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LG orders 1050 oxygen beds in Kashmir within a week

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha

Taking quick cognizance of the oxygen-fitted ICU and common beds falling short of the requirement in the wake of the current wave of coronavirus in Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has ordered an addition of 1050 at different hospitals in the Valley within a week’s time. It will substantially improve the health infrastructure and help out patients in the hour of crisis, he said.

The Lieutenant Governor was presiding over a series of meetings on Wednesday with senior doctors and Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) of the Kashmir Division at the Civil Secretariat in which he reviewed the Covid-19 situation and containment measures put in place to effectively control the spread of the pandemic.

Emphasizing on taking comprehensive measures for better patient care management, Sinha directed the Kashmir CMOs to ensure triaging and judicious referrals, adding that District Hospitals were fully equipped to handle the Covid cases with present deployment of the best talented doctors.

Interacting with the medical officers, Sinha directed for effective and prompt availability of the ambulance services through the 24×7 call centres, 108 toll-free and Covid Control Rooms at all the 20 district headquarters. He made it clear that no patient should suffer for want of ambulance, oxygen, ventilator or a bed at the hospital.

Sinha, flanked by his two advisors—RR Bhatnagar and Baseer Khan—Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Atal Dulloo and Inspector General of Police for Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, asked the doctors to talk to people at the small religious gatherings and create awareness regarding Covid-19 SOPs, besides highlighting the information related to Covid control measures through print, electronic and social media. He was informed that the District Police chiefs were organising announcements through the community mosques every evening, urging the people to stay and pray indoors. 

“Our priority is to break the chain of the deadly virus for which combined and collective efforts need to be taken to save precious human lives”, Sinha observed. Vaccination must be done on war footing basis to reduce the mortality rate. Focused attention needs to be given towards Covid-19 testing and contact tracing, besides speedy completion of the process of the first dose of vaccination”, he asserted.

In order to reach out to the people with vaccination, Sinha directed to start vaccination in each municipal ward through dedicated teams. He further called for deployment of more mobile vans for the vaccination drive. The Covid Apex Management Group (CAMG) headed by the Chief Secretary has already directed the health authorities to start a rigorous vaccination drive with the assistance of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC).

Commissioner SMC Athar Aamir Khan revealed in the meeting that the mobile vans had been immediately pressed into service in 36 of the 74 municipal wards. He said that later this week all other wards in Srinagar would be covered for vaccination of the 18-44 age group as well as the jab-2 wherever required, subject to availability of the vaccines. It was disclosed in the meeting that despite the shortage of Covishield, the new vaccine of Covaxin had also been introduced in the valley. Senior Doctors must reach out to every patient admitted in the hospitals, Sinha maintained.

The Lieutenant Governor also received the first hand appraisal about the functioning of the oxygen generation plants. He passed specific directions for ensuring sufficient availability of oxygen supply in all health institutions. It was informed that a few oxygen plants would become functional in Srinagar by the end of this week. He asked the officers to ensure that all the newly installed oxygen plants have a backup buffer stock. He called for rational utilization of oxygen supply in all hospitals so that patients did not face any inconvenience.

Sinha directed the CMOs to utilize the maximum available resources for patient care at their respective health institutions, besides extending online consultation of doctors to patients to overcome the unnecessary rush of patients in hospitals. He asked them to hire meritorious medical graduates to strengthen human resources in the health sector. He also wanted them to keep close liaison with the doctors and other paramedical staff who have retired from government service.

On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir reported 4,716 fresh cases of Covid-19 infection and 52 Covid deaths, breaking all previous records. While 3,198 new cases poured in from Kashmir, 1,518 were reported in the Jammu division. Of the day’s fatalities, 28 were reported in Jammu and 24 in Kashmir. Of the total of 196585 positive cases so far, 20,031 were travellers from different States and Union Territories.

According to the official statistics, in Jammu there are 1,887 Covid-dedicated beds, 1647 isolation beds with 756 vacant beds and 240 ICU beds. Kashmir has 2,175 Covid-dedicated beds, 2059 isolation beds and 116 ICU beds. While 97 ICU beds are currently vacant in Jammu, 80 are vacant in Kashmir. “In J&K we have a total of 4,062 Covid-dedicated beds, 3706 isolation beds”, said an official.