Agartala: In a first for the region and second in the country, the Tripura government has invoked the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) to contain the spread of novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 in the state.
Madhya Pradesh was the first state in the country to implement the ESMA.
The act ensures that the delivery of certain services which, if obstructed, would affect the normal life of the people. This includes services like hospitals, public transport, banking, sanitation and water supply, among others.
State chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb took to his Facebook account to announce this. “In order to better manage #COVID-19 outbreak in the interest of citizens, from today the Government has implemented the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) with immediate effect in Tripura,” he wrote.
Deb also announced that the government has decided to restrict all its officials below secretary-level from speaking with the media persons so that no misinformation is passed to the common people.
“We have decided that henceforth in all government departments officials of secretary level and above are allowed to speak with media so that no misinformation get released,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
The decision came soon after some nurses of the Gobinda Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital and Khailashshar District Hospital complained of shortage of gloves, hand sanitizers and other protective equipment.
Meanwhile, the health department has issued a show-cause notice to all 18 nurses who had complained of shortage of masks, hand sanitizers and other medical equipment in the hospitals amid the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking with reporters, health secretary Debashish Basu said that the state has sufficient kits and equipment required to deal with any situation related to COVID-19 spread in the state.
In Tripura, so far, a total of 985 are placed in surveillance, 829 in home surveillance and 156 in facility surveillance. They are being monitored every day by the health staff. A total of 291 samples have been collected, on which only one reported positive, while 17 are being tested in the laboratory.