File photo of a doctor setting Oxygen levels at a government hospital in Srinagar - KM/Umar Ganie
Jammu: In a welcome move, the J&K government has decided to establish 36 new oxygen generation plants to better deal with the ongoing COVID-19 wave that has triggered a crisis in several states.
The information was shared during a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam to review the public health response to COVID-19 on Friday.
The Chief Secretary asked the administration to remain alert and tighten the implementation of existing control measures and SOPs to reverse the upward trend on Friday.
“The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has approved the establishment of 36 oxygen generation plants across the UT to make J&K self-sufficient in catering to the rising demand of oxygen. DCs were asked to ensure the early establishment and functioning of these plants under their respective jurisdictions,” read the official statement.
The decision comes days after Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Rajan Prakash Thakur had assured that adequate buffer stock of oxygen cylinders was available in J&K.
Asking people need not to panic, Thakur had said that “not a single patient shall die for want of Oxygen in J&K.”
Meanwhile, during Friday’s meeting, the Chief Secretary asked the administration to tighten the implementation of existing control measures and SOPs to reverse the upward trend.
Considering the recent surge in the COVID infections, the Chief Secretary impressed upon the officers to strictly implement the strategy of testing, vaccination, strict control in containment zones and promotion of COVID appropriate behaviour among masses to prevent a further surge in the cases.
Informing that certain districts are showing very high positivity rate, the Chief Secretary asked the respective district administrations to ramp up testing in the identified target clusters and prioritize vaccination in the eligible population groups to address the worsening scenario.
It was given out that 20-30% of the positive cases being reported are travellers who are being tested at the entry point itself and prevented from mingling with the general population.
It was informed that in the initial phases of COVID-19 vaccination, 75% of health workers, 78% of front line workers, and 38% of citizens above 45 years of age totalling 15,25,604 people have been vaccinated in Jammu and Kashmir with no reported case of any adversity.
Districts Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Shopian, in Kashmir Division and Jammu, Kathua, Ramban, Samba, Udhampur in Jammu Division are the districts having over 40% of vaccination coverage amongst citizens above 45 years of age. The next phase of the vaccination for the 18-45 age group will cover approximately 65 lakh people.
To effectively deliver the vaccines at the grass-root level, Chief Secretary impressed upon greater coordination between the frontline workers of various departments including health, social welfare, school education, rural development, and housing and urban development.
He also urged people to participate in the vaccination drives and get vaccinated on priority to keep themselves and their families safe from the infection. DCs were asked to mobilize the targeted beneficiaries towards the vaccination process through the frontline workers- ASHAs, AWWs, ANMs, etc.
Administrative Secretaries of the departments of Health & Medical Education, Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, besides Divisional Commissioners, Kashmir and Jammu, Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), and Deputy Commissioners of all districts participated in the meeting.