Srinagar: A two-member Central team has complimented the Jammu and Kashmir administration for its COVID-19 containment strategy towards controlling the virus spread while suggesting models of some states in order to flatten the pandemic curve and subsequently reduce the same.

The team, however, asked the concerned to go for aggressive awareness campaign among the masses about the disease and ramp up more testing in contaminated zones.

The two member team took a detailed meeting on Thursday late evening at Civil Secretariat here to review the COVID-19 containment strategy in J&K.

The meeting was attended by Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Director SKIMS Soura Srinagar, MD National Health Mission J&K, Principal Government Medical College Srinagar, Principal SKIMS Medical College Bemina, Director Health Services Kashmir while Principals Government Medical Colleges, Jammu, Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Director Health Services Jammu participated through video conferencing.

Pertinently, Member of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, along with Dr S K Singh, Director National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) New Delhi were on a two-day visit here to discuss various issues related to COVID-19 management.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Paul observed that all the good practices are being employed in J&K to contain COVID-19 while suggesting the administration to study ‘Delhi Model’ and Telangana’s HITAM app in order to flatten the pandemic curve and subsequently reduce it with the best COVID management practices.

The team expressed satisfaction on testing and treatment protocol and suggested for the up gradation of 24X7 call centre into high quality helpline centre to guide people in times of their need. The members called for death audit and gave suggestions to analyze the data of COVID-19 patients coming from homes and from COVID Care Centres in order to study the fatalities and the causes into the delay while reaching hospitals, if any.

The Central team recommended that the focus should be more on strict containment strategy and surveillance through SARI/ILI cases, serological survey and increase in lab network to widen testing capacity. It also highlighted the major concern areas with regard to timely clinical management along with testing and surveillance in the high risk population with co-morbidities and ambulance response time to be strictly monitored.

While suggesting more focused approach towards highly densely populated areas, the team asked the health officers for fresh and revised demarcation of containment zones, strict monitoring and control of activities in these zones, Contact Tracing and Quarantining of Contacts of all infected persons with the use of Aarogya Setu and Itihas App.

Earlier, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo briefed the visiting team on the current status of COVID-19 in J&K and the steps being taken up to contain the spread of the virus in the region. He informed the meeting that six labs are working across the J&K and so far 8,88,177 tests have been conducted with 900 tests per million, adding that the daily testing range from 12 to 14 thousand while it would be increased from 20,000 to 25,000 in coming days. He informed that Rapid Antigen Test has given an edge to the already existing testing capacity, informing 1,21,619 tests have been conducted so far.

The meeting was informed that in total of 638 deaths, 20 percent accounted for fatalities without co-morbidities while rest 80 per cent deaths are related to co-morbidities. Besides, logistics and supplies are being given to hospitals in terms of ventilators, masks, thermal thermometers, PPE kits, N-95 masks, RAT, VTM, sanitizers etc.

The meeting was further told that non-COVID-19 activities are also going on in J&K viz OPD, Ayushman Bharat, maternal health, dialysis services, new born and child health etc.

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