The alarming rise in Covid cases in Jammu and Kashmir, with more than 49,000 cases and nearly 850 deaths, has infused fear among people as they find that the heathcare facilities are far short of the official claim that there is full preparedness in this regard.
Officials maintain that the situation is “under control”.
For the past few days, J&K has recorded more than 1,000 cases , with deaths in double digits . This has sent alarm bells ringing all across as hospitals are overflowing with patients and many being turned away because of the absence of beds, and shortage of the requisite medical care.
There is an alleged bureaucratic stranglehold over the whole system with health experts having been relegated to the background. Health experts say the situation is “alarming” and they are unsure as to how it would be tackled with the number of cases piling up beyond their imagination.
The hospitals are having no beds for patients. Oxygen cylinders and ventilators are in short supply.
A senior official, who tested positive undergoing treatment at a hospital, commented on the nature of the no hand-holding attitude of the authorities and treatment as a “theatre of the absurd”.
There is a grumble that bureaucrats are just producing the figures and claims that have lost all the power to evoke credibility.
Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Atal Dulloo dismissed the situation being alarming as he claimed that the situation was “under control”. “We had already anticipated the rise in the number of cases in the Jammu division,” he told The Tribune in response to questions on the situation in J&K. He credited the detection of the cases to the 100 per cent rapid antigen test in a phased manner.
“We are fully prepared to deal with the cases as the number of isolation beds in the Covid Healthcare Institution has been increased and the lab testing facility in J&K has also been increased.”
Duloo said an apex panel was formed to help the government in controlling the disease, refuting the charge that only bureaucrats were calling the shots. “A few complaints were received and those were looked into. The testing was 100 per cent at the health centres managed by the Health and Medical Education Department.”
608 ventilators installed
Hundred ventilators have been procured by UT government and 908 ventilators have been sanctioned by the MoHFW, GoI, to J&K, out of which 872 have reached different sites in both divisions and 608 have been installed. However, at present not even 1% of ventilators are being utilised for treatment of the patients.
Since the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has provided machinery, equipment, lab-testing kits, PPE kits and other logistics free of cost in the UT and various arrangements for the treatment of virus patients have been made at different levels, it will be not possible to give the exact figures of the expenditure.