SRINAGAR: While chairing a high-level meeting on Friday to review the public health response to COVID-19, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam urged the administration to remain vigilant and tighten the implementation of existing control measures and SOPs in order to reverse the upward trend.
In light of the recent increase in COVID infections, the Chief Secretary urged officers to strictly enforce the testing, vaccination, tight containment zone regulation, and promotion of COVID-appropriate behavior among the general public to avoid a further increase in cases.
Informing the respective district administrations that some districts have a rather high positivity rate, the Chief Secretary asked that testing be increased in the defined target clusters and vaccination be prioritized in the qualified population groups to resolve the deteriorating situation.
It was revealed that 20-30% of the positive cases identified are passengers who are being screened at the entry point and are not allowed to mix with the general public.
It was informed that in the initial phases of COVID-19 vaccination, 75% of health workers, 78% of front line workers, and 38% of citizens above 45 years of age totaling 15,25,604 people have been vaccinated in Jammu and Kashmir with no reported case of any adversity. Districts Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Shopian, in Kashmir Division and Jammu, Kathua, Ramban, Samba, Udhampur in Jammu Division are the districts having over 40% of vaccination coverage amongst citizens above 45 years of age. The next phase of the vaccination for the 18-45 age group will cover approximately 65 lakh people.
The Chief Secretary emphasized greater cooperation between frontline staff from various departments, including health, social welfare, school education, rural development, and housing and urban development, in order to efficiently deliver vaccines at the grass-roots level.
He also encouraged people to attend vaccination drives and get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and their families from the virus. Via frontline staff such as ASHAs, AWWs, and ANMs, DCs were asked to mobilize the targeted beneficiaries to participate in the vaccination phase.
Furthermore, it was also revealed that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has approved the construction of 36 oxygen generation plants across the UT in order to make J&K self-sufficient in meeting increasing oxygen demand. DCs were tasked with ensuring that these plants were established and operating as soon as possible within their jurisdictions.
Administrative Secretaries of the departments of Health & Medical Education, Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, besides Divisional Commissioners, Kashmir and Jammu, Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), and Deputy Commissioners of all districts participated in the meeting. (KNO)