Fully prepared to handle possible third Covid wave: DC Srinagar

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Srinagar: Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Aijaz Asad Thursday said that the administration is incapsulated with lot of challenges as the new year has got a warmer welcome by new variant of COVID-19 Omicron which has been declared as variant of concern by the WHO.

Talking to Kashmir News Service (KNS), Asad said that the transition from 2021 to 2022 doesn’t look like a smooth transition as the new variant is a new challenge for them, which means “we are not out of Covid-19 situation as yet.”

He said that the way there is spike in cases across the globe with eminent threat of third wave, 2022 seems to be a bigger challenge than 2021.

Asad that all efforts are been put in place to overcome the third wave and the audit for more oxygen plants is in progress, while review is being conducted for drugs supplies and staff in hospitals. “All the things are reviewed based on the experiences of virus in the previous year. The medical teams are better repaired and battle-hardened to combat the third wave of virus,” he said.

He said as there is spike in positive cases, all international travellers at Srinagar International Airport are tested and they are kept in isolation till test reports are received. “In Srinagar around 700 international travellers have come which include tourists, local residents of J-K, of which 6 traveller have found positive, however, no case of Omicron has been detected as yet,” he said.

He also said that as per COVID protocols, those who test negative at the airport are also not allowed to travel immediately. “They have to wait for 8 days and on the 8th day they are again tested. Medical teams continuously put them under 14 days of surveillance and the administration is trying to put in all efforts to stop the third wave.”

About the previous year’s administrative challenges, Asad said that the most important challenge in the year 2021 was COVID, as there was second wave after a sudden spike in positive cases across the country.

He, however, said that Srinagar administration was able to handle the situation well in time on the directions of LG. “More than a dozen oxygen plants were installed in Srinagar district. The administration was able to meet the increasing demand of COVID isolation beds in hospitals, nursing homes and JLNM.”

He said that on developmental front, he believes that in 2021 the challenge was to harmonise and strike a balance between disallowing large gatherings and at the same time allowing the developmental activities to continue at a greater momentum.

“The administration was able to do this with establishment of star PHCs which were installed in Srinagar district and Srinagar was one of the districts, where oxygen was available at PHC level.”

About large gatherings, he said that the administration always tries to enforce COVID protocols in large gatherings but the people should also cooperate so that third wave could be prevented.

“Official gatherings are only held in view of public interest. We are at the receiving end to protect the greater common good and to safeguard the public health,” he said.

About winter preparedness, Asad said that main difficulty in winters is to ensure smooth supply of electricity. “LG has directed to repair all the damaged transformers immediately along with 100 buffer stock of transformers are in place in Srinagar district, while around 230 electric poles are stored for winters as well to overcome the challenge,” he said.

He also said that there is sufficient stock available for smooth supply of electricity in the winter. “All transformer repair workshops have been activated and the staff is on duty with night shift duties. For snow clearance, mechanical engineering wing, SMC and R&B are fully prepared. The men and machinery required for snow clearance will be deployed as they are in readiness mode,” he said. (KNS)

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