New Delhi: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said all people above 45 years in Jammu and Kashmir will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this month.
According to a Personnel Ministry statement, the minister has been informed that with the Centre’s ‘free vaccine for all’ impetus to the countrywide vaccination drive from June 21, over 30 per cent of beneficiaries in the 18 to 45 years age group in Jammu and Kashmir would receive anti-coronavirus vaccines.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, reviewed the vaccination drive with the Jammu and Kashmir authorities at a nearly two-hour-long meeting held in the civil secretariat in Jammu.
He evaluated the vaccination targets achieved in the Union Territory so far and discussed the roadmap planned for the countrywide ‘free vaccine for all’ campaign beginning Monday.
The minister was informed that a target of over 76 per cent vaccination of the age group of 45 years and above has already been achieved in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and by June end full inoculation will be achieved.
Also, a target of around 50 per cent vaccination for the 18 to 45 years age group would be achieved by July end, he was informed.
Singh called for making the vaccination drive more hospitable and friendly by introducing separate waiting and holding zones and offering refreshments during the holding period of 30 minutes.
He also asked for extending the drive-in vaccination facility at a large scale.
While briefing Singh about Covid management in the Union Territory, the officers informed said every panchayat in Jammu and Kashmir has been provided with at least one isolation centre with five beds and also testing facilities.
In terms of the spread of the disease, out of 20 districts of the Union Territory, nine districts are in the green zone, two in the orange zone and nine more in the yellow zone, the statement said.
Singh appreciated the overall efforts by health authorities and said he was satisfied to note that after initial problems, the management and COVID care in government medical college, Jammu, are on track and things have improved after intervention from different quarters.
The initial issues and apprehensions during the peak of the second wave of COVID-19 and the lessons learnt have a special significance for all, particularly the authorities in Government Medical College, Jammu, he said.
The minister noted that during the peak of the second wave of COVID, the positivity rate was much higher in the Kashmir division and also in the eight northeastern states. In the Jammu division, even though the positivity rate was less, mortality was high, he said.
This, he said, should provide a scientific inference for all the concerned to take a cue that healthcare preparedness in the Jammu division requires further improvement.
Emphasising the importance of a vaccine for all, Singh said it is the responsibility of not only the government but also of the civil society to turn the vaccination drive into a mass campaign.
Giving all the credit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the pre-emptive decisions and steps taken by him, he noted that on the very first day when vaccination began in the country over six crore people had received the jabs which is more than the total population of many European countries.
“What is often not highlighted is that India under Modi has the distinction of having one of the fastest COVID vaccination drives in the world in spite of the constraints of a huge population of 135 crore and heterogeneous character of the nation,” Singh said.
He appreciated the Jammu and Kashmir administration for having come to terms with the challenge, as a result of which the parameters of COVID management in the Union Territory stand next only to Kerala.
Those who attended the review meeting included, Additional Chief Secretary in-charge Health and medical education Atal Dulloo, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Raghav Langar, Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu, Dr Shashi Soodan, Principal of Government Medical College, Srinagar Dr Shamia, Director General Family Welfare and Immunisation Dr Saleem Ur Rehman, Mission Director Choudhary Mohammad Yasin, Director Health Services, Jammu, Dr Renu Sharma and Director of Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather.