Expressing concern over Jammu having earned the dubious distinction of recording one of the lowest COVID recovery rate of 43% in the country, Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh announced today that Centre will monitor Jammu COVID situation on daily basis and the Central team of experts will remain in touch with medical professionals in Jammu on day-to-day basis, apart from providing regular tele-consultation facility from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, till such time as the pandemic situation improves in the region.
During a meeting convened to review the alarming COVID situation in Jammu region, Dr Jitendra Singh received inputs from the Central team led by Dr S K Singh and Dr Vijay Handa, who are currently on a visit to Jammu. The meeting was attended, among others, by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Addl Health Secretary Kiran Ahuja while the Union Territory was represented by Advisor Health Rajiv Bhatnagar, Financial Secretary (Health) Atal Dullu, Divisional Commissioner Jammu Sanjeev Verma, Senior faculty members of Government Medical College Jammu and Deputy Commissioners of different districts of the Jammu Division.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that instructions have been issued to the health authorities in Jammu region to provide Oximeters and Oxygen Concentrate for Home Quarantine patients.
Dr Jitendra Singh assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the rising cases of COVID-19 in the UT would be tackled effectively through better hospital management and containment strategy. He said that issues like shortage of oxygen cylinders, medical staff in hospitals would be resolved at the earliest.
The Union Minister appreciated the Central Ministries of Health and Home Affairs for promptly responding to his request and sending a Central Medical Team at a short notice led by Dr.Sudhir Kumar Singh to assess the ground situation in Jammu and adjoining districts. The Central Team will remain in touch with the Medics in Jammu Division for continuous support and guidance on daily basis, apart from the Tele Consultation with AIIMS twice a week, till the pandemic situation improves, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, all necessary measures would be taken on an emergency basis to reverse the trend. He also asked the hospital providers to follow the Union Health Ministry SOP judiciously to avoid infection among themselves and create awareness about the same in public. He also advised the Financial Secretary (Health) Atal Dullo to hold regular meetings with Civil Society, Eminent Persons and Religious Leaders for educating the common man about the pandemic and for taking preventive measures attached to them. He also called for a designated Helpline and Control Room for COVID care and added that they should remain in functioning mode.
Dr Jitendra Singh underlined that non-COVID patients should get all the facilities and care they need and instructed the State Health Authorities to take necessary steps in this regard. Expressing his deep concern for high rates of infection and death in Jammu Division, Dr Jitendra Singh gave directions for Aggressive and Focussed testing, Contact Tracing and isolation and delineation of Red Zones in a scientific manner.
The Minister said that all the three main issues of Oxygen cylinders, Medical Staff and Containment flagged by the Central Team would be dealt with on priority basis. He, however, expressed satisfaction that the process of hiring the nurses, para-medics and doctors on contractual basis to overcome the shortage has begun and will soon yield the results. The Union Minister also called for long term measures like dedicated infectious medical facilities and more oxygen plants in medical colleges and hospitals in due course.