SRINAGAR : The divisional Covid- 19 control room established by the government to combat spread of the infectious disease has emerged as a nerve centre for coordinating the efforts ranging from tracking patients and contacts to monitoring red zones and answering people from all over the country. Chief Executive Officer JAKEDA and Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Dr Owais Ahmed, said that the Control Room for Covid-19 is functioning as a nerve centre for corona virus mitigation and is working tirelessly 24 x 7 with staff including surveillance officers, epidemiologists, medical officers and data entry operators etc. He said the control room has been divided into a number of sections which are looking after call centre, contact tracing, coordination of sampling, monitoring quarantine facilities across the division, red zone surveillance, coordination with districts for essential supplies, etc.
The call centre which also works 24X7 has been set up with dedicated helpline numbers to ensure that people get accurate information, support, counselling and response to health-related queries on novel coronavirus infectious disease, added Dr Owais. While appreciating the locals, he said that people have played a very important role by communicating through these helpline numbers about any suspected person who had concealed travel history or had contact with a positive patient. Deputy Director Health Services and incharge 24X7 call center Dr Jehanzaib said that the phone numbers 0194-2457313, 0194-2452052, 0194-2440283, 0194-2457312 and a whatsapp number 6006454084 are manned by a team of 12 doctors and other experts every day on rotation basis on eight hour shift. The team for contact tracing, which is being led by Dr Rehana Kausar has been instrumental in tracking high risk contacts across Kashmir division.
The team maintained that the work is critical in controlling spread of COVID-19. Another team lead by Dr Talat Jabeen Gani is monitoring the ongoing sampling of suspects throughout Kashmir division. Dr Talat said that the sampling capacity of each district has been increased by imparting training to 58 block level sampling teams and the samples so collected are transported to respective labs for processing and testing. Dr Owais said that the surveillance of red zones is an important aspect of monitoring the disease and timely reporting of any suspected case, which may develop influenza like symptoms. The village level teams so formed visit every household in the red zone not only looking after health of all individuals but also creating awareness about the spread of the disease. Over time, the control room has evolved to timely identify and mitigate any issue regarding monitoring, testing, quarantine, isolation, treatment and coordination with respect to Covid-19 disease control, he said.