SRINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the world’s largest vaccination drive to eradicate COVID-19 pandemic. Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, who attended a virtual programme of the vaccine launch by Prime Minister Modi at Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu termed it as a historic event dedicated to corona warriors and front line workers.
On the occasion, Lt Governor also inaugurated and witnessed the administering of the first dose of the vaccine to a sanitation in-charge of GMC Jammu. Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Baseer Ahmed Khan, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Financial Commissioner Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, Administrative Secretaries, Principal GMC Jammu, Dr Shashi Sudan Sharma, and other senior officers were also present during the occasion.
Terming the occasion as a historic day in the fight against Covid pandemic, Lt Governor said he was delighted that the wait for this much-awaited vaccine has finally come to an end.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Governor recalled that COVID-19 pandemic was a big challenge for humanity and governments alike, and to steer out of this challenge was an uphill task, adding that the Coronavirus vaccine is only possible due to the untiring efforts of doctors, medical experts, scientists, and researchers.
Lt Governor informed that the vaccination would be given in three phases covering Health Care Workers followed by frontline workers (security forces, police, and other defense personnel) and elderly people in the initial phases.
Lt Governor urged people to remain vigilant and follow all Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) even after taking COVID -19 vaccine shots, with zero room for complacence until 14 days after the second dose is administered to them.
Lt Governor termed the launch of vaccine for coronavirus eradication as a ‘golden chapter in India’s history’ and said that the day is an important event that would be remembered for generations to come.
While detailing about the vaccination programme, Lt Governor said the government has identified 1294 private and 1177 government facilities along with 5400 vaccinators and 14,481 potential vaccinators across J&K. Besides, he said maintaining harmonized protocol, training, data management system, divisional and district level control rooms, call centers, the administration has also conducted two dry runs of Covid vaccine and 1053 session sites have also been identified for the smooth vaccination process.
Giving further details about the vaccination drive, he said that in J&K, 28 lakh have been identified who will be given Covid vaccine in the first and second phase on priority.
Lauding the efforts of corona warriors, frontline workers, and other stakeholders, he appreciated their dedication and professional work ethics during the management of COVID-19 pandemic, and thanked them for braving difficult situations by endangering their own lives to save others’.
He said due to the untiring efforts of healthcare workers, J&K has performed better than many states and UTs of the country in terms of Covid management.
While complimenting the health workers, he said that a year ago, the scenario was different but today the situation is different as it is now, primarily due to the tireless efforts of COVID-19 warriors, more particularly that of medics and paramedics that gave us the breather.
Whenever there is mention of the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic period, the services of our frontline workers and corona warriors would be written in golden words, he said.
He observed that JK has only 2041 active cases with a recovery rate of 96.80 percent due to the dedication and hard work of health care workers.
He also thanked the people for their patience and said they extended great cooperation with administration during lockdown, resulting in preventing the spread of the pandemic to a large extent.
Also, Lt Governor urged the people not to fall prey to the propaganda during the vaccination drive, “as there will be efforts to spread rumors and doubts”, and asked people to play their part to dispel any kind of misinformation regarding the vaccine.
Terming the testing as a game-changer, Lt Governor maintained that both tracing and testing were pivotal in restricting the spread, besides it also provided us an opportunity to enhance our capacity in the health sector exponentially.
He said that through 100% testing of inhabitants in containment zones, Swasthaya Nidhi app, intensive door-to-door health care survey, 24×7 call centres, and Sero-Survey, J&K contained the Coronavirus decisively.
Today when we are beginning the vaccination drive, it is important to mention here that from one testing lab, we have established infrastructure of 11 labs authorized by ICMR, 17 dedicated covid hospitals, 5708 Oxygen Supported Beds along with more than 1 crore reusable masks, 942 ventilators, and 442 ICU beds, Lt Governor said.
He said that indomitable will, better medical infrastructure, and a dedicated team helped to fight against the pandemic and saved many lives. The dedication exhibited during the last 10 months by healthcare workers and people alike is worth praising. With Dedicated Covid hospitals, testing labs, machinery, equipment, oxygen generation facilities, ventilators, healthcare facilities reached pinnacle as never seen before, Lt Governor maintained.
“I heartily thank the Prime Minister and extend best wishes to my team on the launch of this historic and largest vaccination drive dedicated to the service of mankind”, he said.
The period of fear has ended and we are entering into decisive times with trust and hope, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary J&K, BVR Subrahmanyam remarked that with the all-out efforts of health workers, administration, and the people, the dread of Covid-19 pandemic has receded a lot and is on the verge of end.
He said that, from about 400 tests a day in the beginning testing, J&K’s capacity was increased to 29,000 tests per day, adding earlier it was 1000-1500 positive cases a day, which has nosedived to just a hundred today. This shows the commitment of the health care workers who braved many challenges and difficulties by saving precious lives in the line of duty.
He hoped that with the commencement of vaccination and shortly all the people would be able to do all those activities normally again which they were doing prior to pandemic days.
While giving an overview of the vaccination drive across J&K, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo stated that this is the largest vaccination drive of the world and J&K has devised an election booth type of strategy where those vaccinated would receive SMS after each dose and a certificate at the end of successful administration of whole cycle of vaccination.
He informed that dry-runs and training of staff have already been completed in all the districts for carrying out this largest vaccination drive which commenced on Saturday.