Elected representatives should augment vaccination drive in J-K: Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said elected representatives should augment the COVID-19 vaccination drive in a people-friendly manner in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a detailed interaction with mayors, deputy mayors and chairpersons of Swachh Bharat Mission and Health and Sanitation Departments of Jammu and Srinagar municipal corporations, he said that both the corporations should pro-actively take the vaccination drive forward by enlisting maximum community participation.

Calling upon elected representatives to make vaccination programme a 'jan andolan', the minister underlined the need for special camps in collaboration with municipal corporations.

Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, also emphasised that along with medical and administrative measures, community management of COVID is equally important and urged the community leaders to create awareness about unnecessary hoarding of essential drugs and oxygen.

He called upon the elected representatives to instil confidence-building measures among the common man and reiterated that “precaution, not panic” is the main mantra to fight this pandemic, a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry said.

Singh also urged them to undertake special awareness campaigns particularly in remote and far-flung areas about COVID protocols and the need for early vaccination to defeat the deadly virus.

The minister said, people should also be made aware that COVID treatment is very much covered under Centre’s Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his interaction with state and district officials on Tuesday emphasised that continuous efforts are being made to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines on a very large scale and the health ministry is streamlining the same.

All the states and UTs will get a schedule of the next 15 days, so that they can prioritise the vaccination drive in each district, he said.

Singh said he is in regular touch with the Union health ministry, Lieutenant Governor and senior officials of Jammu and Kashmir and taking all measures to augment COVID infrastructure and support in the Union Territory.

“He said apart from Jammu and Srinagar DRDO COVID care centres, efforts are for more such centres in Chenani, Rajouri and other areas,” it said.

The minister said private hospitals will also be roped in within a couple of days to earmark some beds for COVID care as per the Disaster Management Act.

Dwelling on the need for telemedicine, Singh said the facility is being revived in a big way for free consultation from home.

He said, guidelines already exist for empanelment of recognised doctors across India for tele-consultation of patients on a shift wise basis.

Singh also disapproved the practice of indiscriminate referrals of patients to government medical college, Jammu and Srinagar and emphasised that mild and asymptomatic patients can follow protocol prescriptions and treat themselves in home isolation.

The minister had on Tuesday dispatched separate consignments of COVID-related material for the two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar respectively, carrying separate kits containing face masks, sanitisers and other accessories, the statement said.

The earlier consignments of COVID-related material arranged by him were sent to all the six districts of his Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda in Jammu and Kashmir, it said. PTI AKV RHL

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