Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam, on Sunday directed Deputy Commissioners and District Police Heads for strict implementation of restrictions in all 77 Red Zones declared in Jammu and Kashmir. To control the further spread of coronavirus, he also stressed for proper regulation of Red Zones and complete lockdown in the identified areas.
Chief Secretary was chairing a high-level meeting to discuss the strategy to be adopted for containment of COVID-19 keeping in view the recent spurt in a number of positive cases reported in J&K in the last few days.
Financial Commissioner Health, Financial Commissioner, Finance, all other Administrative Secretaries, MD NHM participated in the meeting. Divisional Commissioners and IGPs of Kashmir and Jammu, IGP Traffic, all Deputy Commissioners, SSPs and CMOs attended the meeting through video conference.
Chief Secretary while reviewing the situation emerged due to spread of coronavirus in the Union Territory of J&K directed the DCs of active districts where Red Zones have been declared to go for complete lockdown in these areas for containment of the disease. District administration, in close coordination with district police, should ensure that there is zero movements of people, he added.
Chief Secretary directed 100 % door to door survey and extensive fumigation in all the Red Zones besides early issuance of operational guidelines for the management of the Red Zones by the Health Department so that chances of further spread of virus are minimized. However, essential supplies are to be ensured in the Red Zones and DCs should plan the delivery of essentials so that people do not face any inconvenience, he added.
Emphasizing on sparing medical persons, the Chief Secretary directed the DCs not to involve doctors and other staff for survey related works as they have to perform medical duties and instead utilize other staff for such exercises. He also asked them to promote usage of ‘Aarogya Setu’ app as an essential tool in fight against COVID-19.
With regard to the immediate need of capacity enhancement, Chief Secretary directed all DCs to increase number of isolation and quarantine beds. He asked to identify such facilities in their respective districts and takeover big halls, vacant hostels and other ready infrastructure to utilize them properly. These facilities can be developed where large number of persons can be put in for quarantine and every district has this kind of infrastructure available with them, he added.
We need to divide our capacities into three different levels as per the requirement, at level 1, there should be Covid Wellness Centres for quarantine purpose, at level 2, Covid Health Centres where people need more medical attention and, at level 3, Covid Hospitals where only high load cases are to be kept for medical treatment, the Chief Secretary maintained.
Chief Secretary directed the DCs and other concerned officers to continue with the implementation of lockdown restrictions and allow the operations of activities as permitted under NDMA Act. Movement of essential supplies has to be regulated as per the mechanism already in place, the Chief Secretary said adding that check points need to be established at both sides of Jawahar Tunnel.
Chief Secretary asked DCs of Poonch and Shopian districts to work out a plan to establish similar kind of check points at Mughal road, one at Poshana and other at Peer ki Gali to regulate vehicular traffic once the road is open for vehicular traffic. He directed them to coordinate with Secretary HUDD and Industries & Commerce for installation of fumigation tunnels at all the check points. IGPs of both the divisions were asked to made adequate security arrangements at these points.
To ensure that rural economy is not affected, the Chief Secretary asked to allow the farmers with their agriculture operations and directed the DCs and SSPs to coordinate with Secretary Agriculture for smooth continuation of agri and allied operations in their districts. He asked for proper regulation of food grain mandis and also to notify temporary mandis, in addition to the already notified mandis, to avoid large gathering of persons at one place.
Regarding movement of bakkerwals, the Chief Secretary directed DCs and SSPs to allow their movement in a regulated manner. Only small groups at a slow pace should be allowed to move.
Secretary RDD was asked to ensure participation of Panchayat Level Committees in surveillance, mask regulation, awareness and other activities related to coronavirus control efforts. Secretary Labour was directed to continue with the welfare measures for the labourers and other migrant workers so that they do not face any inconvenience due to lockdown restrictions.
While interacting with the DCs and other concerned officers, the Chief Secretary complimented all for their efforts and said that it is our collective responsibility to keep our people safe. He said that it is because of our aggressive tracing and testing exercise that we have been able to find out people infected with virus and providing them medical treatment.
Chief Secretary said that the testing capability is being enhanced further for which efforts are being made by the Health Department under the guidance of the Financial Commissioner Health.
To overcome the present situation, we all, as a team, need to ensure that lockdown restrictions are being implemented on ground and every required measures are taken to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Chief Secretary added. Sanitation/fumigation drives are to be carried out on massive scale for which adequate funds have been provided by the government, he maintained.
Chief Secretary said that our collective efforts should be to avoid entering stage of community transmission for which we need to move forward with a defined strategy. Universal usage of masks has to be promoted among the people and similarly, people need to be encouraged to take immunity booster as recommended by Ministry of AYUSH, he added.
Meanwhile, the DCs also briefed the Chief Secretary about the measures they have been taking to contain the virus especially in the Red Zones.