Jammu, Sep 19: There are lot of issues in health department but shortage of Oxygen is biggest issue now a days & Health Department's officials are just giving achievement statements but on ground reality is different. Patients are crying for ill facilities in hospitals provided to COVID patients by health authorities for which Videos had been made viral by the patients but Administration is sleeping. This was observed by former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla while interacting with aggrieved people of Govindpura Shiglighar Kulian in Gandhi Nagar constituency on Saturday as a part of his door to door campaign to listen to grievances of people of Gandhi Nagar constituency. Prominent among those present on the occasion include Amrit Bali,Pawan Bhagat,Sham Lal,Jagbir Singh,Gurdeep Singh,Rashpal Singh,Amrik Singh ,Kamal Singh, beside others.
Former Minister urged LG Administration to ensure adequate Oxygen availability in all healthcare facilities and unrestricted intra in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bhalla demanded to ensure facility wise/hospital wise oxygen inventory management and advance planning for timely replenishment so that there is no stockout. He requested to ensure the Provision of "Green Corridor" for Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) Tankers within the cities. "Hospitals and institutions have long term tender/ contract agreement for the supply of Oxygen with oxygen manufacturers, which need to be honoured. He demanded to improve power supply infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted supply to Oxygen Manufacturing Units and to ensure proper disinfection of Oxygen cylinders as per protocols while sending cylinders to fillers of Oxygen.
Alarm bells have started to ring in Jammu and Kashmir as the Covid-19 death toll in the union territory has surged. Since June 1, there has been a constant rise in the number of fatalities related to the deadly virus. It would be a “disaster” if the administration failed to strictly handle the situation. The number of cases too has increased sharply in the past few weeks. Speaking on the occasion , Bhalla said since the past two and a half weeks, Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing a steady rise in COVID-19 deaths, with more fatalities being reported in this period than the first three months of the pandemic. “Deaths are increasing as more severe cases reporting in the hospitals,” he said, which is designated Covid-19 hospital. He said most of the people who die are admitted cases, who turn positive. “In few cases some were detected positive after death,” he added. Health authorities insist that the majority of the people, who died in the first three months of the virus outbreak, had multiple underlying co-morbidities before contracting getting infected. He stressed upon the Deputy Commissioners to evolve an effective containment strategy for early detection of Covid cases for controlling the spread of coronavirus.
Bhalla urged upon the Deputy Commissioners to redesign red and containment zones so that spreading of infections of disease to other areas could be prevented. He asked them to take necessary steps to adopt rural strategies to control the infections in villages to contain the virus spread. He stressed upon them for strengthening of district level teams who deal with controlling the spread of corona virus outbreak besides asking them to take up the Covid cases of security forces with their concerned officers for timely treatment. He also suggested that a micro-level containment or red zones be declared for better implications besides suggesting few changes in treatment protocol and home isolation protocols.
Bhalla maintained that strengthening health system resilience with a focus on primary health care is key to maintaining and strengthening essential health services amid Covid-19 pandemic. The emergence and spread of COVID-19 has reiterated the critical importance of building strong primary health care systems able to withstand acute events while continuing to provide the services required to meet most people’s needs. He demanded deputing a team of senior doctors and experts to J&K, which will help local experts with patient management, treatment protocols, oxygen availability and other medical issues to help manage the surge in Covid positive cases particularly in Jammu. J&K seems to be fighting a losing battle against Corona as the number of positive cases is surging every passing day. On the 14th day straight, J&K recorded over 1K positive cases, indicating some serious lapses in the fight against the infection.
While the Kashmir valley was initially hit badly by the dreaded infection, the Jammu region remained relatively free. But now the tables have turned and infections are spreading really fast in the Jammu region with positive and active positive cases topping the list. While terming the rising COVID-19 positive cases and deaths due to the deadly virus in Kashmir as worrisome, Bhalla said that J&K government has run out of options and has failed to tackle the pandemic. “What is the government’s plan to go forward as the coronavirus is growing exponentially in Jammu. The lockdown which was imposed in March to contain the spread of the virus failed completely. The process of unlocking was initiated at a time when there was a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The overall policies to tackle the pandemic and their implementation only underline the mess created by the government,” he said. The Congress leader said the government utterly failed to utilize the lockdown period to expand the infrastructure of the public health system, ensuring adequate medical equipment, PPEs and other supplies. “The government should have strengthened the public health system on a war-footing basis during the lockdown period, but unfortunately its priorities lied somewhere else. All these point to the all-round failure of the government in tackling the pandemic. It looks as if the government has run out of options and is reconciled to the pandemic running its course,” he rued.
Bhalla said there is an urgent need for massive testing, tracing and isolating cases on a large-scale in a systematic way. “The government must rely on health experts and epidemiologists to formulate policies with regard to testing, contact tracing and isolation of people affected by the virus. So-far the policies to tackle COVID-19 are being formulated by the bureaucrats which has proved a disaster,” he said. The Congress leader said until an effective vaccine is developed it will be a long and hard battle. “The government should increase beds with high-flow oxygen in hospitals at the earliest. The government must also purchase more ventilators to augment the capacity of hospitals and then you need to have more doctors to utilise those ventilators. There is also an urgent need for staff that can run ICUs and high-dependency units,” he said.