17th March 2020

The Novel Coronavirus 1 (COVID-19) outbreak, which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has alarmed health officials in India, following a spike in new cases being reported from several States over the past few days.

More than 199 countries have reported cases of COVID-19 1. Globally, there are now over 462,684 confirmed cases and over 20,834 COVID-19 related deaths 2. As the virus continues to spread, affected countries are implementing a range of measures to contain the further transmission, including travel restrictions and quarantine. In India, there are 724 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 3.

As a leading child rights organisation striving to advance equality for girls and young women, Plan India is closely monitoring the evolving situation and is following all public health guidelines issued by the Government of India. Also, the organisation is working towards spreading awareness and is encouraging children, youth and women to take necessary preventive measures through hand hygiene and social distancing, to keep themselves
protected from the virus.

At the workplace, the work-from-home policy for staff members has been put into effect immediately, to encourage social isolation, thereby reducing the risk of social contact and curb the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, Plan management has cancelled all interstate and international travel for its staff members. This policy is effective until 14 April 2020.

As part of programming, Plan India has decided to not conduct group meetings with children, youth, women and other citizens. As of today, there are no cases of COVID-19 reported from its communities, and field operations have remained unaffected so far. With support from its partner NGOs, the situation is being monitored consistently at the community level and they are being made aware to keep personal hygiene and regular use of soaps and sanitisers as part of precautionary measures. Plan India’s field staff are also ensuring that citizens have the right information about COVID-19 so that they know when they are required to seek medical help.

A technical and go-to ‘Quick Response Team’ (QRT) is also set up, to be the first point of contact for an emergency situation; to monitor the situation; to take immediate decisions; and manage any situation that might emerge.

For further advice and media guidance, please contact:
Shompa Mahanty, Manager, Media & PR: shompa.mohanty@planindia.org
(Mobile: 9899414178)

Pinky Pradhan, Director, Marketing & Communications: pinky.pradhan@planindia.org
(Mobile:9810788435)

1 & 2 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports
3 https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

Last Updated: March 27, 2020