Precaution, not panic, key to fight COVID-19 pandemic: Jitendra Singh

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New Delhi, May 14 (PTI) Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said community management of the COVID-19 pandemic is equally important along with medical and administrative measures.

'Precaution, not panic, is the key to fight the pandemic,' the Minister of State for Personnel said during an interaction with public activists from his Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

He emphasised that along with medical and administrative measures, community management of COVID-19 is equally important, according to a Personnel Ministry statement.

Singh urged the community leaders to create awareness about unnecessary hoarding of essential drugs and oxygen, which he termed a crime against humanity.

He re-emphasised about audit of oxygen cylinders and ventilators for the equitable distribution in time of distress for critical patients.

Responding to the call of activists about the shortage of technical staff for ventilator operation, Singh said that he is in touch with the authorities and has proposed a short duration training programme for handling ventilators.

He also assured them that directions were issued for enrolment of retired doctors and medical students to overcome shortage of staff in view of the pandemic.

Most of the activists and public representatives urged Singh to speed up the vaccination process in each of the six districts of his parliamentary constituency.

He gave the assurance that vaccination is his top priority and he is following it up, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the minister underlined the need for vaccine awareness campaign in collaboration with district administration and community participation.

Singh also sought the views of public representatives regarding the expenditure of Rs 2.5 crore allocated recently from his MP fund for COVID-19-related measures, it said.

He said the fund could be utilised for establishing oxygen plants or for purchase of oximeters, masks, sanitiser, PPE kits, oxygen cylinders and other COVID-19-related items. PTI AKV SMN

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