Home isolation, oximeters could control COVID deaths in Kashmir, suggest visiting GoI experts
Burial of a COVID positive patient in Srinagar (File Photo: KM/Umar Ganie)
Srinagar: Financial Commissioner Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, Thursday 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.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr. Samir Mattoo along with other epidemiologists were present on the occasion.
FC Health in his presentation informed the visiting delegation that J&K administration is all set to deal with this global pandemic as the central government is extending all support towards augmenting health infrastructure in the UT to tackle with the pandemic effectively.
Dulloo revealed that to combat this viral disease J&K has a total of 21664 isolation beds, 432 ICU beds, 454 ventilators and 5296 oxygen supported beds while some 342 ventilators are in transit and1630 oxygen outlets are to be installed in next two months, he added.
FC said that establishment of more oxygen generation plants in 29 districts and associated hospitals are in pipeline for which Rs 150 crore have already been allocated by the UT government.
FC informed that 170226 PPE kits, 222345 N-95 Masks, 13,94,439 triple layer masks, 91,808 sanitizers, 2,90,340 VTM, 2,60,372 RNA extraction kits and 1,45,000 Rapid Antigen (Point of Care) Test are available with our department.
The review team appreciated the response of the J&K government against the COVID 19 pandemic saying that the facilities being extended by the J&K Department of Health and Medical Education are far better than most of the states and UTs in India. The team also acknowledged that the testing done in UT was highest in terms of per million population tested in the country.
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.
Some other actionable points recommended by the review team included improvement in Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Mechanism, starting of regular/ routine health services in Hospitals to prevent surge in morbidity and mortality due to non COVID cases in near future, Constitution of Hospital based treatment Guidelines committee for COVID management by including all senior consultants from departments, Constitution of Environment control committee in tertiary care institutions to suggest proper protocol for airflow and air exhaust from the isolation ICUs or Wards, death review committee for COVID should be constituted in all the Hospitals, Recommended that the patient should report to health institution after fall of O2 saturation from 95% instead of 90% and Training of manpower for Ventilator management is required as already a good number of ventilators are available here.
FC assured the visiting delegation that all these measures would be applied in letter and spirit. He extended his gratitude to the team for giving suggestions that would go a long way in helping J&K to successfully tide over this global crisis.