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Mughal Road Opens For Medical Emergency, Finally

SRINAGAR: The government has finally responded to the mass demand from Pir Panchal valley that the Mughal Road should be opened for medical emergencies. Lt Governor Manoj Sinha ordered the opening of the road for Covid19 patients wishing to be treated in Kashmir.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha during the release of the book – Tipane Kashmirchi (Notes on Kashmir) in Mumbai

Earlier, the government had permitted the road use for fruit trucks and herds of the Gujjars and Bakerwals. This triggered a serious wave of criticism of the decision.

Finally, Lt Gov Manoj Sinha tweeted the road opening for medical emergencies.

“Keeping in view COVID pandemic & need for patients to get best possible treatment, Mughal road be also opened from tomorrow for those referred for medical treatment to Srinagar from Poonch & Rajouri districts. The DCs & DivComs will put a system in place to enable this to happen,” Lt Gov tweeted.

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Earlier in the day, Commissioner Secretary, Transport and Election Department, Hirdesh Kumar, reviewed the measures being initiated towards management and containment of Coronavirus in twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

At Rajouri, Commissioner Secretary chaired a meeting of officers and took stock of steps being taken up by the district administration towards containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the district.

Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Rajesh K Shavan; SSP, Sheema Nabi Qasba;  Mission Director, NHM, Mohammad Yasin; Director Health Jammu, Dr Gurjeet Singh; ADCs besides other concerned officers attended the meeting.

The meeting had a discussion on various issues including vaccination drive, medical oxygen supply, positive Covid patients management, bedding capacity, sample collection, strengthening of entry points to the district, health audit by Swasthya Nidhi App and other steps being taken up for efficient containment and management of COVID in the district.

Regarding the status of the vaccination drive being carried out in the district, the meeting was informed that as many as 147660 people above the age of forty-five years have been vaccinated registering progress of 56 per cent. It was informed that several steps have been taken up to ensure a hundred per cent vaccination of the targeted groups in the district.

About the samples taken for COVID-19 testing, it was informed that as of now, 107587 and 188288 persons have been tested for RAT and RT-PCR respectively. There are 8283 total positive cases in the district, of which, 3417 are active positive cases while 4762 are recovered cases. The positivity rate is 2.81 per cent.

Concerning the medical oxygen supply, it was apprised that a 1000 LPM capacity Oxygen Concentrator Plant has been set up in GMC besides work on the installation of an additional oxygen concentrator plant of 2250 LPM capacity is being carried out in double shifts and it will be made functional within the shortest possible time. Besides, there are 769 oxygen cylinders, 62 ventilator beds, 411 D-type, 406 B-type and 196 oxygen concentrators are available in the district.

While reviewing bedding capacity, the meeting was told that the total bedding capacity of the district is 588, of which, 153 are occupied and 435 are vacant. One building in each block of the district with an adequate bed capacity has been identified so that these buildings could be converted to the COVID Care Centres in case of any emergent situation.

About the plugging in of entry points, it was apprised that all the entry points of the district have been plugged in and it is being ensured that no one enters the district without getting tested for COVID19.

While taking note of the preventive measures being taken up in containment zones, the meeting was informed that there are 100 containment zones in the district and 2214 active positive cases. Besides, 1091 Covid kits have been distributed among the Covid patients in these zones.

The meeting also highlighted services being provided to the public by the voluntary organizations and NGOs like ration kits distribution, medicine kits distribution, langar Sewa, motivation for vaccination, awareness on COVID appropriate behaviour etc.

Regarding the health Audit by Swasthya Nidhi App, it was informed that about 614 BLOs have been deployed to conduct health survey and 131751 families have been screened to date.

Commissioner Secretary enquired about the online classes being organised for the students in the district amid COVID19.

Commissioner Secretary, while expressing concern over a surge in a number of Covid cases, directed the concerned officers to make dedicated efforts to mitigate the pandemic in the district. He asked the concerned officers to generate awareness about the benefits of getting vaccinated for COVID19 and motivate the public for vaccination to ensure hundred per cent coverage of the targeted groups under the vaccination drive.

Commissioner Secretary also asked the DC to convert more buildings into COVID Care Centres in the district and keep available all the logistics there for the convenience of Covid patients.

He directed the Health department to enhance progress regarding the testing of persons for COVID19 under RAT. He also asked for ensuring regular contact tracing for the timely identification of the covid positive patients.

Commissioner Secretary directed the ACD to ensure timely payment under MGNREGA. The concerned officer from the FCS&CA has been asked to ensure timely distribution of ration to people amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Secretary visited the 1000 LPM capacity oxygen concentrator plant functioning at GMC&AH and interacted with the medical staff.

Later, Commissioner Secretary assessed COVID-19 management and containment thereof in Poonch district in a meeting with the concerned officers.

The meeting had a discussion on various points including hundred per cent vaccination of targeted groups, testing of patients for COVID19, availability of medical oxygen supply, online classes for students besides other related points.

Deputy Commissioner Poonch, Inder Jeet, gave a detailed account of the measures being taken up for containment of the COVID 19 pandemic in the district. He demanded a supply of 5000 to 6000 more vaccination doses for a hundred per cent coverage of the beneficiaries.

Senior Superintendent of Police informed that as many as 162 FIRs have been registered against the persons for violation of COVID related SOPs and a fine amounting Rs 10 lakh has been imposed besides 4000 challans have also been made.

Commissioner Secretary directed the concerned officer to ensure that necessary arrangements are made for testing and vaccination of the mobile population at the migratory routes to avoid the risk of viral infection. He also directed for active involvement of PRIs in ensuring hundred per cent vaccination of the targeted groups of the district.

He asked the concerned to deploy sufficient staff for the oxygen concentrators so that an assured supply of medical oxygen is maintained in the district for Covid patients.

Commissioner Secretary asked the concerned officer to complete the work on the installation of the Oxygen Concentrator Plant at Poonch and Mandi within the shortest possible time. He also directed for the provision of adequate medical kits to the patients in home isolation.

He asked the Chief Medical Officer to ensure an adequate supply of medicines in the

Government and private hospitals and shops so that the people don’t face any inconveniences amid the pandemic.

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