Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as a role model amongst entities with large territorial areas in conducting targeted testing, stratified vaccination and providing grass root-level medical care. Lauding J&K's well-drawn strategy in combating Covid-19, NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul said that the present model has assisted the Union Territory in bringing down Covid caseload and related deaths per million population to 894 and 62, respectively over the last two weeks.
Paul was speaking during a high-level meeting to review the public health response to Covid-19 where Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged all Union Territories to ensure rigorous testing, tracking, and treating of Covid cases besides undertaking speedy vaccination of eligible population towards successful containment of the Covid pandemic in India.
Currently, Jammu and Kashmir is among the leading regions in the country in vaccination of above-45 years age group having vaccinated 75% of its eligible population which is well above the national average of 42%, while achieving universal coverage in four districts of Ganderbal, Jammu, Samba and Shopian, and Wayun village in Bandipora district.
J&K has also vaccinated 85% of health care workers, 84% of frontline workers, and 10% of the population in the 18-45 age category.
Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary of J&K, assured the Central Government of achieving 100% vaccination in 45-plus age category by June 30 and 30% coverage in 18-45 age category by July 15 through robust vaccination drives which have been ramped up to a capacity of administering 1.6 lakh doses per day.
The Chief Secretary informed that through the government's timely response, the daily number of Covid cases has reduced from an all-time high of over 5400 to 585 over a month. The same period also witnessed a reduction in the case positivity rate from 13% to 3.3%, which has further reduced to 1.2% in the last 24 hours. The government has also more than doubled the number of Covid-dedicated beds and tripled the medical oxygen supply to cater to Covid-related eventualities.
Considering the gradual lifting of restrictions in line with recovery from Covid second wave, the Home Secretary asked the UT government to vigorously promote Covid appropriate behaviour through strict enforcement of SOPs and proper crowd management at market places, mandis, and religious places.
He asked the UT administrations to remain in a state of readiness to mitigate future surges, besides undertaking a combined strategy of test-track-treat Covid cases, micro containment of emerging hot spots, speedy vaccination, enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour and ramping up of Covid dedicated medical facilities for successful containment of the disease.
Chief Secretaries/Administrators of other Union Territories including Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry also participated in the meeting.