SRINAGAR: About 800 samples for COVID-19 infection will be collected as aggressive testing has been launched in Kashmir, according to Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Samir Mattoo.
“The process will provide a big relief to the COVID-19 patients and we will also be able to provide rapid response in their treatment,” he said.
According to him Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) has trained 157 Lab technicians in the Valley and sample collection has risen significantly in the last five days.
“It has enormously decreased the burden of shifting of suspects to CD hospital and SKIMS for testing,” he said, adding “Special Collection booths have been set up for the safety of healthcare workers wherein trained technicians with proper protection suits scientifically take the samples, preserve them and send them in COVID-19 designated ambulances for testing.”
The Directorate of Health Services also trained different technicians for donning and doffing who are working in all districts headquarters.
Dr Mattoo has directed all Chief Medical Officers to increase the sampling process which he said can go to 600-800 per day as the Directorate has adequate stock of VTM and other logistics.
“We want to test more people in order to identify the COVID positive patients and isolate them at the earliest,” he added.
It may be recalled here that 10 hospitals have been designated as COVID only facilities by DHSK. These exclude facilities created for hospital quarantine.
“Bed capacity is being increased to 1000 beds for level-I Isolation,” he said. “We are receiving more ventilators which will augment our present medical infrastructure,” he said.
The Director urged public to avoid any attendant reporting with the patient. He said that patients are admitted, provided all facilities including high-end medicines, hygienic food free of cost. He laid stress on social distancing particularly at grocery shops, vegetable, fruit markets, playgrounds etc. besides regular hand washing, use of simple masks, and avoiding unnecessarily travel.
Nodal Officer COVID-19 (DHSK), Dr Qazi Haroon advised people to wash hands frequently. “Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water,” he said.
He said that people should also maintain social distancing. “Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.”
He also advised avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unnecessarily. “Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make one sick,” he said. .