Srinagar: Asserting that apprehensions about some people not disclosing actual travel history poses serious threat, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said the district administration is putting in place elaborate arrangements as part of preparedness to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.
Dr Shahid urged people to voluntary report these travel history at the airport.
Meanwhile, District administration Baramulla has established round-the-clock helpline to disseminate awareness among the people about the novel coronavirus.
“There are apprehensions about some people not disclosing actual travel history which makes the job cumbersome and poses serious threat. Pl spread the word for voluntary reporting. Regular announcement done at airport,” Dr Shahid wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
An official said that the administration has beefed up screening arrangements at the airport, where five help-desks have been set up with strengthened support staff. All arrivals, including international and domestic travellers, are being screened before allowing them to proceed to their respective destinations,” he said.
He said special announcements and outreach are being made at the airport in order to ensure that no one escapes the screening process. “Similar arrangements are being made at the railway station to identify those requiring screening and quarantining,” he said.
The suspected cases will be shifted to quarantine facilities which have been set up across the district. These facilities have been set up at different private hospitals and nursing homes in addition to healthcare centres located in different health zones of the district.
The private hospitals and nursing homes where quarantine facilities have been established include Noora Hospital at HMT, Khyber Hospital at Khayam, Kidney Hospital at Sonwar, Ramzana Hospital at Gogji Bagh, Modern Hospital at Rajbagh, Sheikh ul Alam Hospital at Karan Nagar, Mubarik Hospital at Hyderpora, Florence Hospital at Chanpora, Shifa Medical Centre at Magarmal Bagh, Ahmad Hospital at Nowgam, Star Hospital at Nowgam and New City Hospital at Tengpora.
Other healthcare facilities where quarantine facilities have been set include MMC Sanatnagar, PHC Chanpora, MMC Noorbagh, JLNM Hospital Rainawari and Trauma Hospital Lawaypora.
Twelve hotels located at two different areas have also been earmarked as quarantine facilities to be used if required.
The administration has also set up isolation facilities where the affected or positive cases will be admitted for treatment. These have been set up at SKIMS Soura, SMHS, CD Hospital and SKIMS Bemina.
The government has also made a testing facility available at SKIMS Soura. The facility which was made operational today will be a significant help as it will help detect cases quickly and help in overall assessment of the health situation.
In addition to these arrangements the administration has constituted tens of surveillance teams comprising officials from different departments to help tackle the situation quickly and effectively. Besides other tasks these teams will be tasked with finding out suspected cases and reporting them to health authorities for testing and treatment if required.
On the other hand the health department has activated rapid response teams – one in each health zone of the district – across the district. These teams will be monitoring the situation round-the-clock and taking measures to prevent and control the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile a central room has been established at DC Office Srinagar to coordinate this elaborate response mechanism that has been put in place in the district. This control room – which can be contacted at 01942457543 and 01942457552 helpline numbers – will be available round-the-clock.
Dr Shahid, who is personally monitoring all these efforts, visited some of these facilities to inspect arrangements on Monday. He also chaired two meetings to sensitise the concerned officials and review the arrangements being made in the district in regard to preparedness for preventing spread of the pathogen in the district.
He said response mechanism to deal with this challenge has been activated across the district adding these arrangements put in place in the district are all about prevention and must not lead to panic. He appealed for public cooperation in the matter while emphasising the importance of self-reporting and quarantining to prevent its spread. He also appealed to the media to report accurately and avoid misinformation that creates panic.
It should be noted that the administration is also actively conducting awareness campaigns through different mediums to help the general public be aware about precautions that need following to prevent spread or acquisition of the disease. Last week the administration in the district also reached out to mosques and shrines in the district.
Meanwhile inspection drives are underway across the district to check availability and pricing of personal protective equipment. Chemists and other such stores were inspected and fined across all seven tehsils of the district under strict instructions of the DC.
The official said that a helpline shall work under the supervision of Medical Superintendent Associated Hospital Baramulla Dr Syed Masood with the contact numbers 7006231150 besides having Dr Zulfikar Nabi with the contact number 9419038139 as the second member. “General public has been asked to contact on the aforementioned numbers in case of any enquiry about the coronavirus,” he said.
The Deputy Commissioner Baramulla also established 24×7 control rooms at different levels. At district level, various experts have been designated to assist people in case of any exigency.
The experts can be contacted on rotational basis with first four from 0900 hrs to 1500 hrs while the later ones from 1500 hrs to 0900 hrs. People have been asked to contact on these numbers strictly as per the roaster schedule. The control room shall work under the supervision of Medical Superintendent Associated Hospital Baramulla Dr Syed Masood.