Director, Health Services Jammu, Dr Renu Sharma Tuesday informed that the Department is stepping up quarantine and isolation facilities for COVID-19 suspects and is enhancing the testing capacity to effectively combat the pandemic.
She said that they have identified places both for quarantine and isolation purposes that can be readied quickly in case the need arises.
She said that the government has also taken possession of Vaishnavi Dham, Kalika Dham, Saraswati Dham and they will be converted into Level 1 or Level 2 isolation facilities if the need arises.
Dr Sharma said that they had written to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and they agreed to provide the Dhams for converting them into isolation centres.
She also said the government has roped in private hospitals and nursing homes to augment the isolation facilities across Jammu division.
Director Health Services Jammu said that they have signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences (ASCOMS), Jammu and Narayana Super speciality Hospital Kakryal to augment the isolation facilities in the division. ASCOMS has readied 100 isolation beds to handle COVID-19 patients.
The government, she said, has designated several hospitals as exclusive COVID-19 facilities to avoid intermingling of corona patients with others. She said that Gandhi Nagar Hospital has been designated as an exclusive facility for treating COVID-19 patients and all types of surgeries, deliveries and other treatment to the corona positive cases is being performed at the hospital.
The other dedicated hospitals in Jammu for treatment of COVID-19 patients include Community Health Centre (CHC) R S Pura, CHC Bishnah, Psychiatry Diseases Hospital, Chest Diseases Hospital and CRPF Composite Hospital Bantalab to lower the burden on the tertiary care institutions in the division.
Dr Sharma said that the government is also increasing the quarantine facilities to stem the contraction of coronavirus. Bhagwati Nagar which was the first administrative quarantine centre will be upgraded and converted into hospital quarantine centre where doctors will be available round-the-clock.
The government has also designated Ayurvedic Hospital in Jammu as a quarantine centre. Besides, efforts are underway to convert the Indoor Maulana Azad stadium and Indoor stadium Bhagwati Nagar into quarantine centers.
Regarding the augmentation of testing capacity, the Director said that they have increased the corona testing centres to three hospitals: Government Medical College, Jammu, Command Hospital Udhampur and IIM Jammu.
“We have received guidelines from the central government that machines used for detecting Tuberculosis using Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CB-NAAT) can be used for testing coronavirus with certain modifications and calibrations,” she informed.
She said that the government is also exploring the possibility of expanding testing capacity to the New Medical Colleges of Jammu.
Besides private labs have also expressed their desire to start testing for coronavirus and that process will be approved after proper approval from the concerned quarters, she said.