Press Trust of india

Jitendra Singh reviews pandemic preparedness in J&K, says no room for complacency

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Jammu: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday reviewed the preparedness to deal with the third wave of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir and cautioned that “there is no room to be complacent”.

During the high-level online meeting connecting different districts ranging from Jammu to Srinagar as well as the two divisional headquarters of Jammu and Kashmir, respectively, the minister advised setting up of a designated dashboard for real-time updates related to the ongoing third wave.

“As of now, most of the positive cases in the third wave have remained asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with flu-like symptoms which invariably wane away in 4-5 days. There is no room to be complacent because during the second wave also, there was a surge in the later weeks and, therefore, the next few weeks will determine the nature and course of this week’s wave of pandemic we are going through,” Singh said.

The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office said during the first wave in early 2020, there was a regular mechanism for regular monitoring of different districts and a regular coordination between the Centre and the Union Territory.

“The same mechanism will be evolved if required, but meanwhile the functionaries in the administration and elected representatives were free to be in touch with his office as and when required, whenever there was any coordination or intervention needed,” he said.

The meeting, among others, was attended by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Raghav Langer, Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir), Pandu Rang Pole, Mayor Jammu Chandra Mohan Gupta, Mayor Srinagar Junaid Mattoo, Director General Health Salim Rehman, District Development Council Chairpersons of different districts, Municipal Council heads and district development Commissioners, an official spokesman said.

The minister was informed that by and large there was no major concern in each of the two divisions of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir faced a surge in COVID-19 infections with 655 fresh cases being reported on Saturday, taking the overall virus tally to 3,43,965. The region has lost 4,537 of its people to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.

Among the cases tested for genome sequencing so far, there was no case of Omicron variant of coronavirus in Kashmir division, whereas three such cases were reported from Jammu division.

The Union minister advised setting up of at least one dashboard each in the office of Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir respectively for real-time information, which could be shared and could also offer regular inputs for follow up.

He also suggested setting up a public helpline in order to build up the confidence of the common masses.

There was a general demand for expediting the genome sequencing facility, in response to which the Director General Health informed that necessary steps had already been taken in this direction, the spokesman said.

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