Scarcity of medical accessories in market adds to woes of Corona patients, families

20 to 25 pc people still not using face masks

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, May 13: Though the situation created by COVID Pandemic is turning alarming day by day in J&K where the number of cases is surging, still more than 20 percent people mostly youth hesitate in wearing the face masks despite the Government announcing a fine from Rs 500 to 1000 for those who defy the direction. In addition to it, the Jammu region is facing the tremendous shortage of medical accessories needed for the treatment of COVID patients like oxygen flow meters, concentrators, oxygen generators etc.
According to sources, the shortage of the medical equipments to be used for the treatment of COVID patients has added to the woes of the people especially those families who have one or two positive cases in their families and need oxygen for survival. The shortage of oxygen flow meters used as accessory with oxygen cylinder, B-PAP Machine Mask used for extracting carbon dioxide, oxygen concentrators, High Flow mask through which oxygen can be given in high speed to patient, oxygen generators, etc are not coming from outside due to the lockdown in Delhi and other parts of the country, sources added.
Sources said for last over one month these accessories and equipments are not being supplied in Jammu due to the lockdown with the result the COVID patients are facing many hardships. Agency representative working for BPL Medical Technology dealing with these equipments and accessories in Jammu confirmed that they are facing shortage of the medical equipments as the same is not available. He said shortage is because of lockdown in Delhi and Company’s Bangalore, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are not able to send the material due to lockdown.
He said he gets demands daily from the customers for these items which are totally out of stock now. The scarcity of these equipments and accessories have created panic among the family members of COVID patients across Jammu and appeals are made in various social media and WhatsApp Groups by the social activists and relatives of the patients asking people to help them out in getting the oxygen cylinders, concentrators and other equipments like High Flow masks, etc for the treatment of their patients which are not available in the market.
The people have even appealed to Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha to ensure the supply of these life saving equipments needed by them for the treatment of the COVID patients at their residences to decrease the rush in hospitals which are facing shortage of beds as well.
At the same time when the COVID cases are on rise not wearing of masks by some people has further increased the chances of fast spread of the pandemic, said a senior doctor, adding over 20 to 25 percent people are not still using the masks and Government needs to take harsh steps to act against them.
Some shopkeepers, tractor trolley operators, youth on two wheelers especially in outskirts of the Jammu city and rural areas are avoiding face masks while a section of people keep face masks tied with ears but not covering their nose and mouth. This way they deceive themselves as well as law enforcing agencies.
Shahid Iqbal Choudhary Administrative Secretary Tribal Affairs who has been assigned the task to oversee COVID containment related work in Jammu said that the positivity rate and higher mortality are really worrisome and massive efforts are required for containment of spread in public. “We are focusing on hospital, which is just one aspect while key to containment lies in public adherence to SOPs”, he added.
He said the authorities notified fine for not wearing masks however universal enforcement of same is a constraint. Rising cases lead to lockdown which can be eased once cases are down for which it is imperative that COVID appropriate behavior is adopted as a part of life even in our personnel spaces.
He said stringent measures will be necessitated if the rising trend is not contained and situation is being evaluated regularly on that front.
The district administration in various districts of Jammu region have already launched a drive to take action against the people who don’t use masks while roaming outside even during the lockdown and COVID curfew period. ADC Jammu, Satish Sharma said that the administration has launched a vigorous drive against those violating the COVID SOPs issued by Government and about Rs five lakh were recovered as fine from those who don’t use masks.
Same has been case with District Samba where the district administration has tightened its noose against the violators of SOPs too. District Development Commissioner, Samba, Anuradha Gupta said that no leniency has been shown against the people who violate SOPs and they are being fined by the Magistrates deployed on such duty at different places.
District Development Commissioner, Kathua, Rahul Yadav also said that stringent measures are being taken against the violators. He said even the wearing of masks has been made mandatory in private vehicles as well as residential houses where four five people are living together.
DC Udhampur, Indu Kanwal Chib said that the district administration has taken stringent measures since the COVID cases surged in the UT. The wearing of face masks has been made mandatory for every body and even the gatherings and social ceremonies are being properly monitored by the administration. “No such gathering is being allowed in the district where the people are seen without masks. Recently we stopped a Mundan function at Majalta where about 300 people had gathered”, she added.
Same steps are being taken by the administration in other districts of Jammu region also.