DDMA forms ‘empowered groups’ to monitor Covid-19 mitigation strategies
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) formed five ‘empowered groups’ in the Capital earlier this week, to monitor ongoing Covid-19 mitigation strategies, identify problems and formulate new interventions.
The groups, formed by the DDMA’s special CEO Ravi Dhawan on Monday (April 20), constitute senior bureaucrats, doctors and experts from various fields as members.
The groups are tasked with emergency planning, strengthening hospital infrastructure, procuring medical equipment, disease surveillance, augmenting human resources in health care, ensuring availability of essential and medical supplies, alleviating the distress caused by disruption due to lockdown, social distancing, among others.
In several instances, an empowered group is tasked with overseeing multiple response activities.
The coronavirus disease has so far infected 2,248 people, and killed 48 in the national Capital.
For all health-related work, including capacity building, the authority appointed an eight-member group headed by senior IAS officer and South Delhi Municipal Corporation chief Gyanesh Bharti. Other members of this group include principal secretary health and family welfare Padmini Singla and Dr Nutan Mundeja, the director-general of health services.
Government officials said such groups would help gauge all Covid-19 management activities from an overall perspective. “There are a number of teams, activities, operations that are simultaneously at work in the Capital right now — containment, surveillance, contact tracing, treatment, checking medical and essential stocks. All of these require constant monitoring,” the official said.
“These groups are empowered to identify problem areas and provide effective solutions; delineate policy; formulate plans; strategic operations and take all steps necessary for the effective and time-bound implementation of these plans/strategies/decisions in their respective area,” read the order issued by Dhawan, a copy of which is with HT.
A second senior government official said each group also has experts from the respective field, apart from bureaucrats.
“We have roped in policy researchers to look into the strategic issues relating to the lockdown. Then we have got an experts from Unicef and a noted consultancy firm to address public grievances and review suggestions that we get from various quarters. Disaster management experts have been assigned to look into economic and welfare measures and so on,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.
The suggestion to form such groups in the city was made by Union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba in a letter to Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev earlier this month. In the letter, Gauba informed Dev that the Union government had constituted 11 empowered groups to perform “specific tasks”.