IN a welcome, pro-active approach to counter the virulent second Covid-19 wave in Kashmir Valley, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Wednesday directed the senior doctors, health officials and the CMOs to increase additional 1050 oxygen beds in Kashmir division to ensure immediate treatment for the people requiring hospitalization. The LG Sinha has asked for the bed capacity to be ready within a week. And to further ensure a sustained oxygen supply, the LG instructed the officers to ensure all newly installed Oxygen plants have a back up buffer stock of oxygen cylinders.
At the same time, Sinha has rightly called for the “judicious referrals” of the patients from the district hospitals saying they were fully-equipped to deal with the unfolding Covid-19 situation
The LG also laid stress on the vaccination calling for the program to be completed on a “war footing to reduce the mortality rate”. He has issued instructions for introduction of vaccination in each municipal ward, calling also for deployment of more mobile vans for the purpose. These vans are already operating in 36 municipal wards, which are due to be increased in coming days.
Besides, one important instruction passed by the LG to health officials was about increasing the online consultation of doctors to patients to overcome the unnecessary rush of patients in hospitals. This is the need of hour. The administration has already announced financial incentives for the health professionals who are at the forefront of saving lives.
On Wednesday, Jammu and Kashmir recorded 4716 fresh coronavirus cases which is the highest single-day rise, 3198 of these cases were reported from Kashmir alone. The total caseload has now soared to around 20,000. 52 more people have died pushing the death toll due to the virus to 2510. The government has already announced extension of lockdown until May 10. But this has so far made no redeeming difference. The fresh cases are increasing by the day. And it looks that the peak is still many days away. A further rise in the number of Covid-19 patients can lead to collapse of our healthcare facilities already at a breaking point.
The new “double mutant” strain will be certainly a challenge to the government. It is thought to more virulent than the previous strain. So, along with the vaccine it will be even more important for people to exercise self restraint and observe Standard Operating Procedure. Government, on its part, needs to enforce some discipline among people who choose to go out for some work. For example, the people not wearing masks should face some penal action. The gatherings, both official, cultural and religious, should be discouraged. This alone can reduce the cases to manageable levels and eventually enable government reign the contagion in.
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