Says no need to panic about Covid-19, situation under control; Despite rise in Covid cases, hospitalizations not much; genome sequencing done at SKIMS now, Omicron variant prevalent in society at present: Secretary Health& Med Edu


Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, April 07 :

There is no need to panic about Covid-19 in J&K and if need arises, appropriate steps will be taken in time, Chief Secretary Arjun Kumar Mehta said on Friday.

While talking to reporters on the side-lines of World Health Day event in Srinagar, Kumar as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that there is no need to panic and appropriate steps will be taken as the administration has been very successful in managing the previous waves of Covid-19.

“People should have complete confidence that whenever need arises all possible steps will be taken. But at the moment there is no need to worry,” he said. “We by and large meet the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS). Not 100 percent but we will analyze what are the gaps and very shortly we will complete all the gaps. At present by and large we are very comfortable,” the CS said.

Bhupinder Kumar Health and Medical Education Secretary, J&K, while talking to reporters said that since past few weeks a rising trend of Covid-19 cases has been reported in J&K and around 230 cases are active. But just 12 are hospitalized across J&K,” he said. “As per government guidelines, testing rate has been increased and all patients having symptoms of influenza and acute respiratory distress are being tested and cases are on rise but hospitalization is not much.”

He said it is an Omicron variant known as XBB.1.16 that is prevalent in society at present. “Most of the cases in the country are because of this variant,” he said, adding that the genome sequencing lab has been made operational at SKIMS Soura and genome sequencing is now being done here.

He said that there is no need to panic as they have seen situations in last three years as handled them as well. “We have a very trained staff and hospitals are also very well equipped,” the Secretary Health and Medical Education said.

He said that mock drills in the hospitals are being conducted to ensure operational readiness for management of Covid with specific focus on oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources on 10 and 11 April and gaps are also being filled.

Kumar said that that all persons having symptoms must report as early detection helps in proper management and if it is reported late, then sometimes it leads to difficulties.

He said that situation is very much under control but people shouldn’t lower guard but follow covid appropriate behaviour—(KNO)

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