Govt must take immediate steps to contain COVID deaths, infections: Tarigami
Srinagar: CPI (M) senior leader and former Kulgam legislator, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami on Thursday said at a time when the whole country, including Jammu and Kashmir is faced with an unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, the government must take immediate steps to contain the growing number of deaths, infections and overcome shortages in health facilities.
“The healthcare system across the country and in J&K seems to be on the edge due to a massive increase in the number of patients following the second wave of COVID-19. A large number of patients are coming to the hospitals due to which shortage of beds, ICUs and other essential medicines, like Remdesivir is being reported from various hospitals in J&K,” Tarigami said in a statement issued here.
He said that the picture which is being projected of J&K health sector battling COVID-19, if true, is appreciable. But as the crisis is on rise, there is a need to remain more alert.
“Major hospitals in J&K are facing acute shortage of Remdesivir, an emerging drug that is being used in treating the patients affected by the virus. Similarly, there is a need to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to the hospitals in J&K. Following the surge in Covid-19 cases in the region, some main hospitals have closed out patient departments (OPDs) and normal surgeries. However private hospitals and clinics are running OPD and performing surgeries routinely. As such government hospitals must keep OPDs open and perform surgeries so that poor patients are not compelled to visit private hospitals and clinics,” he said.
He added there is also a need to curb rumour mongering and for that journalists must be facilitated to visit various hospitals so that they can report objectively.
“The media can also highlight the shortcomings and bring it into the notice of the government. Official information is not always accurate and that is the reason media persons must be encouraged to report from the ground zero,” he said.
“Stepping up vaccinations will not affect the rise of the second wave, but it will definitely save many lives. There is a need to vaccinate people at the shortest possible time and for that the government has to ensure that there is no shortage of vaccines. There is no doubt the COVID-19 is the worst health and economic crisis in the last 100 years with unprecedented negative consequences for output, jobs and well being. But with proper planning, the government has to deal with this unprecedented challenge and not to leave anything to chance,” he said.
“People must strictly follow COVID-19 protocols to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus. There is also a need to appreciate the work carried out by doctors, para-medics, ASHA and ICDS workers, sanitation workers and all other frontline workers who are at the forefront of the battle against the COVID-19.”
Tarigami said that the COVID-19 situation is also compounding people’s livelihood conditions causing greater miseries.
“The government must provide relief to people by immediate direct cash transfer of Rs 7500 per month and distribution of food grains to all needy and vastly expand the MGNERGA programme. An urban guarantee programme should also be started at the earliest. These measures are the least required to be taken immediately,” he said.