Srinagar:  War against COVID 19 has got new generals to oversee the progress and advise the government on how to defeat the invisible enemy.

 Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu led administration on Tuesday formed an all doctors committee to review the protocol/guidelines and other related issues about the treatment of COVID 19 patients.

The 10-member `Apex Level Advisory Committee’ will be headed by a top gastroenterologist and former director of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Dr. Mohammad Sultan Khuroo.  

SKIMS Director Dr. AG Ahangar and Principals of Government Medical College, Srinagar and Jammu will be its members. Dr. Rahul Gupta, head of chest disease medicine GMC Jammu will be its member-secretary while professor and head of chest medicine, GMC Srinagar, Dr. Navid Nazir will be its member.

 “The terms of reference of the committee shall be to review protocol, guidelines and other issues relating to the treatment of COVID patients, measures to be taken to control the COVID pandemic and other related matters besides advising the government on these issues,” said Rohit Sharma, additional secretary to the government, General Administration Department.

Sources said Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, who is personally monitoring anti-COVID efforts, wanted expert advice. “Therefore the committee was framed. It is perhaps one of the few committees having only subject experts and not bureaucrats or officials,” he said.

Chairman of the Committee Dr. Mohammad Sultan Khuroo told The Kashmir Monitor that they will first try to translate science from a correct perspective.

“Eighty percent of the information on social media is bogus and fake. We can translate science from a correct perspective. We can generate some scientific protocols like plasma therapy.  I can help SKIMS and GMC in plasma therapy because I did it in 1982 for Hepatitis E. Thirdly, we can interpret the data and help people. But it all depends on the people. They have to maintain discipline. If they do not, then lockdown may be reimposed,” he said.

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) said this is a good step and should have been taken earlier. “When there is a new disease, things change every day. President Trump recommended Hydroxychloroquine, but the FDA said it is harmful. Likewise, we follow different protocols in different hospitals. This committee will assess the world literature and develop the treatment protocol. The committee should take all stakeholders including the public into confidence,” said DAK president Dr. Suhail Naik.

Official figures reveal that there are 5220 positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir. Of whom 2554 are Active Positive, 2604 have recovered and 62 have died. Of the deceased 55 are from Kashmir division and seven from Jammu division

So far 271416 tests have been conducted of which 266196 samples have been tested negative till June 15. Additionally, 237765 travelers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been enlisted for surveillance. They included 40769 persons under home quarantine including facilities operated by government, 32 in Hospital Quarantine, and 2554 in hospital isolation and 49103 under home surveillance. Besides, 145245 persons have completed their surveillance period.

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