Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh reviews Pandemic preparedness in J&K

New Delhi : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today reviewed pandemic preparedness in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

During the high-level online meeting connecting different districts ranging from Jammu to Srinagar as well as the two divisional headquarters of Kashmir and Jammu respectively, the Minister advised setting up of a designated Dashboard for real time updates related to the ongoing third wave. He also issued a number of other instructions in the wake of the course being followed by the third wave.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Divisional Commissioner of Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, Pandu Rang Pole, Mayor Jammu Chandra Mohan Gupta, Mayor Srinagar Junaid Mattoo, Director General Health Dr Salim Rehman, DDC Chairmen of different districts, Municipal Council Heads, District Development Commissioners and other concerned officials and representatives.

Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, Pandu Rang Pole and Raghav Langar respectively, informed the Minister that by and large there was no major concern in each of the two Divisions. In Kashmir Division, among the cases tested for Genome Sequencing so far, there was no one reported as Omicron case, whereas from Jammu Division three cases had been reported. The vaccination process was almost complete barring a few farflung pockets in districts like Kishtwar.

DC Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz and DC Ramban Mussarat Islam also offered an update regarding weather related constraints in their respective districts.

Dr Jitendra Singh advised setting up of at least one Dash Board each in the office of Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir respectively for real time information, which could be shared and could also offer regular inputs for follow up. He also suggested setting up of a Public Helpline in order to build up the confidence of the common masses.

Observing that in certain instances, there was a delay in communication between District administration and Health Department, Dr Jitendra Singh suggested setting up of a Whatsapp Group of all the concerned. He said, much of the improvement in our performance and delivery can be achieved by using existing technologies, which are already available.

As of now, Dr Jitendra Singh observed that most of the positive cases in the third wave have remained asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with flu like symptoms which invariably wane away in 4-5 days. However, he said, there is no room to be complacent because during the second wave also, there was a surge in the later weeks and, therefore, the next few weeks will determine the nature and course of this week’s wave of pandemic we are going through.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that during the first wave in early 2020, there was a regular mechanism for regular monitoring of different districts and a regular coordination between the Centre and the UT. He said, the same mechanism would be evolved if required, but meanwhile the functionaries in the administration and elected representatives were free to be in touch with his office as and when required, whenever there was any coordination or intervention needed.

The Minister was informed that while the night curfew has been imposed in Jammu, no decision has yet been taken on imposing weekend lockdown on the pattern of Delhi-NCR.

There was a general demand for expediting the Genome Sequencing facility, in response to which the Director General Health informed that necessary steps had already been taken in this direction.