Jammu, Dec 12: Concerned over uneven trend in COVID-19 cases, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary A K Mehta on Saturday called for machine-manpower audit, infrastructure augmentation and better enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour in the Union territory.
He also talked about the vulnerability of children to the infection and urged the department concerned to roll out suitable training modules for medical and paramedical staff to optimally manage pediatric wards and ICUs.
Mehta was speaking at a high-level meeting to review the public health response to the novel coronavirus infection and take stock of arrangements being made under the Emergency COVID Response and Health Response Plan, Package II (ECRP II) in Jammu and Kashmir to tackle any eventuality especially on account of the new COVID variant Omicron, an official spokesman said.
The spokesman said the meeting was informed that the reported cases of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir are showing an uneven trend which is a cause of concern and is primarily being caused because of breach of protocols.
Expressing concern over the recent developments, the chief secretary directed the district administrations to ensure COVID appropriate behaviour, improve the rate of testing as per respective target, adherence to Covid SOPs, and ensure fool-proof containment measures in micro containment zones.
The enforcement agencies were asked to strictly implement the COVID-19 protocols and levy fines on habitual defaulters, the spokesman said.
Mehta maintained that existing strategies must be recalibrated towards ensuring low rates of infection in districts, and case trajectory be closely monitored to keep the daily reported cases below 50.
The Health and Medical Education Department was asked to conduct an equipment audit and regularly check the functionality of Covid-related infrastructure, including COVID dedicated hospitals, ventilators, oxygen supported beds and plants, the spokesman said.
The department was also directed to ensure the readiness of manpower and machinery and firm up the inventory of oxygen supply and medicines, he said, adding that it was asked to furnish weekly reports on all these parameters.
Under the ECRP II, the department was asked to augment the ICU-beds and related facilities to approximately 300 in each division, including DRDO ICUs with a special focus on the pediatric ICU beds.
Mehta emphasised that to contain the COVID-19 spread and mitigate the disease, the health department must adopt a robust mechanism for proper training of medical teams on core principles of infection prevention and treatment; preparing the medical infrastructure and ensuring safe bio-medical waste management, the spokesman said.
The Department was also asked to organise training on oxygen consumption and management for ICU staff and training to suitably operate various oxygen generation plants and related equipment, the spokesman added.