Union Minister of State in PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that the fight against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a shared responsibility and everyone has to play due role in tackling the contagion.
The Union Minister made these remarks while chairing a meeting here to review the preparedness of Jammu and Kashmir in dealing with the corona pandemic.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the meeting, the Union Minister while lauding the efforts of the medical fraternity of J&K, who he said are doing a commendable job, sought cooperation from all sections of the society in combating the spread of the virus.
“All of us have to cooperate in an optimum manner and every person needs to take all necessary precautions and exercise individual and collective responsibility in this fight against the coronavirus,” he added.
The Union Minister also asked people to heed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for the ‘Janata curfew’ on Sunday to minimize social interaction in efforts to help in controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
While emphasizing the need for upholding good personal hygiene by washing hands regularly, he also stressed the need for following the necessary guidelines that are being regularly advised from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while discarding the rumours and misinformation from unverified sources.
Dr Singh directed the officials to restrict the number of attendants in the hospitals and exploring the possibility of designated OPD hours for regular patients to avoid gatherings.
While calling for proper care and attention to the quarantine people in hospitals, he said that they should not be made feel like prisoners.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor Bhatnagar emphasized upon the need for strictly adhering to guidelines in dealing with the pandemic. He said people should not panic and follow the government advisories in letter and spirit.
He said COVID-19 patients need to be taken care of and every precaution should be exercised in dealing with the infection.
Earlier, Financial Commissioner Dulloo presented a detailed report about various measures taken by the government to contain the spread of coronavirus in J&K.
He said that advisories have been issued to all hospitals to suspend all non-essential OPDs and surgeries and a decision has been taken to quarantine all foreigners arriving in J&K and passengers coming from Ladakh.
He further said that all vehicles entering J&K will be decontaminated at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda and Deputy Commissioners have been asked to involve urban local bodies in decontamination of crowded places, offices and hospitals.
The FC also spelt out the measures that have been taken for surveillance and contact tracing network and said that 253 contacts have been traced who had come in contact with the positive cases and have been put under surveillance.
About the availability of safety logistics and equipment, the Union Minister was informed that the Health Department has an adequate number of PPE kits, masks, sanitizers, ventilators and orders have been placed to augment the stocks.
With regard to isolation facilities, it was said that apart from the established facilities in several hospitals and other locations, the Army facilities at Udhampur, Nagrota, Satwari and Srinagar can be roped in for isolation purpose while as training Centres of Army and CAPF can also be explored for quarantine facilities.
The meeting was also informed that triage has been developed by opening flu clinics in major hospitals to avoid intermingling of COVID-19 suspects with other patients.
About the laboratory testing facilities, it was given out that besides SKIMS Soura, GMC Srinagar and GMC Jammu, the possibility is being explored to start testing at Army Command Hospital labs at Udhampur and IIIM Jammu.
The meeting was also attended by Mission Director National Health Mission, J&K, Bhupinder Kumar; Director Health Services Jammu, Dr Renu Sharma; Principal Government Medical College, Jammu, Dr Sunanda Raina; OSD Coronavirus Owais Ahmad; Principal Medical College, Doda, Dr Tariq Azad; Director ISM, J&K, Dr Mohan Singh; Director Family Welfare, Dr Arun Sharma; Commissioner Food and Drugs, J&K Shakeel ur Rehman; Director New Medical Colleges, Dr Yashpal Sharma; State Drug Controller, Lokita Khajuria; Joint Director Planning H&ME, Madan Lal and other concerned.
Concerned officials from Kashmir division participated in the meeting via video conferencing.