Spike in COVID cases; Centre rushes team to Jammu to help admin, medical staff

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Jammu: Taking note of the continued spike in number of Covid-19 cases across Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the Central Government on Friday deputed a team of experts to examine the reasons for the surge and also to assist UT Government in pandemiccontrol and containment measures.

Union Minister of State in the PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, took to Twitter on Friday saying: “Central team of experts deputed to visit GMC and other health institutions in #Jammu in view of #COVID surge, Local authorities are advised to frankly point constraints faced by them without mincing words, so that Centre can optimally step in to assist them.”

The three member team will comprise members from Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PGIMER) and Delhi’s National Centre of Disease Control.

According to a letter from the Union Health Ministry’s Disaster Management Cell, the team comprises Dr Pranay Verma, Joint Director Epidemiology Division NCDC, Delhi; Dr Mahesh Waghmare, Microbiology, NCDC Delhi; and Dr Navneet Sharma, Professor Department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER Chandigarh.

“The team shall undertake the visit immediately, visit hotspot areas, ascertain reasons for surge in Covid-19 cases and brief the Chief Administrator about key findings, recommendations and the measures to be taken,” it said.

On Thursday, Minister Singh had called a meeting of principals of government medical colleges and heads of other health institutions in J&K on Thursday — the second meeting over two days — to review the COVID situation in the UT. During the meeting, he was informed by several participants that a sizeable number of ventilators supplied to them through the PM CARES fund last year have not been installed so far.