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From Thursday, all Kashmir bound labourers to be tested in work districts

File photo of non-locals on a roadside in Srinagar (KM/Umar Ganie)

Srinagar: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole Tuesday said that all incoming migrant labourers shall undergo Covid-19 testing in respective districts from July 23, Thursday.

Div Com said this while chairing a weekly Covid-19 review meeting to take stock of the situation and arrangements put in place for effective containment of deadly virus.

 

He said that the labourers will be tested in the respective districts of work and in this regard, Pole directed all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Kashmir to constitute three member teams and train them for smooth conduct of antigen testing of all labourers.

So far atleast 15,000 non-local labourers have entered Kashmir since July 14 with at least 113 of them testing positive for the virus.

Till now, they were sampled at the Qazigund toll post in Anantnag district.

The Div Com instructed the DCs to identify centrally located places and structures like schools, bus stands and vacant buildings to conduct these tests and added that antigen testing shall help in quick identification of the positive cases and their separation from others to control spread of the disease.

He said that the positive labourers shall be immediately sent into quarantine, while as negative shall be allowed for work at brick kilns.

The Div Com directed concerned to put in place all required facilities, necessary infrastructure and keep PPE kits available for the staff to be deployed at these testing centres.

Stressing on coordinated efforts by the concerned, the Div Com called for decongestion of 4 tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar and reverse referral of patients to districts for effective containment of Covid-19 infection.

The concerned DCs and health officers were instructed to raise the current bed capacity in their districts to avoid referrals and besides were directed to check bed availability before patient referral to Srinagar.

He emphasized on the smooth functioning of newly adopted designated structures for Covid-19 positive patient care including Hajj House Bemina, PHC Khanpora.

The Div Com laid emphasis on the adherence of all SOPs and guidelines across all districts in letter and spirit and besides directed DCs to rope in religious leaders for IEC activities and awareness generation on importance of use of face mask and maintaining of social distancing protocol among people to keep Covid at bay.

He stressed on daily updating of discharged patients from all districts and proper functioning of dedicated Covid-19 ambulances in all districts.

Various issues including maintenance of plasma bank, availability of medicines, selection of nurses, and maintenance of patient directory were also discussed threadbare in the meeting.

Among others, the meeting was attended by DC Srinagar, MD, NHM, VC SDA, Director Health Services, OSD, H&ME, ACD, CMO Srinagar and senior health officers.

Director Skims Soura, DCs and SSPs of all districts, Principal SKIMS JVC Bemina also attended the meeting through video conferencing.