COVID-19: Director NHM stresses strict adherence to basic precautions
Jammu, Mar 10: As novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has no definite treatment, so prevention is the best way to go about it, Director National Health Mission (NHM), Bhupinder Kumar said here today adding that every person has the capacity to contribute, to protect themselves, to protect others, whether in the home, the community, the healthcare system, the workplace or the transport system.
Addressing a press conference held in this regard, he urged the people to not panic or pay heed to any rumor regarding COVID-19. He appealed the people to rely only on the information released by the government in this regard, like through bulletins being released to print and electronic media on daily basis to give the latest status.
Giving a detailed break-up about the coronavirus suspected cases in UT of J&K till date, Director informed that 705 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under active surveillance; 150 of these have completed surveillance period of 28 days and nine are under hospital quarantine.
He informed 56 samples of suspected cases have been sent for testing so far; 26 have reported negative, of earlier two cases who were reported with high viral load, one has tested positive and another one is being retested, while 29 reports are awaited. Meanwhile one more person has been reported with high viral load and samples have been sent to NCDC New Delhi for confirmation.
Spelling out measures being taken up to control and prevent this virus, Director informed that UT of J&K has strengthened the surveillance and control measures against the disease and helpline numbers +91-0191-2549676 (UT level Cell for J&K), +91-0191-2520982 (for Jammu division) and +91-0194-2440283 (for Kashmir division) have already been established and are functional for any advice or assistance required in this regard. Besides, coronavirus lab testing facilities have been started in Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar and Government Medical College Jammu and control rooms and surveillance teams have been constituted across all the districts of the UT to meet any sort of eventuality, he told the media.
Bhupinder Kumar further informed that universal self-declaration has been made mandatory w.e.f. 4th of March 2020 at Jammu and Srinagar airports. Besides, screening of travellers have also been started at Lakhanpur and Lower Munda toll posts as well as Jammu, Katra and Udhampur Railway stations, where Health helpdesks have been set up.
Kumar reiterated that citizens must take basic precautions such as personal hygiene, hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquettes and must avoid touching of face, eyes, nose and also report any symptoms (fever, difficult breathing and cough) to the medical authorities immediately. He assured them that the whole situation is being monitored and reviewed at all levels very closely.
“Strict adherence to all the precautionary and preventive measures being advised by the government authorities from time to time since the outbreak of this deadly coronavirus only can reduce the risk of this serious health hazard,” he added.
The entire administrative machinery is fully geared to handle any challenges on this count and there is no need for any panic, he stressed.
The government also urged citizens, especially those with travel history to affected countries such as China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, etc to self-declare immediately and to report to the nearest government health facility if any symptoms are found.
Director said that the spread of this illness can be significantly slowed or even reversed through implementation of robust containment and control activities. Accordingly wide publicity is being done to create awareness in the community through health education messages especially on hand washing, cough etiquette and home isolation by electronic, print media, radio jingles and leaflets, etc, he added.
He said that the government strongly urges all social, religious and political organizations to avoid large gatherings. We are grateful that many organizations have responded to our advice and deferred such gatherings.
Director Information & Public Relations Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar and nodal officer, corona virus, UT J&K, Dr. Shafqat, were also present at the presser.