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Masoodi calls for mass awareness campaigns to snap out rural masses of vaccine hesitancy

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Member of Parliament from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi on Wednesday rued the lack of awareness in rural areas of south Kashmir and asked the incumbent administration to go for mass awareness campaign to stem out Covid vaccine hesitancy.

According to NC spokesperson, party’s Member of Parliament who visited the SDH Dooru, and Verinag; PHC Kilam, and Vessu and other adjoining areas to assess the Covid mechanism and availability of necessary facilities to people said that the availability of vaccines and testing kits is not an issue in these forlorn hamlets as adequate quantity of vaccines are available at all the government designated Covid Care centers instead it is the lack of awareness among the rural folks which is impacting the vaccination rate.

“Besides the lack of awareness among the digitally dark people, Masoodi said it is the range of misconceptions circulating about the side effects, which is affecting the inoculation rates in certain pockets. On that account, he impressed upon the incumbent JK government to carry out mass awareness campaigns particularly in far-flung areas to snap out of ignorance, hesitancy and misconceptions,” the spokesperson said.

“On one hand we see isolated districts in south Kashmir achieving the anticipated target of inoculating cent percent populace in the age group of 45+ but on the other hand most of the districts are yet to cross the halfway mark of inoculating the preference groups. At some places, he said the vaccination drive is yet to pick up. The situation is no different in Dooru, Kilam, Vessu belt, despite having ample stocks of viles; the local populace is not showing keenness in getting them jabbed. This is a worrying trend in view of the imminent third wave of Covid infection. I hope the concerned divisional and district authorities will take note of the situation and do whatever is possible to break the myths associated with the vaccines and also spread general awareness among masses about the Covid crises and indispensability of vaccines in curbing it. It is high time to get rid of misconceptions,” the spokesperson quoted Masoodi as saying.

“Drawing the attention of the incumbent JK Government towards the shortage of medics and Paramedics plaguing the fight against the Covid-19 in rural hinterland and upper reaches of south Kashmir, Masoodi said dearth of human resource to run the facilities is severely affecting the government’s response to Covid.  He said facilities of CT scan at Dooru, and Digital X-ray at Verinag have been left unmanned all this while leaving the people with no other option to travel to distant places to avail such facilities there. He said the staff crunch also looms at various other PHCs, SDHs across south Kashmir including PHC check Wangnoo where the newly constructed building is dysfunctional due to the need of required medics and Paramedics. Masoodi ruing the shortage said with case count breaching and rising numbers of patients requiring hospitalization and access to testing, the government should waste no time to make good of the deficiency by engaging unemployed medics, Paramedics to ensure forceful retort to the ravaging public health crises in the shape of deadly Covid,” the spokesperson said.

“During his visit, the visiting MP interacted with the civil society groups, individuals, patients and concerned frontline staff at the health facilities. Appreciating their efforts, he prayed for their wellbeing and safety,” the spokesperson added.

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