Crisis management group set up in J-K for effective COVID management

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Jammu, May 1 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday constituted a five-member crisis management group for effective COVID-19 management in the Union Territory, which has witnessed an upward trend over the past several weeks.

The crisis management group comprises Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioners – Finance, and Health and Medical Education; Home Secretary and Principal Secretary Public works (Roads and Buildings) department, an official spokesman said.

Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday recorded its biggest single-day spike of 3,832 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to 1,79,915, while a record 47 fatalities in the last 24 hours raised the pandemic toll to 2330.

The Lt Governor announced the formation of the crisis management group during a high-level meeting to review the prevailing coronavirus situation and also passed specific directions for effectively controlling the spread of the infection in the UT and providing best care to the patients, the spokesman said.

Underlining the importance of maintaining synergy between the departments for speedy decision on planning, coordination, and logistics, the Lt Governor directed for increasing beds with oxygen cylinders, besides effective operationalization of 108 ambulance service to cater to the needs of the patients.

The spokesman said the meeting decided to extend the 'Corona Curfew' for three more days till 7 am on Thursday in four districts – Srinagar, Jammu, Baramulla and Budgam.

'A re-assessment of the situation will be taken before May 6 for laying down further action plans. Instructions were issued to the concerned officers for continuing micro-containment zoning according to the requirement,' the spokesman said.

Emphasizing on optimal availability of oxygen supply, the Lt Governor directed for conducting an Oxygen audit in every hospital of the UT.

He also directed the Health department to lay special focus on the judicious usage of oxygen.

The Lt Governor asked the officers concerned to ensure that the vaccination drive is not hampered during the lockdown period, and advised them to take comprehensive measures, besides reaching out to targeted age groups through mobile vaccination.

In its fight against the coronavirus, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday rolled out vaccination for the people in the age group of 18-45 years by inoculating 204 people of Jammu and Srinagar with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the designated vaccination centres.

So far 23,71,985 people aged above 45 have been vaccinated in the UT till date.

The spokesman said the meeting also decided to have separate locations for different age groups for vaccination.

He said the Lt Governor asked the officers concerned to coordinate with Army authorities for augmenting their existing health capacities.

Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, gave a detailed overview of district-wise COVID-19 situation in J&K, including medical infrastructure, bed occupancy, daily trend, testing and vaccination rate, testing capacities, oxygen availability.

He informed the meeting that the DRDO team has arrived in the UT to set up 500-bed COVID-19 facility, one each in Srinagar and Jammu, the spokesman said. PTI TAS CK