Jammu, Jun 20: Union Minister Jitendra Singh Sunday said that the parameters of Covid-19 management in Jammu and Kashmir stood next only to Kerala in the countrywide comparative analysis.
He appreciated the J&K administration for having come to terms with the challenge and achieved this distinction.
Singh was reviewing the vaccination drive with the J&K government authorities at a nearly two-hour long meeting held in the civil secretariat here. He evaluated the vaccination targets achieved in J&K so far and discussed the roadmap planned for the countrywide “free vaccine for all” campaign beginning from Monday across all the states and union territories.
The meeting was attended, among others by Additional Chief Secretary Incharge Health and Medical Education AtalDulloo, Divisional Commissioner Jammu RaghavLangar, Principal Government Medical College Jammu DrShashiSudhan, Principal Government Medical College, Srinagar DrSamia Rashid, Director General Family Welfare and ImmunisationDrSaleem-ur-Rehman, Mission Director Choudhary Muhammad Yasin, Director Health Services Jammu DrRenu Sharma and Director Health Services Kashmir DrMushtaq Ahmad Rather.
A presentation was made during the meeting through which the minister was informed that a target of over 76 percent vaccination was already achieved in J&K and by June end, a target of 100 percent would be achieved for the age group of 45 plus and a target of around 50 percent for 18 to 45 age group by July end.
Following the impetus being introduced in the countrywide vaccination campaign from June 21, the minister was informed that by July 15, over 30 percent of the age group of 18 to 45 years in J&K would have received vaccination.
Singh called for making the vaccination drive more friendly by introducing separate waiting and holding zones and offering refreshments during the holding period of 30 minutes.
He also asked for extending the drive-in vaccination facility at a large scale. Briefing Singh about the current Covid management in J&K, the officers present informed that every Panchayat in J&K had been provided with at least one Covid Isolation Centre with 5 beds and also the availability of testing facilities. In addition, out of 20 districts of J&K, nine districts were in the Green Zone, two in the Orange Zone and nine in the Yellow Zone.
Appreciating the overall efforts by the health authorities, Singh said, he was satisfied to note that after initial problems, the management and Covid care in Government Medical College Jammu had also fallen on track and the things improved after intervention from different quarters.
He said that the initial issues and apprehensions raised during the peak of the second Covid-19 wave and the lessons learnt from this had a special significance for all, particularly the healthcare authorities in Government Medical College Jammu.
Singh noted that during the peak of the second wave of Covid-19, the positivity rate was much higher in Kashmir division and also in the eight North Eastern states which were monitored by him, but in the Jammu division, even though the positivity rate was less, the mortality rate was higher.
This, he said, should provide a scientific inference for all the concerned to take a cue that healthcare preparedness in Jammu division required further improvement.
Emphasising the importance of the vaccine for all, Singh said that it was the responsibility of not only the government but also of the civil society to turn the vaccination drive into a mass campaign. Giving all the credit to Prime Minister NarendraModi for the pre-emptive decisions and steps taken by him, he said that on the very first day when vaccination began in the country, the number of people who had received the inoculation was more than the total population of many of the European countries.
What was often not highlighted, said Singh, was that India under Modi had the distinction of having one of the fastest pace Covid-19 vaccination drives in the world, in spite of the constraints of a huge population of 135 crore and heterogeneous character of the nation.