A health worker collects a nasal sample from a man for Covid-19 test in Jammu (PTI)
A health worker collects a nasal sample from a man for Covid-19 test in Jammu (PTI)

‘67% health, 59% frontline workers vaccinated in JK’

Gauba is said to have told officials of all states and union territories to expedite vaccination of priority groups and closely monitor the trajectory of Covid infections to prevent a surge in cases.
By Ashiq Hussain
PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 02:29 AM IST

Jammu and Kashmir has vaccinated 2/3rd of its healthcare workers while 59% of the other frontline workers from security, revenue and municipalities have been given the jabs, state officials told cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba in a high-level review meeting on Saturday.

A government spokesman said J&K chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam along with chief secretaries of other states participated in the meeting and it was informed that in J&K, 67% of healthcare workers and 59% of frontline workers have been vaccinated in the initial stages of the vaccine roll-out. Further, arrangements are in place to incorporate the third prioritised group in the upcoming days.

Gauba is said to have told officials of all states and union territories to expedite vaccination of priority groups and closely monitor the trajectory of Covid infections to prevent a surge in cases.

Official says 40% surge in weekly cases, data indicates otherwise

Subrahmanyan informed the meeting that Jammu and Kashmir is conducting mandatory tests on all incoming travellers via roadways, railways, and airways.

He informed that J&K saw a 40% surge in weekly cases with travellers making for 2/3rd of all the positive cases.“In Srinagar district alone, 50% of the recorded positive cases were travellers,” he said.

The government spokesman did not state which week the chief secretary was referring to and to which it was comparing.

However when HT compiled the daily Covid-19 data provided by the government for the month of February, it found that the surge was not 40% but only around 21%. The data reveals that the UT recorded 403 cases in the first week of February, 432 cases in the second week, 526 cases in third week and 574 cases in the last week. In terms of percentage, the surge was 7% from the first week to second, 21% from the second week to third and nine percent from third to fourth week.

Dr Qazi Haroon, state immunisation officer and officer on special duty who is assisting the government in Covid mitigation efforts, did not respond to calls from HT. Calls to director health, Kashmir, Samir Mattoo did not get through.

The government spokesman said chief secretary Subrahmanyan had informed the cabinet secretary that through concerted efforts, the government is consistently monitoring the Covid trajectory among its local population with a special focus on districts with an increased tourist footfall.

Currently, the bed occupancy in the designated Covid hospitals is less than 4% with approximately 100 patients admitted to health care institutes that have been prepped to accommodate 3, 000 patients. “In the given scenario, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is by and large comfortable and under control,” said Subrahmanyam.

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