Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha asked senior doctors and religious leaders to popularise preventive measures and Covid-appropriate behaviour during a meeting to review the situation in the Union Territory on Monday. Senior doctors present in the meeting also advised the L-G on additional steps needed to contain the disease. The rising number of infections in the second wave led to imposition of restrictions such as night curfew in the UT last week.
The L-G asked senior doctors and religious leaders to use social media among others to educate people on the pandemic and to clear misconceptions related to Covid vaccines. He also said that people not wearing face-masks should be denied entry at all religious places.
“All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of beds and medicines for Covid patients,” he observed.
Night curfew was clamped across all municipalities and urban areas of the UT on April 20 and places of mass gatherings such as public parks were closed; restrictions have been placed on public gatherings and transport services and markets have been asked to operate at 50% capacity.
UT officials informed the L-G that hospitals in the region had enough oxygen and beds. The administration has approved setting up of 36 oxygen generation plants to meet with the possibility of a sudden rise in demand as seen in many Covid hotspots across the country. A total of 1,743 Covid beds were also vacant out of the total capacity of 3,062 beds as of Monday. Similarly, 203 Covid ICU beds, out of the 338, were vacant. The UT on Monday recorded 25 deaths including 11 from Jammu and 10 from Kashmir—the highest so far this year. 2,135 fresh Covid cases were reported on Monday, pushing the tally to 162,868. 791 fresh cases were reported from the Jammu division and 1,344 from the Kashmir division. Srinagar district recorded the highest number of 632 cases, followed by 472 in the Jammu district, said officials.
Sinha promised all necessary support including equipment, additional manpower for hospitals and doctors, who suggested adoption of a multi-pronged approach such as tightening of Covid containment measures including restrictions on social and political events on one hand and meticulous inoculation of all people on the other. Some experts also stressed the need to strengthen the three-tier healthcare system to take off pressure from big cities.
On his part, Sinha thanked doctors and frontline health workers for their continuous service in the times of crisis.
“I am truly grateful for the amazing work you and your team members and health workers are doing. You are an inspiration for all of us…,” Sinha said.