Home minister Amit Shah today held a review meeting with chief ministers of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and the Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to assess their preparedness to deal with Cyclone Yaas forming in the Bay of Bengal.

Shah specifically reiterated that the States and the union territory administration should make adequate power back-up arrangements in all Covid19 hospitals, labs, vaccine cold chains and other medical facilities.

He advised them to ensure adequate stocks of all essential medicines and supplies in hospitals, keeping in view the likely disruption of movement of vehicles. For health facilities, including temporary hospitals, likely to be affected by the cyclone, the Home Minister advised them to make adequate arrangements for securing them from losses and for evacuation of patients in advance, if necessary.

He said advance action taken in this regard on the Western coast a few days ago had ensured that there was no adverse impact on any medical facility. Shah assured the States and the Union Territory of all cooperation of the Central Government and its agencies, and directed senior officers for the same.

He said that a 24×7 control room is functioning in the MHA, which can be contacted at any time for any assistance by the States and the Union Territory.

The Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, the Army and Air Force units have been put on standby. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik thanked the Central Government for convening the meeting and for extending assistance to the State Government. He said that all necessary steps have been taken by his Government to handle and manage the cyclone.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee also assured that necessary steps are being taken to ensure that there is minimal loss of life and property due to the impending cyclone, and that the State Government is fully prepared.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy said that necessary precautions are being taken. The Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands Admiral D K Joshi informed the Home Minister that the cyclone would have little or negligible impact on the Islands.

The safety of all shipping and fishing vessels, and all ports and oil installations in the area was also reviewed during the meeting. The States were asked to ensure that all fishermen are brought back to shore and messages in local languages over mobile phones, television, social media and through village panchayats are disseminated.