BY SUDHIR KUMAR
Union Panchayati Raj Ministry has asked Panchayats to undertake an intensive communication campaign for the awareness of rural communities on the nature of the COVID infection and preventive and mitigation measures.
The advisory asked people to provide suitable facilities with necessary protective equipment like finger oximeters, N-95 masks, infrared thermal scanning instruments and sanitisers. They have also been directed to display the information on availability of testing, vaccination centres, doctors and hospital beds on a real-time basis to facilitate effective utilization of available infrastructure by the rural citizens.
The Ministry has been told to provide relief and rehabilitation measures considering the distress and livelihood hindrances that are likely to arise due to the spread of the virus. For this purpose, various Central and State Government welfare schemes may be leveraged towards provision of rations, drinking water supply, sanitation and MGNREGS employment so that these reach the right beneficiaries. Responding enthusiastically, the states have taken various measures to check the spread of the COVID.
The Finance Ministry has already released over Rs 8923 crore to 25 states for providing Grant to Rural Local Bodies.