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Positivity rate in J&K declines from 13% to 6.2%: Govt

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Union Home Secy reviews COVID-19 management across UTs

Jammu: A total of 66 percent people above 45 years have been administered COVID-19 vaccine so far in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Tuesday.

This was conveyed by top J&K officials at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla to review the Covid management across all union territories.

“Jammu and Kashmir is among the leading regions in the country in vaccination of above 45 years age group having vaccinated 66 percent of its eligible population which is well above the national average of 32 percent,” the officials said.

Four districts — Ganderbal, Jammu, Samba and Shopian — have achieved 100 percent coverage in this category, while the remaining districts continue with promising progress, they added.

To accelerate the vaccination in the 18-45 age group, it was requested in the meeting that Jammu and Kashmir be provided with a sustained supply of vaccines in the coming months, the officials said.

The Union Home Secretary cautioned the UTs on the surge in COVID-19 cases and asked them to remain vigilant about the situation, they said.

Advising the UTs to learn from their experiences, he asked them to keep pace with testing and vaccination rates, besides enforcing Covid-appropriate behaviour and strengthening the medical infrastructure, the officials said.

At the outset, the Union Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, gave a presentation on the prevailing situation in the UTs. It was mentioned that J&K is performing reasonably well in mitigating the second wave of COVID-19 with 3,946 cases per million population being reported over the last two weeks and 62 deaths per million during the same period, the officials said.

“The early detection of infection has allowed for timely medical intervention, whereas vaccination was found to reduce the severity of disease in patients – both strategies have been successful in restricting COVID-related fatalities in the UT,” he said

The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary said due to the administration’s timely response, the daily number of COVID-19 cases has reduced from an all-time high of 5,500 to 2,200 in past two weeks. The same period also witnessed a reduction in the case positivity rate from 13 percent to 6.2 percent, he added.

It was highlighted in the meeting that the districts in the UT having higher vaccination rate reported lower positivity rate, thus establishing a correlation between vaccination and success of containment measures, the officials said.

Underscoring the shift of disease’s catchment area, the Chief Secretary pointed out that in Jammu and Kashmir more cases are now being reported from rural areas, adding that such cases are as high as 55 percent and 60 percent in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, respectively.

About the augmentation of medical infrastructure and facilities in the union territory, it was informed that the administration has recently adopted a strategy to establish five-bedded Covid-care facilities with at least one oxygen-supported bed at approximately 4,000 panchayats to provide immediate medical care to the coronavirus patients who can then be referred to higher-level facilities in case of emergency. Additionally, 33,000 Covid-care medical kits have been distributed for usage by patients in home isolation, the officials said.

It was announced that twin 500-bedded temporary hospitals being established by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) will commence operations at Jammu from Wednesday and at Srinagar from July 01, they said.

The Chief Secretary said that for continuous oxygen supply, the Centre should provide two dedicated oxygen tankers for these hospitals.

It was further requested that considering the rural spread of the disease, two 250-bedded DRDO designed hospitals be additionally approved for peripheral districts, the officials said.

The Union Home Secretary lauded the efforts of the administration of Jammu and Kashmir in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 infections, especially the rollout of targeted vaccination drives, they said.

He assured full support and coordination with regard to vaccines and assistance with medical facilities, and asserted greater indulgence with well-performing states and union territories, the officials said.

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