STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: In a significant decision, government on Tuesday declared the GMC Jammu as a dedicated COVID hospital for Jammu province and asked the Administrative Secretary Health Department and the Principal of the GMC to ensure that the facility would be readied for the purpose by Wednesday evening. The decision came at an emergent meeting of the Administrative Council, chaired by Lt Governor G. C Murmu. The meeting reviewed the steps being taken to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. Advisors to Lt. Governor, Kewal Kumar Sharma, Farooq Khan and Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam; Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo; Principal Secretary to Lt. Governor, Bipul Pathak and Principal Secretary, Planning & Development & Information, Rohit Kansal were present in the meeting. The Council also noted that there were a number of underserved areas facing an acute shortage of doctors and to mitigate their problems, accorded approval to the hiring of retired doctors against available vacancies for one year for emergency services there. The meeting directed the Health department to review the availability of all equipment including ventilators and procure additional equipments as required on a war footing. The meeting also reviewed the operation of the decision of the administration to seal the interstate borders with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh UT. It issued instructions to the Divisional Commissioners and Police administration to ensure that the directions in this regard be implemented strictly on ground. Regarding inter district operations, the council directed that all movement be strictly restricted and regulated. However, it advised the administration to ensure that a smooth system of passes be operationalised so that essential supplies and services would continue uninterrupted. In this connection, it also issued instructions to the Civil Supplies department to closely monitor the availability and continuous replenishment of all essential commodities. In view of the restrictions on the movement of traffic on the highways, the SRTC was directed to run Jammu-Srinagar and inter district services as required. It was also decided that passes for vehicles of essential services personnel shall be issued as required. The meeting also directed the SRTC and State Motor Garages to undertake fumigation of their vehicles to ensure all cleanliness of their fleets and prevent any spread of infection.
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