‘Rise in cases mainly due to breach of Covid protocols’
JAMMU: Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting to review the public health response to COVID and take stock of arrangements being made under the Emergency COVID Response and Health Response Plan, Package II (ECRP II) in Jammu and Kashmir to tackle any eventuality especially on account of the new COVID variant Omicron.
It was informed that the reported cases of COVID in Jammu and Kashmir are showing an uneven trend which is a cause of concern and is primarily being caused because of breach of COVID protocols.
Expressing concern over the recent developments, the Chief Secretary directed the district administrations to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour, improve the rate of testing as per respective target, adherence to COVID SOPs, and ensure fool-proof containment measures in micro containment zones. The enforcement agencies were asked to strictly implement the COVID protocols and levy fines on habitual defaulters.
Additionally, the National Health Mission was asked to continue with the COVID-dedicated IEC campaign to generate mass awareness on various preventive measures and COVID Appropriate Behaviour.
The Chief Secretary maintained that existing strategies must be recalibrated towards ensuring low rates of infection in districts, and case trajectory be closely monitored to keep the daily reported cases below 50.
The Health and Medical Education Department was asked to conduct an equipment audit and regularly check the functionality of COVID-related infrastructure including COVID dedicated hospitals, ventilators, Oxygen supported beds and Oxygen plants. The Department was directed to ensure the readiness of manpower and machinery and firm up the inventory of oxygen supply and medicines. It was asked to furnish weekly reports on all these parameters.
Under the ECRP II, the Department was asked to augment the ICU-beds and related facilities to approximately 300 in each division including the DRDO ICUs with a special focus on the pediatric ICU beds.
The Chief Secretary mentioned the vulnerability of children to COVID infection and urged the Department to roll out suitable training modules for medical and paramedical staff to optimally manage pediatric wards and ICUs.
Dr. Mehta emphasized that to contain the COVID spread and mitigate the disease, the Health Department must adopt a robust mechanism for proper training of medical teams on core principles of infection prevention and treatment; preparing the medical infrastructure and ensuring safe bio-medical waste management. Further, the Health Department was also asked to organize training on oxygen consumption and management for ICU staff and training to suitably operate various oxygen generation plants and related equipment.
Besides, the Deputy Commissioners were asked to monitor progress in enrolment of people under Ayushman Bharat- Sehat, distribution of golden health cards, expeditious coverage under Har Ghar Dastak, and various other priorities of different departments.
Administrative Secretaries of the departments of Finance, Health & Medical Education, Home, Public Works (R&B), Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, besides Divisional Commissioners Kashmir/ Jammu, Inspectors General of Police Kashmir/Jammu, all Deputy Commissioners and District SPs, MD National Health Mission and concerned HoDs participated in the meeting.