Improve testing, take up vaccination in distts reporting higher cases: Cabinet Secy

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewing COVID situation in J&K with Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on Saturday.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewing COVID situation in J&K with Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam on Saturday.

40% surge in weekly cases in J&K, says CS

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Feb 27: Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today called upon the administration of eight States/Union Territories including Jammu and Kashmir to improve overall COVID testing in districts reporting reduction in tests and increase RT-PCR tests in the districts having high antigen testing.
The advisory was issued in a meeting Gauba had with Chief Secretaries of eight States/UTs reporting high active caseload or an increasing trend in new cases in the last week including Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir, an official statement said.
Gauba also called for refocus on surveillance and stringent containment in selected districts reporting reduced tests/high positive and increased cases and monitoring of mutant strain & clustering of cases for early hotspot identification and control.
He directed for focus on clinical management in districts reporting higher deaths and undertaking priority vaccination in districts reporting higher cases. He also called upon the administration to promote COVID-appropriate behaviour and ensure effective citizen communication so that no complacency sets in, especially in the light of vaccination drive entering the next phase.
Gauba also called for enforcing stringent social distancing measures.
“The States need to maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the COVID spread and not squander away the gains of collective hard work of the last year,’’ Gauba said and advised the Chief Secretaries not to lower their guard and enforce COVID appropriate behaviour. He called for dealing with violations firmly.
He also stressed for quick quarantine of close contacts.
J&K Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam along with Chief Secretaries of Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana, and West Bengal participated in the meeting.
The Chief Secretary, J&K, informed that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is conducting mandatory universal tests on all travellers coming via roadways, railways, and airways. He informed that J&K saw a 40% surge in weekly cases with travellers contributing to 2/3rd of all the positive cases, adding that in Srinagar district alone 50% of recorded positive cases were travellers.
He said that through concerted efforts the Government is consistently monitoring the COVID trajectory among its local population with a special focus on districts with an increased tourist footfall.
Regarding vaccination drives, it was informed that in J&K, 67% of healthcare workers and 59% of frontline workers have been vaccinated during the initial stages of the vaccine roll-out and arrangements are in place to incorporate the third prioritized group in the upcoming days.
Currently, the bed occupancy in the designated COVID hospitals is less than 4% with approximately 100 patients admitted to health care institutes that have been prepped to accommodate 3000 patients. “In the given scenario, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is by and large comfortable and under control”, the Chief Secretary maintained.