Push forward COVID-19 vaccination drive in valley: Dr Jitendra Singh to Kashmir leaders

"A successful vaccination campaign in Kashmir valley will send a positive message across the country, " he said.
Push forward COVID-19 vaccination drive in valley: Dr Jitendra Singh to Kashmir leaders

Union Minister, Dr Jitendra Singh Saturday urged political leaders in Kashmir to "push forward the COVID-19 vaccination drive" in the valley in order to contain the pandemic.

Dr Singh, who was interacting online with fellow BJP leaders, asked Kashmir politicians to rise above political and ideological differences to put a collective fight against the prevailing surge in the virus infections.

The union minister said that elected representatives, social activists, religious heads and senior leaders can play a vital role in turning the vaccine drive launched by the government into a mass movement.

"A successful vaccination campaign in Kashmir valley will send a positive message across the country, " he said.

He appreciated the manner in which the civil society in Kashmir valley was working in close unison with the local administration.

Dr Singh said he had asked all the District Collectors in the valley to keep the public representatives on board in this collective fight against the pandemic.

He further reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking personal interest in monitoring the situation across the country including Kashmir valley.

"Whenever required, the Prime Minister reaches out to the district administration and also the medical fraternity and ensures that every requirement is met without losing time," he said.

The minister lamented over the pandemic coinciding with Eid festival, spring season, increasing tourist inflow and this year's Amarnath Yatra.

He however hoped that with "collective effort and determined will, it would be possible to overcome the calamity and return to happier times".

Dr Singh said he has instructed the DCs in the valley to rope in community leaders in organizing people-friendly vaccination camps at the earliest while assuring that sufficient doses of vaccine will be made available soon.

He said that necessary instructions have already been issued for establishing free tele-consultation facilities "in a big way for rural areas and for home isolation patients".

He further said, NGOs, youth groups and party functionaries can organize teleconsultation in Community Health Centres or in Panchayat Bhawans by following necessary COVID protocols.

"Such professional guidance will also blunt the self-styled remedy being forwarded on social media to fight the pandemic, " he added.

Over reports about dearth of staff at health facilities, Dr Singh informed that from 24 May, "walk-in-interviews will start for recruitment of medical staff".

"In the meanwhile, post-graduate and final year under-graduate medicine students and nursing staff may be engaged at GMC and other associated hospitals to fight the problem of lack of human resource, " he added.

The union minister also called for "short term training program for operation of ventilators".

He said that he is regularly in touch with the administration in different districts as well as the medical authorities of all the Government Medical Colleges in both the regions of Jammu & Kashmir including the Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS), Soura.

Over concerns about treatment of non-COVID-19 critical patients including cancer patients kidney patients requiring chemotherapy and dialysis, the minister said that efforts are being made to earmark beds for such patients at GMC, Srinagar and SKIMS.

As per a statement, the participating leaders thanked the union minister for sending COVID-19 related material for Kashmir and demanded more consignments for distribution in other districts.

"This week itself, Dr Jitendra Singh had flagged off separate consignments of COVID related material for the two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar respectively, carrying separate kits containing face masks, sanitizers and other accessories, " it said.

Those who participated in the online interaction with Dr Singh on the COVID-19 preparedness and follow up include Dr Rafi, Mohammed Anwar Khan, Darakhshan Andrabi, Altaf Thakur, Manzoor Bhat, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Bilal Parray, Aarif Raza, Ali Mohammed Mir, Ashok Bhat, among others.

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