Principal Secretary Planning, Information and Government Spokesperson, Rohit Kansal informed that with the addition of 5 new cases today the number of positive COVID 19 cases have risen to 75 in J&K. Giving breakup of the figures at a press briefing, Kansal said out of 75 cases 70 are active cases (54 in Kashmir Division and 16 in Jammu division.) and a total of 22,993 cases are under surveillance so far.
He said that out of 75 positive cases 3 (2 from Jammu Division and 1 from Kashmir Division) have recovered and there is every likelihood that one more case will recover very soon.
Kansal revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has also been testing cases aggressively and so far 1218 tests have been conducted which is 6.5% of the total under surveillance.
The government spokesperson said that nearly 2000 contacts of positive cases have been identified of which 975 have been traced and tested. He reassured that all the identified contacts will be traced and tested for Covid 19. He said, “We plan to test every single one of the 2000 contacts that we have identified.”
Kansal said that in all 34 hotspots/red zones have been identified in J&K of which 24 are in Kashmir Division and 10 in Jammu Division. These include 7 in Pulwama, 4 in Bandipora, 4 in Budgam, 5 in Srinagar, 2 in Shopian, 1 each in Ganderbal and Baramulla in Kashmir Division. 4 in Jammu district, 5 in Rajouri and 1 in Udhampur district of Jammu Division.
Kansal informed that steps have been initiated to enhance and upgrade the health infrastructure in UT and said that 68 new medical professional including doctors/specialists/paramedics/medical officers/nurses have joined their respective duties. The UT Government is also procuring masks, PPEs and ventilators to augment the existing health infrastructure and every possible effort is being made to ensure that there is no shortage of manpower in the health sector.
He assured that adequate arrangements have been made to ensure sufficient supply of essential commodities. The NH 44 Highway has been reopened and made functional and nearly 800 trucks and tankers have crossed Jawahar Tunnel carrying essential goods to the Valley. He informed that supply of fruits and vegetables and POL has also reached the Valley. The downward movement of material from the Valley such as apples from cold stores has also started.
He informed that since the beginning of lockdown up to 8 AM in the morning, 5037 trucks carrying essential goods containing foodgrains (1579), LPG (384), POL tankers(123), fruits and vegetables (1530), medicines and health supply (180), milk (180), cattle feed /fodder 372 have entered J&K from Lakhanpur. In order to augment the supply lines, he said that 248 local industrial units have been made operational. These include units manufacturing animal feed, pharmaceutical products, surgical bandage, masks, hospital gowns besides eatables like flour, rice and edible Oil.
Government Spokesperson said that in his previous briefing he had already informed about 24X7 dedicated Helplines set up by the Resident Commissioner’s Office in New Delhi and the Labour Department to assist the migrant labourers and other citizens. He said that 27,000 residents of J&K stranded in different parts are being reached out and provided support through these Helplines. So far over 150 calls have been received on these Helplines and about 30,000 interstate migrant labourers within J&K are being taken care of in every possible way.
Deputy Commissioners in all the districts have also set up individual Control Rooms to provide assistance to these stranded migrant labourers.
Kansal said that the Government is aware of the hardships being faced by the old and vulnerable sections of the society due to the ongoing lockdown. The Social Welfare Department is reaching out to nearly 30 lakh people including pensioners, residents of Bal Grehs, old age homes, Juvenile Homes and nearly 30,000 children belonging to the disadvantaged section of the society.
Kansal informed that the JMC has already started preparing disinfectant tunnels. To begin with he said that they will be installed in the Hospitals and later the facility will be extended to other public places and buildings.
He thanked the public for the cooperation extended to the Government machinery in implementing the lockdown and informed that the COVID 19 Awareness and Monitoring Committees shall be set up at Panchayat and Block levels and services of the elected representatives, PRIs, religious leaders, ULBs will be actively sought for imparting awareness.
Deliberating on the Advisory issued by the Principal Scientific Advisor regarding the importance of masks in containing the spread of Covid 19, Kansal said that J&K Government has decided to educate the public about the usage of masks. He said that different categories require different kinds of masks. Health Workers and Frontline Professionals including people dealing with essential services require specialised masks while others may not require such specialised masks. We will ensure that the required quantity of masks is supplied to each category. The Rural Development Department has been assigned the responsibility to prepare cotton masks through the engagement of Self Help Groups, NGOs and others who are willing to volunteer.
Kansal said that AYUSH Ministry has also issued an advisory regarding use of immunity boosters to fight Covid 19 effectively. He said that the Government will ensure that all these immunity-boosting products are made available to the people.
Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar, Director Information and Public Relations and Bhupinder Kumar, Director NHM were present during the Press Briefing.