JAMMU, Apr 8: Continuing to extend his helping hand by distributing ration and other essential supplies among needy persons in various parts of the Gandhi Nagar Constituency amid lockdown due COVID-19 pandemic, Former Minister and senior Congress leader Raman Bhalla emphasized the need to ramp up testing of suspected Corona patients besides augmenting the capacity and facilities of the laboratories.
He demanded upgrading the facilities in the designated COVID-19 hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir so that these can provide Level-3 treatment to the Coronavirus patients.
He said that increasing the sample testing should be focus of the authorities in order to have a clear picture about the disease for tackling it in a better way., adding that all high risk contacts of the positive cases should be tracked, quarantined and lab tested as per the protocol.
“Better patient care should be the top priority for the Health Department,” Bhalla said.
Bhalla today distributed food items at Quasim Nagar and Shake Nagar areas. Prominent among those who accompanied Bhalla included Block President Jatinder Singh Chib, Diwan Chand, Distt General Secretary Aman Bawa, Iqbal Singh, Anju Mehra, Sumita, Bunty Pardan, Pintu Kumar, GS Sodhi and Panch Qyoom.
Bhalla called for providing immediate cash to the poor, urging Government not to adopt a miserly and negligent approach towards the deprived during the lockdown.
He said though Centre has announced a slew of measures to provide relief to poor and vulnerable sections of the population during the Covid-19 crisis, but the efficacy of many of these will depend on a robust last-mile delivery mechanism, which has been badly affected right from the start of the 21-day lockdown.
The free ration is a welcome step, but the big question is how to ensure their delivery when even ration shops aren’t opening,” said Bhalla.
Bhalla said that as penetration of digital payments is very low among poor households, it remains to be seen how the poor can come to the banks to collect their pensions during the lockdown.
Bhalla said that agriculture is the backbone of the Indian economy and issues faced by farmers need to be looked into and resolved on priority basis.
He urged Govt to take care of availability of fertilisers, pesticides and seed distribution.