LG directs for setting up COVID management teams in J&K

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Jammu, May 3 (PTI) In order to strengthen the coronavirus control efforts across Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha called for the setting up of COVID management teams at the district level on Monday.

He also suggested roping in religious leaders and elected representatives for raising awareness among people regarding the advisories and standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the Union health ministry and the health department of the Union Territory to curb the spread of the viral disease.

The directions were passed at a high-level meeting chaired by the LG to review the corona control measures on a day when Jammu and Kashmir recorded 51 COVID-19 fatalities, the highest in a 24-hour period since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Sinha said the COVID management teams should consist of deputy commissioners, superintendents of police, chief medical officers, other senior officers, including principals of government medical colleges, besides local monitoring teams at the block, tehsil and panchayat levels.

At the meeting, the LG emphasised on an enhanced coordination of officers at the district level, along with the constitution of local monitoring teams, an official spokesperson said.

While reviewing the district-wise status of the COVID control measures, Sinha directed the district administrations to speed up the vaccination drive, besides intensifying testing and contact-tracing across the Union Territory.

He asked the DCs and SPs to maintain effective synergy for a strict enforcement of restrictions in the areas declared as micro containment zones and ensure proper functioning of the COVID control rooms in every district.

'Keep a strict vigil on black-marketing and the rates of essentials, and ensure stern action against those involved in the hoarding of essentials and medicines. Every officer should remain available, through the online mode also, for providing public utilities and ensuring that the important and routine works do not suffer during the restrictions and the public does not face any inconvenience,' the LG said.

He directed the officers concerned for ensuring the implementation of an effective COVID management plan from the district level to the villages at the panchayat level.

Sinha asked the DCs for a close monitoring on the functioning of the oxygen generation plants, besides ensuring uninterrupted power supply to those and an alternative backup of oxygen supply.

Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam informed the meeting that two divisional-level committees have been formed to ensure proper and judicious utilisation of oxygen supply, an audit of the availability and consumption of the life-saving gas in all hospitals across the Union Territory, assess the requirement of each hospital, besides the amount of the back-up and buffer stocks required.

Three war rooms have been set up under the chairmanship of the secretary, industries and commerce to coordinate and ensure the supply of oxygen and check hoarding, he said.

Stressing on the efforts to reach out to people with correct information, the LG directed the DCs and the SPs to provide factual information on the COVID situation to counter miscreants at the district level itself.

Directions were also passed to the officers concerned for the completion of the payments under MGNREGA within 10 days, instead of 15 days, on a priority basis, besides ensuring a continuous extension of pensions and benefits of various beneficiary-oriented schemes, the spokesperson said. PTI TAS AB RC