New Delhi: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said the role of District Development Council (DDC) and municipal council chiefs is imperative in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in Jammu and Kashmir.
While interacting with DDC chairpersons and municipal council presidents of the union territory’s Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency, the minister asked them to regularly monitor Covid-related facilities in their respective districts and areas.
He said that their role as elected representatives becomes imperative in tackling the pandemic in their respective constituencies, a statement issued by the personnel ministry said.
During the interaction, Singh said that elected DDC representatives, having legitimate authority, can play a pivotal role during the pandemic by using their resources and authority to live up to the expectations of the people.
He also impressed upon them to conduct regular meetings with deputy commissioners and district health officials to bring to their notice important requirements related to Covid management, be it ventilators or oxygen concentrators.
The Union minister of state for personnel, during the interaction, stressed on reviving free ‘tele-consultation’ facilities for rural and far-flung areas, for which guidelines already exist for empanelment of recognised doctors on a shift-wise basis.
This will reduce the burden of patients at district hospitals, he said.
While appreciating the efforts of frontline workers with regard to the vaccination drive in the union territory, Singh said on an average, according to recent statistics available, more than 62 per cent vaccination has been done in Jammu and Kashmir which is much higher than the rest of the country.
He emphasised that DDC chairpersons can play an important role in the vaccination drive by establishing inoculation centres at the panchayat level to assist locally and administratively in it.
The elected representatives must involve themselves in Covid care centres established at the panchayat level to boost the healthcare system and confidence among patients admitted there, the statement said.
The minister said for the last many days, COVID-19 fatality and positivity has decreased considerably, which is a good sign, and added that this can boost the confidence of people with regard to healthcare facilities that have been revamped up across the union territory.
Responding to concerns raised by the DDC chairpersons about the treatment of non-Covid critical patients, mainly cancer patients requiring chemotherapy and kidney patients requiring dialysis, he said that efforts are being made to earmark beds for such patients at government medical colleges and other associated hospitals.
The DDC chairpersons and municipal council presidents, who participated in the interaction, thanked the Union minister for sending Covid-related material from his personal resources for the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency and for establishing oxygen plants wherever required, the statement said.
They also thanked him for allocating Rs 2.5 crore from his MP fund for COVID-19 facilities in the constituency, it said.
The DDC chairpersons acknowledged that after the minister’s intervention, there is now sufficient oxygen supply in hospitals and the COVID-19 beds have also been increased, the statement said.