Wednesday, 15 July, 2020
Exclusives - 04 April, 2020

Fear of Coronavirus; control room closed in Madhya Pradesh

Amidst the spread of coronavirus (Covid19), it is learnt from a highly placed source that the state control room set up by the Madhya Pradesh government at the 4th floor of Satpura Bhawan... #Fearofcoronavirus;controlroomclosedinMP

Samuel Mathai

Bhopal: Amidst the spread of coronavirus (Covid19), it is learnt from a highly placed source that the state control room set up by the Madhya Pradesh government at the 4th floor of Satpura Bhawan in Bhopal has been closed from Thursday afternoon.

The state government has set up this control room to collect information related to the spread of coronavirus state-wide and to compile it and report the situation immediately to the state government. But, at a time, when the tally of coronavirus positive cases in the state has been increasing day after day, the closure of the control room for the last two days is a matter of concern.

According to the source, following the coronavirus positive report of one of the senior IAS officer posted at the control room, Dr. J. Vijay Kumar, all the officers and staff deputed at the control room, out of fear of the spread of the pandemic, deserted the office one by one on Thursday afternoon. Virtually no one deputed to the control room is attending the office now, and no work related to coronavirus is being done there.

All the three floors (4, 5 and 6th) housing the entire Health department was locked on Friday, the source said.

The Bhopal Municipal Corporation on Friday, to disinfect the building, fumigated the entire Satpura Bhawan with Sodium Hydrochlorite (NaOCI), a compound that can be used for surface purification, bleaching, odour removal and water disinfection. But as far as coronavirus is concerned, simple fumigation with NaOCI is not enough to disinfect, but the entire floor should be washed with the compound, the source said.

All efforts to contact the Health Commission Faiz Ahmed Kidwai and Principal Secretary Health Pallavi Jain on telephone proved futile as the cell phones of these officers were switched off or engaged.

The 2011 batch IAS officer, Dr. J. Vijay Kumar, who is infected by coronavirus and tested positive, is the director of administration in the department. He is also the chief executive officer of the Ayushman Niramayam Society and the managing director of the MP Public Health Corporation.

Two months ago, the officer had visited South Africa with his departmental staff to study the health infrastructure there. After experiencing fever and cold, he went into self-isolation on Tuesday. Doctors have asked the department to quarantine the staff members who were in close touch with him.

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