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The Centre on Tuesday said hospitals will be set up in Assam and seven other states in the country, dedicated for the management of COVID-19 cases.

Disclosing this in New Delhi on Tuesday, Luv Aggrawal, joint secretary in the Union ministry of health and family welfare said the Centre is monitoring the progress with respect to states having earmarked hospitals dedicated to COVID-19 cases.

“Gujarat, Assam, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, MP and J&K are setting up hospitals dedicated for the management of COVID-19 cases,” he said.

The prevention, containment, and management of COVID-19 in the country are being monitored at the highest level and various actions have been initiated in collaboration with the states.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is regularly monitoring and reviewing the situation with top officials of the concerned Ministries and Departments and States and UTs,” said Aggrawal.

“He had a video conferencing with the representatives of doctors and healthcare professionals to express his gratitude and to seek their continued involvement and support in handling this crisis,” he said.

He said manufacturers have been identified domestically and procurement has been initiated to ensure that there is no shortage of PPEs, N95 masks and other protective equipment needed by doctors to carry out their duties.

Dr Raman Gangwadkar, a senior scientist in the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said 118 laboratories have been included in the ICMR network of COVID-19 testing with a capacity to test 12,000 samples per day.

“In the last five days, on an average 1338 samples have been tested per day. Furthermore, 22 private lab chains have registered with ICMR (till March 24, 2020) for COVID-19 testing. They have 15,500 collection centers nationwide,” said Gangwadkar.

Meanwhile, Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba has sent letters to all chief secretaries across India asking them to strictly enforce lockdown.

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