New body to oversee COVID management

SHILLONG: As Meghalaya continues to fight its battle with COVID-19, the state government has decided to set up a COVID-19 Management Unit (CMU) to oversee and steer the entire pandemic management exercise in the state.
According to Power Minister James PK Sangma, the CMU will be headed by the Mission Director of the National Health Mission (NHM) and the officer would be responsible in overseeing the functioning of this cell. It would consist of the State Management Unit, District Management Unit and dedicated teams at the four major entry points — Byrnihat, Ratacherra, Bajengdoba and Tikrikilla — for sampling and registration of civilians who may be entering the State.
“We will also have separate dedicated teams to manage the selected quarantine and the corona care centres,” and the dedicated cell would also identify preventive measures to reduce the chances of spread of infection.
Stating that this was necessary since the current management programme unit under the NHM is already over burden with the management of the numerous central schemes, he added that the creation of the integrated disease surveillance programme to strengthen and maintain decentralized laboratory IT enabled disease surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases is very important.
“It will also monitor disease strength and detection and to respond to outbreaks in the early rising phase,” Sangma said.
The CMU would also have a State Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme under which they will have various districts integrated disease surveillance programmes.
“The role of the CMU would primarily be to man the entry points for registration of all civilians entering into the State, data collection and data management, to monitor disease strength, management of the quarantine and corona care centre and detection and response to disease outbreaks,” Sangma said.
The Health department has pegged the budgetary requirement for this purpose at Rs 5.05 crore.

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