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Jammu & Kashmir: LG Sinha pushes for scaling up vaccination in districts with high positivity

Currently, aside from Jammu and Srinagar, where the first dose of vaccination was given to nearly 2,500 people, the vaccination for this age group in rest of the union territory is yet to take off.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
Updated: May 23, 2021 9:56:15 am
Jammu & Kashmir: LG Sinha pushes for scaling up vaccination in districts with high positivitySources said that of the 20 districts in J&K, only Jammu and Shopian have achieved 100 per cent vaccination with regard to the first dose among people in the above 45 age group. (PTI Photo)

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday took cognizance of the low vaccination rate in some parts of the Union Territory and “strictly directed” deputy commissioners (DCs) to scale it up in their respective districts.

“Rate of vaccination and testing, effective management of Covid Care Centres will be the parameters for monitoring performance of the officers,” he said while chairing a series of meetings with the Covid task force, DCs and Superintendents of Police.

He directed DCs to maximize testing for areas reporting high positivity rates, fix vaccination and testing targets for tehsildars and block development officers, share good practices and take comprehensive measures to bring down the positivity rate across districts, besides tracking the trend on a daily basis. DCs were also asked to prepare a plan to contain the spread besides taking prompt action on Covid-related issues and regularly brief the media.

While reviewing district-wise status of preparations being made to contain the spread in rural areas, Sinha set timelines for establishment of 5-bed covid care centres at the Panchayat level across Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). He further directed that far-flung areas should be prioritized for establishing these centres.

He instructed the Principal Secretary (Rural Development) to lay a comprehensive mechanism for monitoring operationalisation of Covid Care Centres in Panchayats.

“We are decentralizing the Covid management, which is essential for effective and efficient public health system,’’ Sinha said, adding that there is a need to increase the availability and accessibility of healthcare support system in remote areas.

Meanwhile, sources said that of the 20 districts in J&K, only Jammu and Shopian have achieved 100 per cent vaccination with regard to the first dose among people in the above 45 age group. They are followed by Samba, Ganderbal, Shopian (98 per cent) and Bandipora (73 per cent), sources said, adding the lowest 35 per cent vaccination has been done in Kupwara district.

The remaining 14 districts have given the first dose of vaccination among only 50-60 per cent population in above 45 years, they added.

The UT’s director general (immunisation), Dr Saleem ur Rehman, however, said that J&K was doing better with respect to vaccinating compared to the rest of the country. “Of the nearly 30 lakh population above 45 years, we have so far given the first dose of vaccination to nearly 19 lakh which comes to around 64 per cent of their population,’’ he said, adding that the national average is 32-33 per cent.

“Apart from this, we have covered all the health and frontline workers,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources said there were issues in vaccinating people in the 18-44 age group — which make up for 42 per cent of the nearly 1.40 crore population of the state.

Currently, aside from Jammu and Srinagar, where the first dose of vaccination was given to nearly 2,500 people, the vaccination for this age group in rest of the union territory is yet to take off.

A senior official attributed it to the short supply of vaccine to the UT, adding that against its capacity to vaccinate 1 lakh people daily, it got nearly 1.30 lakh doses in the last four days.

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