20,000 COVID care centre beds being activated in J-K

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Jammu, May 16 (PTI) As many as 20,000 COVID care centre (CCC) beds are being activated across Jammu and Kashmir for admitting coronavirus positive patients with no or mild symptoms and cannot do home isolation, an official order said on Sunday.

The order, issued by chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam, said the CCCs would be opened closer to rural areas in all the 20 districts with 1,000 beds each.

“Health Department will work out the feasibility of providing some of these CCC beds with oxygen support,” Subrahmanyam, who is also chairperson of the State Executive Committee of the Department of Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, said.

The order was issued following a detailed review of the current COVID-19 situation in the union territory by the Lt Governor at a high-level meeting here on Saturday.

The meeting extended the ongoing 'corona curfew’ till 7 am on May 24 and said the restrictions would be strict except for essential emergency services and movement work and scheduled marriages up to permissible gathering norms, which shall remain exempted.

The ceiling on gatherings permissible for marriages continues to be 25 only, while the permitted essential services would be limited to the barest minimum and not too expensive in order to minimise movement.

Subrahmanyam said the districts would set up local district level triage centres to ensure proper examination of patients and correct referral, reducing unnecessary load on tertiary and referral hospitals.

No patient would be denied admission to a hospital or treatment facility just because they do not have a COVID-19 positive test result, the order said, adding the deputy commissioners would utilise all available staff for COVID-related work such as mobilisation for vaccination, testing, surveillance and information, education and communication (IEC) activities, including government staff whose institutions are otherwise closed.

“Asha and Anganwadi workers will be trained and empowered to assist in COVID mitigation efforts. COVID testing should become more targeted and focus on areas with high positivity and on unvaccinated population,” the chief secretary said.

He said all COVID-19 positive patients would be provided corona kits, while the health department would ensure establishment of telemedicine arrangements in all districts to enable patients to call and consult doctors.

The order said the General Administration Department would issue orders to ensure that there is only 50 percent attendance in government offices below the level of under secretary, except in the secretariats and HOD offices where staff has already been split by half.

However, all staff needed for COVID-related duties would continue to attend to their work assigned to them by the DCs.

The order said the payments under MNREGA, pension and other schemes would be expedited to provide relief to people.

“Any deviation from this order shall attract penal action under the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” Subrahmanyam said. PTI TAS AQS AQS

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