Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has ordered the highest number of vaccine doses in the country and there is no shortage of medical oxygen, the adviser to the lieutenant governor claimed on Thursday.
Addressing a hurriedly-convened press conference, Baseer Ahmad Khan said there was no shortage of medical oxygen or drugs like remdesivir in the Union territory and people should not resort to scaremongering on these counts.
“Jammu and Kashmir has placed order for 1.25 crore vaccine doses, which is highest in the country. Second after that is Uttar Pradesh,” Khan told reporters. “There’s no shortage of medical oxygen… We have 20 tonnes which is more than what is required.”
The advisor, however, evaded a direct reply when asked about the date when the vaccines would be available in the union territory.
“We have placed the order. I assure you that we will start the vaccination from say after tomorrow. We are committed to complete the vaccination drive as soon as possible,” he said.
Khan said he had been in the Valley since Wednesday on the instructions of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to take stock of healthcare infrastructure and measures taken to combat COVID.
“There’s a perception being created that there is shortage of drugs like remdesivir. I want to assure the people that there is no shortage… We have placed orders and soon this place will be flooded with these (drugs),” he added.
Khan said Jammu and Kashmir was best managed place in the country when it came to combating COVID. Divisional Commissioner P K Pole said while Kashmir hospitals had a combined strength of 1,600 oxygen beds, the capacity will be increased to 2,500 shortly.
On the availability of oxygen, Pole said there was a requirement of just 3.2 crore litres per minute if all 1,600 oxygen beds were to be made functional.
“Against the requirement of 3.2 crore litres, we have 5.43 crore litres per minute available,” he added.
Kashmir Valley has witnessed a sudden surge in the number of coronavirus cases over the past six weeks.
The number of active cases has risen to 16,329 against just 748 on March 16 this year. Srinagar district alone has nearly 8,000 active COVID cases.
The authorities have imposed an 84-hour lock down in 11 districts of Jammu and Kashmir that began at 7 pm on Thursday.