In view of some suspected cases of H1N1 Influenza having been reported from some areas of the State, the Governor, NN Vohra, convened a meeting Thursday at the Raj Bhavan to review the to-date status of H1N1 flu in the State and the preparedness of the Health and Medical Education Department in this regard.
The Governor was informed that an Isolation Ward has been set up at the Chest Diseases Hospital, Srinagar, and is being equipped with dedicated CCU facilities. This is in addition to the arrangements at SKIMS, Srinagar where testing facility is already functioning. Likewise, a separate Isolation Ward has been set-up at Col. Chopra Nursing Home, Government Medical College, Jammu, with sample collection facility and a separate Flu OPD has been started in Medicine OPD of Medical College, Jammu. Round the clock Control Rooms have been established at Barzulla and Jammu, the Raj Bhavan spokesperson added.
On being informed that presently no testing facility is available in Jammu, the Governor directed that urgent measures should be taken to set up the required testing facility in Medical College Jammu, and he should be informed about the progress every week. He also directed Director Health Services (Kashmir) to ensure that there is no delay whatsoever in the operationalisation of the testing facility being set up by the Government Medical College, Srinagar.
The Governor directed Secretary, Health Department, to ensure that adequate supplies of medicines, N95 masks required for health care workers and Virus Transport Medium (VTM) for transportation of samples are urgently procured and distributed to the concerned hospitals. The Raj Bhavan Spokesperson disclosed that SKIMS had so far taken 670 samples of persons from different parts of the State and tested 275 samples, out of which 71 patients had tested positive for Swine Flu virus.
The Governor directed BB Vyas, Principal Secretary, Finance to immediately release additional funding of Rs. 30 lakhs to the Health Department for augmenting the stock of medicines and vaccines and purchase a ventilator to effectively deal with the Flu. Principal Secretary, Finance assured immediate help and stated that funding would not be a constraint in dealing with the obtaining situation.
Briefing the Governor about the state of preparedness Secretary Health, Gazzanfar Hussain, informed that an Action Plan has been devised for dealing with H1N1 influenza and necessary directions have been issued by the respective Director, Health Services, to all the CMOs and BMOs in the State. The Action Plan envisages the setting up of Isolation Wards with 4 to 6 beds at the District Hospitals and with 2 to 3 beds at the CH Centres. All the Health Department functionaries dealing with patients will be administered Influenza Vaccine. He was also informed that N95 masks required for health care workers and VTM required for transportation of samples are being arranged from the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The Governor directed that the situation should be closely monitored by obtaining daily status report from various districts. He also directed the two Directors to urgently have meetings with the Private Hospitals and secure the required coordination.
The Governor asked Secretary, Health to ensure very wide publicity, using all available media, to generate adequate awareness among people regarding Do’s and Dont’s in dealing with the Flu and when to seek specialist medical advice so that there is no unnecessary panic or scare.
The Governor also reviewed the to-date status of detachments of doctors from the Medical institutions and directed the Secretary, Health & Medical Education for immediate detachment of doctors originally posted away from the State/ District/Block headquarters to ensure availability of doctors and paramedical staff, particularly in hospitals located in the remote and far-flung areas of the State. The Governor directed him to ensure the availability of sufficient medicines and medical equipments in all the health centers of the State.
The meeting was attended by BB Vyas, Principal Secretary Finance; PK Tripathi, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Gazanffer Hussain, Commissioner/Secretary Health and Medical Education; Dr. Ghanshyam, Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu; Dr. Bela Mahajan, HoD Microbiology; Dr. Baljeet Pathania, Director, Health Services Jammu; and Dr. Saleem ur Rehman, Director, Health Services Kashmir.
Dr. Parvez Ahmad Koul, HoD Medicine, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and some of the concerned Faculty members in the Institute participated in the meeting through Video Conferencing.