SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Thursday chaired a meeting to review the prevailing COVID situation in the Union territory and reiterated the continuance of the COVID-dedicated IEC campaign for awareness generation towards prevention of subsequent COVID waves in Jammu and Kashmir.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), and Director Family Welfare participated in the meeting.
The Chief Secretary observed that the current strategy for micro-containment zones needs to be reviewed to ensure its effectiveness and restriction of outward movement from clusters having a substantial number of COVID positive cases. He further expressed concern regarding a large number of cases being reported outside containment zones. It was directed that COVID SOPs and protocols must be strictly enforced in these zones supported by enhanced testing, fool-proof quarantine of patients, and stringent penalties on defaulters.
The Chief Secretary directed the department to evolve vaccination strategies that would be most effective in reducing the number of cases per day.
Further, district administrations were asked to intensively promote COVID appropriate behaviour, improve the rate of testing as per target quotas, and mobilize targeted beneficiaries towards the vaccination process. The Chief Secretary maintained that existing strategies must be recalibrated towards ensuring low rates of infection in districts, and case trajectory be closely monitored to keep daily reported cases below 50.
Dr Mehta urged the enforcement agencies to adopt a graded-penalty mechanism to penalize repetitive defaulters and offenders and work out mechanisms in collaboration with various market associations, trade associations, and employee associations to best implement such a system.
While reviewing the availability of medical facilities, equipment and machinery, the Health and Medical Education Department was asked to undertake machinery and equipment audits and ensure their functionality along with the availability of technical manpower, besides, organizing regular training of medical professionals to cater to COVID-related emergencies.
The Department was also asked to optimally utilize the augmented medical infrastructure by rationalizing patient load across the hierarchy of hospitals and putting them to alternate usage during healthy interludes.
Additionally, the National Health Mission was asked to continue with the COVID-dedicated IEC campaign to generate mass awareness on good practices, COVID appropriate behavior, and Dos & Don’ts in public spaces in consultation with doctors and domain experts.
The Chief Secretary also directed the Department to check data discrepancies and ensure timely uploading of Covid related data on the National portal.