JAMMU, DECEMBER 22: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting to review the public health system preparedness to new COVID variant Omicron, which is reportedly 3-4 times more infectious than the Delta variant.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health & Medical Education, Divisional Commissioners Kashmir/ Jammu, all Deputy Commissioners, MD National Health Mission, Director, Family Welfare, and concerned HoDs participated in the meeting.

It was informed that the three cases of Omicron variant of COVID were reported in Jammu, all of whom are without any travel history and are now being monitored.

The Chief Secretary directed the district administration to enhance testing and contact tracing for positive patients and closely trace the infection trajectory to establish micro-containment zones at an early stage. Additionally, all Deputy Commissioners were directed to ensure strict enforcement of COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), COVID SOPs/ protocols, and micro-containment zones, besides regulating large gatherings. “Any breach on these accounts will lead to imposition of night curfews and further restrictions”, Dr. Mehta added.

Moreover, the Divisional and District Administrations were asked to establish buffer zones around the declared micro-containment zones and monitor the spread of the disease to guide further actions. All line departments were directed to appoint one nodal officer for ensuring CAB adherence across all Government offices with a special focus on industries and transport.

Further, Health Department was asked to remain in a state of readiness by gearing up their manpower and machinery and firming up the inventory of oxygen supply and medicines. The Health and Medical Education Department was asked to ensure proper functioning of COVID-related infrastructure including COVID dedicated hospitals, ventilators, oxygen supported beds and oxygen plants. The Department was also asked to monitor international travelers through the Air Suvidha portal and accordingly make COVID containment arrangements to regulate their testing, quarantine and treatment in respective cases.

Additionally, the National Health Mission was asked to continue with the COVID-dedicated IEC campaign to generate mass awareness on various preventive measures and COVID Appropriate Behaviour, besides completing the full vaccination of the remaining eligible population.

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