New Delhi: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday held a comprehensive COVID review meeting with all the 20 district magistrates of Jammu and Kashmir and asked them to revive the free teleconsultation facility in a big way for coronavirus patients in home isolation.
He said, guidelines already exist for empanelment of recognised doctors for teleconsultation on a shift wise basis and this will go a long way in reducing the burden of patients on district hospitals through indiscriminate referral system.
The minister also asked the district chiefs to rope in NGOs and youth groups, who have come forward in providing free medical consultation on phone, a statement issued by the personnel ministry said.
The move will also negate the self-styled remedies being forwarded on social media to fight the pandemic, he said.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, has directed the district collectors to set up COVID war rooms and enlist the support of elected representatives, doctors and members of civil society and share the positive news and best practices of COVID management with the media at regular intervals.
He asked the collectors to undertake people-friendly vaccination drive on a mission mode by involving elected representatives, religious heads and civil society at large.
Singh said, the community participation will also help in overcoming vaccine hesitancy, if any, through mass awareness campaigns.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent interactions with state and district officials, he said, continuous efforts are being made to increase the supply of COVID-19 vaccines on a very large scale.
Singh said, all the states and union territories will get a schedule of the next 15 days, so that they can prioritise the vaccination drive in each district, the statement said.
Responding to some of the issues flagged by the district magistrates, he advised that post-graduate and final year undergraduate medicine students and nursing staff may be engaged at government medical colleges and other associated hospitals to fight the problem of lack of human resource.
Singh also called for short term training programme for operation of ventilators by recruiting retired doctors and enrolling medical students till the pandemic is over.
The minister said he has been in regular touch with the administration in different districts as well as medical authorities of all government medical colleges in both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir including the Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS), Soura and all the bottlenecks are being fixed on a day-to-day basis.
District collectors of Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Bandipora, Poonch, Rajouri, Pulwama, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua, Shopian, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Reasi, Samba, Kulgam, Kishtwar, Ramban, Badgam and Anantnag joined the video meeting on COVID-19 review and future preparedness, it said.
All the district officials have apprised the minister that there is a continued plateauing in daily new COVID-19 cases over the past few days, the statement said.
However, Singh cautioned them that the grip should not be loosened till the battle against the pandemic is won across the country.