Centre has reconstituted the six Empowered Groups into ten groups to tackle the COVID situation in the country. The decision is aimed at further improving the efforts in catering the current need of COVID management. NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr VK Paul will head the Emergency Management Plan Group and the ten-member panel on Vaccination.

Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan will be the convener of the Empowered Group on Emergency Response Capabilities. It will look into the issues related to hospitals, equipment and medicines. A separate Empowered Group has been formed under the chairmanship of Road and Transport Secretary, Giridhar Aramane on oxegen production, import and other related issues.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava has been made the convener of the panel on COVID testing, while NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will head the group which will take care of work of private sector, NGOs and international organisations.

Economic and Welfare Measures group which has been tasked with emerging issues related to growth and employment, will be headed by Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth.

Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla will be the convenor of 12 member Empowered Group on Pandemic Response and Coordination. An 11 member group headed by Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare will look after the steps on information, communication and public engagement.

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