Intensify Covid booster dose campaign on war-footing: Chief Secretary to officers

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Chief Secretary, Arun Kumar Mehta Monday laid emphasis on administering booster vaccination dose against COVID to the eligible population of Jammu and Kashmir on a war footing basis.

He passed on these directions while chairing a meeting to review the measures for containment of COVID-19 and monkeypox diseases in Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Mission Director, NHM, J-K, Director Finance, Health and Medical Education Department, Director, Health Services, Kashmir, OSD, Health and Medical Education Department and other officers.

Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education, Director SKIMS, Director General, Family Welfare, MCH and Immunization, All Principals of Government Medical Colleges of J-K, CMOs and other officers attended the meeting through video conferencing.

Reviewing the measures for COVID containment, CS directed the concerned officers to frame a comprehensive strategy to gear up their efforts and saturate the targeted groups of vulnerable population and organize systematic vaccination drives for prompt booster vaccination of the remaining segment.

He sought details about the number of eligible people to be administered booster doses and the number of people that have already received their doses.

Asserting that booster dose was essential for all eligibles, he said that the remaining population should be contacted and a time slot be fixed to administer doses to them within the set deadlines.

He also directed the concerned officers to commence an Information Education and Communication (IEC) campaign and inform people that the current variant of COVID has less mortality rate and precautions need to be taken without need to get scared unnecessarily. However, he said that we must not lower our guard under any circumstances and follow Covid Appropriate Behaviour.

He appealed people to wear masks and follow all SOPs that are being issued by the government from time to time to stem the spread of virus.

During the meeting, Director SKIMS gave a presentation and briefed the CS about the current status of COVID and the measures that are in place to stop the spread of virus.

He informed that only four COVID-19 positive patients are presently under observation at SKIMS and they are recovering well. He said that the current trend shows low COVID mortality but there is need to be prepared in all respects.

Chief Secretary also reviewed the measures for containment of monkeypox and said that we need to build on learnings from the management of Covid and take proactive and pre-emptive response.

To avoid any unnecessary scare among people, Chief Secretary directed for transparent, timely and accurate information dissemination and dispel misinformation and rumors. To raise community awareness among the vulnerable population, CS said that all schools and colleges should sensitize their students about the common symptoms of monkeypox, besides all infection control practices have to be followed in letter and spirit.

He also directed that any samples from suspected cases should be immediately sent to SKIMS for testing. (KNO)

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