Ensure adequate water supply in rural areas during lockdown: Centre advises states

Ensure adequate water supply in rural areas during lockdown: Centre advises states
New Delhi, Apr 14 () The Health Ministry has issued an advisory to states to ensure adequate supply of potable water during lockdown, particularly in rural areas where medical sanitisers may not be available, stating that frequent washing of hands with frothing soaps is recognised as the most-effective measure to control the spread of coronavirus.

It highlighted the need to augment supply in water-deficient areas and give special care to vulnerable sections such as people in relief camps, places of quarantine, hospitals, old-age homes and slums.

It asked states to assess the availability of water-purifying chemicals. "The purifying chemicals are among the essential commodities and therefore it may be ensured that these are part of the running supply chain."

It also advised states to ensure round-the-clock vigil and functionality of water supply systems and provide protective equipment like masks and sanitisers to officials managing the operation of the systems. "It is possible that demand during this period may go up and if people have to fetch water from the public stand post, supply hours may be required to be increased to ensure social distancing," the advisory stressed.
The Union ministry also told states to make use of tele-medicine and triaging to avoid crowding of hospitals. It said non-COVID-19 services, including health promotion and community-based screening for chronic conditions, could be deferred until the lockdown is lifted.

States should develop a phased engagement with the not-for-profit and private sector for use of their infrastructure if there is a shortfall in government health facilities, it said.

Suspected coronavirus and other patients should be encouraged to utilise tele-platforms to determine the need to visit a health facility to avoid overcrowding of hospitals and prevent transmission of COVID-19, the advisory added. AG ABHABH

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