New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi has written to the Chief Ministers of the states ruled by the party listing out measures to be taken to deal with the coronavirus scare.

Sonia Gandhi has written to the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (Kamal Nath), Chhattisgarh (Bhupesh Baghel), Rajasthan (Ashok Gehlot), Punjab (Captain Amarinder Singh) and Pudicherry (V. Narayansammy).

In her letter, the Congress chief said, “It is critical for the state government to put in place effective response and preparedness measures. The capacity of public healthcare facilities must be augmented to respond to any potential outbreak.

“Increased disease surveillance and strengthening the testing facilities could help early detection and containment,” she said.

“The state government must lend all possible support to public health care responders to carry out their duty effectively,” said Sonia Gandhi.

She also pointed out that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had warned of severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially for frontline health workers, and had estimated that manufacturers must increase production by 40 per cent to meet the requirements.

“I urge the state government to ensure an adequate supply of PPE, especially in public healthcare facilities, and initiate effective measures to prevent hoarding and black-marketing,” she said.

“It is equally important to strengthen the intensive care facilities to meet any potential contingency.”

Sonia Gandhi said protocols for contact identification must be put in place by the states and quarantine facilities must be set up urgently.

The Congress chief also asked the states to consider awareness campaigns, helplines, advisories to avoid public gatherings in view of the deadly disease.

The deadly coronavirus outbreak has claimed over 3,345 lives across the world.

India has stepped up its fight against the fast-spreading coronavirus and has kept its 31 confirmed patients in isolation.

The COVID-19 outbreak has rattled economies around the world and has raised fears among investors.

–IANS

aks/prs

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