Monday, 20 September, 2021

Tale of two Kashmirs: Contrast in managing COVID – II

Indian Army a helping hand

In a bid to ensure that no one is left out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, a team of Indian Army and health workers reached Kerani village, the last village near the Line of Control (LoC), crossing the difficult h illy terrains of the region and flowing rivers on foot, to conduct door-to-door inoculation.

The Indian Army is collaborating with the Union Territory administration to vaccinate people living in far-flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

Captain Sadik Arman, an Army doctor, said that the entire population of the Kerani village has been vaccinated with the first dose. Indian Army has also been conducting a lot of awareness campaigns regarding the COVID-19 safety protocols and the vaccination. Lauding the initiative, residents of Kerani village expressed gratitude to the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir government for the drive.

An Army battalion has also started a training programme for volunteers on the management of Covid-19 cases. On completion of the training, they will be placed at the Covid care facility in a government school in the village. Additionally, another Covid care facility will be set up in the village under the aegis of the Indian Army’s Romeo Force.

The training is for seven days. A series of talks and demonstrations during the week will help volunteers understand various aspects related to handling and providing assistance to asymptomatic Covid patients.

The training programme is being led by Indian Army doctors virtually. After the programme, the locals will be able to provide basic medical assistance to those suffering from Covid in remote areas where the medical infrastructure is inadequate.

The topics being covered during the training include management of patients, provision of basic medication and food supplements as per medical advice, oxygen support, observation of vital signs and other administrative issues.

 The villagers, especially youngsters, are participating with a lot of enthusiasm. They expressed their gratitude to the Indian Army for its outreach and humanitarian assistance.


Parameters best in-country

The parameters of Covid-19 management in Jammu and Kashmir stand next only to Kerala in the countrywide comparative analysis. Every Panchayat in J&K had been provided with at least one Covid Isolation Centre with 5 beds and also the availability of testing facilities. In addition, out of 20 districts of J&K, nine districts were in the Green Zone, two in the Orange Zone and nine in the Yellow Zone.

J&K is emerging as a role model amongst entities with large territorial areas in conducting targeted testing, stratified vaccination and providing grass root-level medical care. J&K’s model has assisted the Union Territory in bringing down COVID caseload & related deaths per million population.

Even the Bombay High Court recently asked the central government to adopt the door-to-door vaccination model carried out successfully by J&K and Kerala to cover 100 per cent population.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni noted that it was unable to understand what the Centre's problem was in starting door-to-door vaccination when Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala were already carrying out such drives.

The Court passed these remarks while hearing public interest litigation filed by advocates Dhruti Kapadia and Kunal Tiwari, seeking door-to-door vaccination for senior citizens above the age of 75 and persons who are specially abled, wheelchair-bound, or bedridden.

"Whether the National COVID-19 strategy/policy, which does not specifically permit "door-to-door" vaccination of elderly and physically disabled citizens, can be deviated from by individual State Governments and "door-to-door" vaccination introduced by them without receiving a green signal in this behalf from the Government of India", the Court asked the Centre.

Launched last month, the J&K government's door-to-door vaccination drive has yielded encouraging results. Many districts of J&K have achieved the target of 100 percent vaccination in the age group of 45 years and above.

Mobile teams of health departments have been reaching even remotest and inaccessible areas to ensure 100 per cent vaccination of the people.

J&K's Weyan is the first village in India to vaccinate all above 18 years of age.

A remote hamlet in the Bandipora district of J&K has become the first village in India to vaccinate all of its adult population. With the strenuous efforts of health workers, Weyhan shot to national fame by vaccinating all above the age of 18 years. The village is located only 28 km away from Bandipora district headquarters, but a distance of 18 km has to be covered by foot as there is no motorable road.

There is no internet access in the village. So, the residents couldn't get appointments for vaccination like the way people in urban areas do.




(Author is Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and a Geo Political Analyst)


Source: Rising Kashmir