Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu today briefed the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, about the efforts of the UT Administration for management and containment of COVID-19 pandemic in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Prime Minister was interacting with Chief Ministers and heads of all States/UTs through video conferencing to review the efforts of the States/UTs to combat COVID-19.
The Lt Governor provided feedback to the PM about the COVID positive cases in J&K and steps taken by the UT Administration to maintain social distancing, ramp up healthcare infrastructure, mitigate difficulties of migrants and maintain supply of essentials.
The Lt Governor informed the PM that there are 4 deaths and 224 positive cases in the UT, with 98% of the cases having travel history or contacts of the positive patients. In J&K, 5 districts are affected with coronavirus and 77 areas have been declared as Red Zones, he maintained.
He further informed that 16 dedicated COVID Hospitals with 208 ventilators, besides 2500 isolation beds, 25000 non hospital beds are available and 400 more ventilators are being procured. Further, about 5500 people are under home quarantine and 30,000 labourers are living in camps. Around 18,000 health care professionals; 30,000 police personnel and others have been trained, who are working towards the containment of the spread of coronavirus, he added.
The Lt Governor apprised the PM that the UT Administration has rolled out an effective mechanism and strenuous efforts are underway to reach out to the beneficiaries under various welfare schemes including 7 lakh farmers covered under PM KISSAN; 8 lakh account holders under PMJDY; 12.5 lakh families getting LPG, 7 lakh families being provided with ration and other benefits. Dedicated call centres have been established to assist the stranded labourers and students from and outside the UT, he added.
During the interaction, the Prime Minister observed that next 3-4 weeks are critical to determine impact of steps taken till now to curb spread of the virus and suggested specific measures for agriculture and allied sector. He also spoke about popularizing the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app to ensure downloads in greater numbers. Aarogya Setu app is an essential tool in our fight against COVID-19, which can subsequently act as e-pass to facilitate travel etc, he added.
The Prime Minister categorically assured that India has adequate supplies of essential medicines and said that measures are being taken to ensure availability of protective gears and critical equipments for all front-line warriors. He underlined that the motto of the government earlier was ‘jaan hai to jahaan hai’ but now it is ‘jaan bhi, jahaan bhi’. He talked about strengthening the healthcare infrastructure and reaching out to patients through tele-medicine and also suggested that direct marketing for farm produce can be incentivised to prevent crowding in mandis. He observed that the combined efforts of the Centre and the States/UTs have definitely helped reduce the impact of COVID-19.
Soon after the video conferencing, the Lt Governor chaired a meeting on COVID-19 control efforts and directed for effective implementation of restrictions in Red-Zones with aggressive & targeted testing to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Sh. Dilbag Singh , DGP; Sh. Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education; Sh. Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary to Government, Home Department; Sh. Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.
The Lt Governor directed for conducting 100% testing of inmates of Old Aged Homes in wake of the emerging situation and entrusted upon the officers to ensure supply of essentials in Red Zones so that people do not face any inconvenience on this part.
As precautionary measures, the Lt Governor stressed on immediate capacity enhancement with regard to availability of quarantine and isolation beds and directed for enhancing of infrastructural requirement in J&K. He directed for readying atleast 3000 quarantine beds, and minimum 2500 isolation beds in Kashmir and 1500 beds in Jammu. He further directed for sufficient supply of nebulizers and Oxygen canisters and emphasized on the maintenance of strict quarantine and isolation protocol across J&K.
Deliberations were also held on various important issues including stock positioning of protective equipments; intensifying contact tracing campaign; smooth transportation of essential commodities; effective mobilization of volunteers; conducting of health checkups on regular basis; fumigation and sanitation drives; besides other preventive measures.