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RAT kits, ventilators, oxygen supply: J&K government braces up to deal with COVID wave in snowbound areas

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Srinagar:  Fearing severe COVID 19 wave in winter, Jammu and Kashmir government is chalking out a new management plan with a renewed focus on far-flung areas, which remain cut off due to the snowfall in the valley.

Sources said that the government has directed the health department and district administrations to remain ready for any exigency during winter in the snowbound areas.


Doctors have warned about the worsening COVID-19 situation in winter when the temperature drops to sub-zero.

The health department has been directed to make all the logistics available in far-flung areas to deal with a pandemic.

The areas under focus include Tangdhar, Keran, Karnah, Gurez and others.

“We need to ensure the availability of ventilators, medicines, oxygen in these areas. Plus special medical teams also need to be deployed to monitor the health condition of the people,” said an official.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, PK Pole has also directed the deputy commissioners to identify such areas within their districts so that infrastructure can be built ahead of the snowfall.

“Estimate the COVID-19 related logistics necessary in such areas during winters. Make such logistics available in these areas immediately,” Pole told the deputy commissioner in a recently held meeting.

The divisional commissioner, according to the officials, told the district administration to check the availability of RAT kits, oxygen supply, COVID medicines, and oximeters.

“He asked the divisional commissioners to prepare a comprehensive COVID-19 management plan for winter.  The divisional commissioner said that all the material should be stocked before October 15 at all identified places,” an official said.

Director of Health Service Department Dr. Sameer Mattoo told The Kashmir Monitor that the teams are constantly monitoring arrangements in such areas.

He said the department will keep a stock of medicines and testing kits available in such areas before October 15.

“We have deployed teams in Machil, Gurez, and other areas. Medicines and other facilities are being kept available for winter. Besides, a proper heating arrangement is also being ensured in health facilities to ensure proper care of patients,” Mattoo said.

Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing an alarming increase in the cases of COVID-19. More than 80000 people are COVID positive in J&K.  Plus 1,282 people have died due to the infection.