MoHWF updates about National Task Force
The ‘National Task Force' is constituted by Secretary DHR-cum-DG-ICMR with Member (Health) NITI Aayog as Chairperson and Secretary (DoHFW) and Secretary (DHR) as Co-Chairs
The Government has constantly been in consultation with experts for technical and strategic inputs, scientific ideas and domain-specific guidance to address the COVID-19 pandemic, pointed out Ministry of Healthcare of Family Welfare.
“There are some reports in a section of the media expressing concern about the Government’s efforts towards containment and management of COVID-19 to have excluded the larger wisdom of technical experts. These apprehensions and allegations are unfounded and baseless,” it stated.
It clarified that it is working as per the instructions of the ‘National Task Force (NTF) for COVID-19’, which is constituted by Secretary DHR-cum-DG-ICMR with Member (Health) NITI Aayog as Chairperson and Secretary (DoHFW) and Secretary (DHR) as Co-Chairs. “The NTF comprises 21 members including technical/domain experts from the government and outside the government. Predominant expertise in the Task Force is from public health and/or epidemiology. Given the complexity and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has experts from medicine, virology, pharmacology and programme implementation domains, as well,” it stated.
Further, the Task Force has constituted four expert groups. The expert groups on Epidemiology and Surveillance (13 members) and on Operations Research (15 Members) are almost entirely comprised of public health and epidemiology experts from the government and non-government arena.
"The Task Force has held over 20 meetings and has systematically contributed towards the scientific and technical response to the pandemic. Among other contributions, the Task Force has issued guidelines on testing, prevention, treatment and surveillance. In addition to the NTF, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also constituted a Group of Experts which has public health experts as members," the statement informed.
“As is well known in public health, different stages of epidemic demand different response. In fact, the nuanced, step-wise response is known to be a positive characteristic of a resilient health system. The people, the WHO and the global health community have appreciated India’s proactive and pre-emptive approach to COVID-19. There was all round consensus on the lockdown among all state governments,” it stated.