Omicron threat: Admn reopens 500-bed DRDO hospital in Jammu

J & K’s health authorities have reopened the 500-bed DRDO hospital in Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu to cope with any eventuality that arises due to the new Omicron Covid variant.

“The hospital was put into operation as a precaution. More staff is sought as the need arises, ”said a health official.

The government has also ordered universal RTPCR testing for overseas travelers in addition to mandatory quarantine and genome sequencing of samples from patients who test positive.

Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta said: “We are well prepared for all eventualities. We never had any problems with beds or a lack of oxygen. We will deal with this situation as well. ”

Amid the threat of a new variant, Dr. Mehta also held a meeting of the Covid task force to review the public health response.

He has asked the division and district administrations to ensure universal testing of all foreign travelers to Jammu and Kashmir in view of the emergence of the new Omicron Covid variant.

He underlined the need to adhere to the established guidelines and test all incoming foreign travelers by international flights.

According to the guidelines, the travelers who tested negative are sent to a home quarantine for seven days and retested on the eighth day, while the Covid-positive patients are sent to institutional quarantine centers for 15 days and their samples for genome sequencing are sent to testing laboratories designated by the ICMR.

It was emphasized that disembarking international flights must comply with Covid-compliant behavior and established protocols and that a special Covid help desk will be set up immediately at Srinagar Airport.

The Disaster Management Secretary was also instructed to monitor the situation and submit a daily report for timely intervention by the relevant agency.

The public health department has been pressured to set up genome sequencing facilities at state medical colleges in Srinagar and Jammu to expedite the detection of Omicron variants and other mutations.

In addition, Budgam and Srinagar district administrations have been asked to set up state quarantine centers and consider further arrangements for paid institutional quarantine facilities to cope with any emergency situation.

The Department of Health and Medical Education has been asked to conduct an equipment audit to ensure the functionality of the Covid-related infrastructure, including dedicated hospitals, ventilators, oxygen-assisted beds and oxygen systems.

The department was instructed to ensure the readiness of manpower and machinery to handle a peak load of at least 7,500 patients per day and to maintain supplies of oxygen and medication.

Deputy commissioners have been directed to improve testing rate and contact tracing for positive patients in order to track infection progress and establish micro-containment zones at an early stage.

Additionally, they have been directed to reduce the number of daily reported cases through strict enforcement of Covid-apt behavior, SoPs and protocols, and micro-containment zones.

The other chief secretary Vivek Bhardwaj said: “We have already implemented strict surveillance systems at the airports and other access points including Lakhanpur – the gateway to J&K.”

“The RTPCR test is mandatory for all overseas travelers who come to J&K. We have also identified places for institutional quarantine and all arriving passengers with a travel history to affected countries will be monitored, ”he added.


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