File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

New Delhi: With at least three Kashmir districts showing spike in COVID-19 cases in the last few weeks, the government of India is sending a team of experts to Kashmir later this week to figure out the reasons for the spike and assist the administration of the respective districts, reports said on Tuesday.

The team, according to reports, will include Niti Aayog member (health) Dr V.K. Paul and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) chief Dr S.K. Singh.

They will be in J&K on 27 August to take stock of the situation, reports quoted officials in the health ministry saying.

“A two-member central team is headed for the Valley. Three districts — Srinagar, Pulwama and Baramulla have been showing some spike lately. The death rates in these districts are also worrying. That is why the team is going to go there,” the report said.

The three flagged districts are Srinagar, Baramulla and Pulwama, and the continuous spike in cases in these districts was discussed in the review meetings after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha took charge earlier this month.

Last week Thursday, Financial Commissioner Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, met the health experts from central government who were on their visit to take stock of preparedness of Jammu and Kashmir towards combating the global pandemic of COVID-19.

The team assessed the situation here by visiting different health facilities to guide the UT for any improvement and assistance for further streamlining.

Development Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, GoI, Shantamanu; Dr RK Gupta, Sr. Physician Respiratory Medicine and Dr Tanzin Dikid, Joint Director NCDC, New Delhi were part of the visiting team.

The team suggested that the home isolation facility and providing pulse oximeters would be a game changer in controlling the mortalities in Kashmir Division and recommended to get it implemented throughout the UT. The team also recommended that a micro level containment or red zones to be declared for better implications besides suggesting few changes in treatment protocol and home isolation protocols.

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