on denial of critical services especially on account of insistence on testing. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in the country mounted to 33,610 with 1,075 deaths, while the total recovery rate rose to 25.19 per cent.
Ensure uninterrupted movement of trucks: MHA to states
Union Home Ministry on Thursday made it clear that no separate passes are required for inter-state movement of trucks -- those carrying goods or returning after delivery -- during the ongoing lockdown and licence of the driver is enough.
Asking states and Union Territories to ensure uninterrupted movement of trucks, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said there have been reports that at inter-state borders in different parts of the country, movement of trucks is not allowed freely and local authorities insist upon separate passes. 
Bhalla asked states to allow movement of all trucks and other goods carrier vehicles with two drivers and one helper subject to the drivers carrying valid driving licences.
An empty truck or vehicle will be allowed to ply after the delivery of goods, or after pick up of goods, he added.  He said as per the guidelines issued by the home ministry no separate passes are required for movement of trucks and goods carriers, including empty trucks. This is essential for maintaining the supply chain of goods and services across the country during the lockdown enforced to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
“Accordingly, all states and UTs shall ensure that district authorities and field agencies are informed of the above instructions, so that there is no ambiguity at the ground level, and movement of through traffic of trucks and goods carriers, including empty trucks is allowed without any hindrance,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order said.
The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It has been further extended till May 3.

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