Ladakh seeks priority in COVID-19 vaccination due to winter

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Leh, November 21: UT government on Saturday asked the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare to prioritize Ladakh in the first phase of distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in view of the winters.

The appeal came at the first state level meeting chaired by UT Lt Governor’s Advisor Umang Narula to review the status of infrastructure and logistics required for introduction of COVID-19 vaccination in Ldakh as per the established guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry.

Ladakh UT’s Commissioner/Secretary Health and Medical Education, Rigzian Sampheal, Director Health Services, Ladakh Dr. Phunsog Angchuk, State Nodal Officer, Immunization (SIO) Dr. Tashi Namgyal, and Chief Medical Officer Leh Dr. Motup Dorje attended the meeting. Rigzian Sampheal gave a detailed presentation of the available manpower, logistics and facilities including cold-chain storage, transport facilities and vaccinators and also appraised the chair of certain additional requirements of facilities which needs to be arranged for facilitating the Health Department in making both districts Leh and Kargil ready for vaccine rollout.

The Advisor directed the officers to make a formal request to the Ministry of H&FW to prioritize Ladakh UT in the first phase of arrangements keeping in view the limited period of road connectivity left before the onset of winters in the area. The chair also impressed upon the officers to have sufficient cold chain storage facilities at each Health Centre with ensured power supply. The chair further directed the officers to work in close coordination and to make timely review with all the stakeholders to ensure the smooth rollout of the vaccine in each and every part of the UT.

Later, the Commissioner/Secretary Health and Medical Education Ladakh convened a follow-up meeting with the Health Officials with regard to the effective implementation of the directions issued by the Advisor and guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.