STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu today called for universal usage of masks to contain the spread of coronavirus in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. He was chairing a high level meeting of Administrative Secretaries at Raj Bhavan to review the efforts of the Government for management, containment and prevention of COVID-19. Today’s meeting was latest in the series of regular assessment of efforts of various departments and evolving new strategies in wake of the emerging situation on ground. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Arun Kumar Mehta, Financial Commissioner, Finance Department; Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education; Bipul Pathak, Principal Secretary to Lieutenant Governor; besides Administrative Secretaries of various Departments participated in the deliberations. The meeting was informed that the health department has sufficient stock of protective equipments including masks for distribution among frontline workers and efforts are being made to scale up the production by involving Self Help Groups (SHGs) and private entrepreneurs locally. Further, it was decided that as a preventive measure, the Government shall facilitate the availability of masks for all the people in the UT. The Lt Governor outlined that so far the UT has been able to control the spread of virus due to pro-active participation of people across J&K; however a sustained awareness campaign among the people across the UT is imperative to bring about a behavioral change in the society while breaking the chain of spread. The Lt Governor directed for involving religious/social leaders, PRIs and Urban Local Bodies functionaries to facilitate awareness and encourage people to take ayurvedic immunity boosters for self care during the COVID-19 crisis. The Lt Governor directed the Housing and Urban Development Department to install decontamination tunnels across all the hospitals on priority and other important public places with high footfall eventually. He also insisted for carrying out massive fumigation and sanitation drives across the UT. In an effort to break the chain, the Lt Governor asked for intensifying contact tracing campaign especially of people who had recently attended a religious congregation at Delhi. He directed for conducting 100 percent testing of such people and their contacts to control the spread of corona virus in J&K. While discussing the importance of agriculture and horticulture sector, the Lt Governor directed to ensure that industrial units involved in manufacturing activities of seed, fertilizer, cattle feed etc. are allowed to function. He also directed the officers to ensure smooth transportation of essential commodities, especially perishable goods across and outside the UT. With regard to disbursement of the relief package among beneficiaries, the Lt Governor directed for issuing all necessary instructions to the banks to ensure smooth disbursement of DBT amount, cash flow in ATMs and maintaining social distancing norms in all their premises. The Lt Governor called for effective mobilization of volunteers and preparing database of such people so that they may be provided basic health training before deploying them in COVID-19 mitigation measures. The Lt Governor stressed on high importance of mapping all the old age homes, juvenile homes and orphanages so as to provide them with sustained supply of ration and other provisions, besides establishing help-lines and conducting health checkups on regular basis. The Lt Governor further, asked the officers to send a team of doctors for regular checkup of migrant labourers putting up in various camps. Besides, the Labour Department was directed to prepare database of all the labourers staying in the camps so that their movement after the lockdown restrictions be facilitated. He called upon the officers for putting in enthusiastic and synchronized efforts at all levels of the administration to ensure optimum utilization of resources while mitigating the threat of coronavirus in the UT.
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