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Covid-19: Chief Secretary Calls for ‘Caution’

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Srinagar: The Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam while taking stock of efforts toward mitigating the COVID-19 threat, reiterated that perimeter control and complete lockdown in red zones and containment zones should be strictly enforced.
Chief Secretary impressed upon Deputy Commissioners to cautiously declare an area/cluster as a red zone on scientific basis, and ensure strict adherence of SOPs thereafter. “Aggressive testing in the red/containment zones, especially of vulnerable patients including children, old aged, pregnant ladies, patients with Influenza like Illness (ILI), Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI), co-morbid conditions, service providers, healthcare professionals and police personnel; has to be ensured”, he added.
Laying stress on the importance of early detection of infection, Chief Secretary directed intensifying the efforts towards smart and targeted contact tracing by utilizing information from NHM data, Swasthya Nidhi survey and Arogya Setu app.
With regard to capacity enhancement of hospitals for accommodating higher numbers of symptomatic patients, it was directed that positive but asymptomatic patients be immediately shifted to COVID care centres whereas, only moderate and severely affected patients be admitted in COVID hospitals.
Chief Secretary informed that to augment the shortage of medical equipments, the Government is procuring nearly 700 ventilators from Government of India, which will arrive shortly. In this regard, he asked the DCs to ensure their timely installation and commissioning, besides ensuring availability of oxygen cylinders and intensive care equipment.
He further informed that wearing of masks by all and ban on spitting at public places are being included as statutory provisions in the Epidemic Diseases Act, with stringent penalties and directed the DCs/SSPs to ensure strict implementation of the same.
Chief Secretary directed promotion of good habits in people by undertaking Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities regarding precautionary measures and health related assistance in the times of COVID-19. It was decided that local level quarantine centres be established under the control of concerned Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).
Chief Secretary impressed upon the DCs/SSPs to promote the use of Arogya Setu App by people to further facilitate contact tracing. He further said that unnecessary movement should be discouraged and proper social distancing norms be observed in public places/transaction points.
Chief Secretary entrusted upon Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure collection of 4000 and 6000 samples per day, respectively through daily monitoring.
During the meeting, it was informed that about 35000 brick kiln labourers are returning to Kashmir Valley, who should invariably be tested at Jawahar Tunnel before being sent to quarantine facility at respective destinations.
He directed DCs of Kathua, Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi to ramp up the testing capacities at all the arrival points including airport and railway stations in view of expected increase in tourist footfall.
The Chief Secretary called for efficient coordination between various implementing agencies viz. District Administration, Police, PRIs and Health Department for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Administrative Secretaries of departments of Health & Medical Education, Home, Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM) participated in the meeting.
Divisional Commissioners of Jammu, Kashmir and all Deputy Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police, attended the meeting through video conference.

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