Pulwama, Apr 15: Despite an increase in the number of COVID cases seen in the last few days the rate of hospitalisation among infected is comparatively low, said Bhupinder Kumar, Secretary Health and Medical Education Department, on Saturday.
He was talking to the media here at Government Boys Degree College in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on the sides of a felicitation programme for healthcare functionaries of district Pulwama for exemplary achievements in Tuberculosis elimination programme.
“Like other parts of the country an increase in the number of COVID cases has been seen in the last few days,” he said, adding that it has also been observed that the rate of hospitalisation is comparatively low and is not increasing at the rate new cases are reported.
He said that doctors say that patients infected by the new COVID variant, XBB1.16, which is prevalent in the community, report no sickness.
He said that despite all this the whole health care system is readying itself to tackle any situation.
“ We are working on readying our hospitals, ensuring functionality of oxygen plants, ensuring availability of medicine and upgrading testing facilities,” he said.
He added that they held a two day COVID mock drill on 10 and 11 April, 2023.
He elaborated that a genome sequencing facility has been started at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences ( SKIMS) Srinagar which helps in identification of new variants of COVID prevalent in the community.
He said that people need not to panic.
“The whole health care system and the administration is fully prepared to tackle with COVID,” he said, appealing that people who have influenza-like symptoms should report to the hospital.
He also informed that the Health Department has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring efficient health care facilities for Amarnath pilgrims this year.
‘Kashmir gradually moving towards TB elimination’
Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Bhupinder Kumar, today presided over a felicitation ceremony held to recognize outstanding performance of Pulwama district in health sector.
On the occasion, the participants took an oath against drug abuse.
Various speakers emphasized the need to raise awareness about the ill-effects of drug abuse and help the affected people reach de-addiction centres. They appealed to the gathering, especially the youth, to unite and fight against drug addiction, terming the menace as one of the stumbling blocks for India to achieve its full potential.
On the occasion, Bhupinder Kumar expressed happiness over the fact that recently Pulwama has been declared as TB free district. He said that the entire Kashmir division is gradually moving towards Tuberculosis (TB) elimination. “TB incidences are declining in Kashmir. We will achieve TB elimination by 2025 intensified and active case finding and case screening is being done regularly,” he added.
He appreciated the untiring efforts of health employees in achieving these significant landmarks. He lauded the district administration led by Baseer-Ul-Haq Choudhary for his unparalleled support and guidance.
Secretary said that the department has done an extremely wonderful job in achieving brilliant results during the last few years in TB elimination. He praised the work of State Tuberculosis Officer, Chief Medical Officers Pulwama and Shopian, District Tuberculosis Officers, Block Medical Officers and most importantly the outstanding role of the ground staff.
He said that twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam were declared TB free recently, while twin districts of Srinagar and Ganderbal received gold Medals.
Hailing the achievements of Director Health Services, Secretary Health said that it has been made possible only by coordinated efforts of the department under the dedicated work of Doctors, paramedical staff and all the field workers.
Secretary lauded their tireless work during the Covid-19 pandemic and in TB elimination. He said that the fight against Covid and TB was almost impossible without the work of health workers while the support of allied departments was paramount. He also complimented anti-TB medical personnel, Pulwama for achieving the target in two years ahead of the National target.
On the occasion, Deputy Commissioner said that only with the strenuous efforts of Health society Pulwama and its associated officers/officials/ workers, health sector is witnessing reformation of the district's health sector which is being acknowledged at national level as the District received back to back recognition for TB free and Kayakalp awards.