Jammu, Dec 20: Though Jammu region, so far, has not reported any case of new COVID variant (JN.1) yet the preparations, as a precautionary mode amid concern over its surge in some states, have been intensified with a provision of 100 isolation beds in the Paediatrics and Government Medical College Hospital Jammu.
“New variant is more infective though less fatal but that does not allow us to lower our guard, hence all desired preparations are underway as per the advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry,” Dr Ashutosh Gupta, Principal Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu told Greater Kashmir.
“Emphasis is to ramp up testing so we have increased RT PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT). Immediate testing is to be conducted in case of any patient with symptoms of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI),” he informed.
“So far around 3000 cases of new COVID variant JN.1 have been reported across the country. 2000 cases have been reported in Kerala, besides Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa. Most of the cases received are of mild nature. In any case, this has raised concern and necessitated the preparations to deal with any situation,” he said.
He said that earlier in the day, J&K health authorities participated in a meeting convened by the Government of India where directions were issued to enhance testing and take stock of availability of oxygen supply.
“All necessary medicines are available and an advisory has been issued to wear masks in congested places. So, with focus on surveillance, all logistics are being checked and taken care of – to ensure readiness and operational preparedness,” Dr Ashutosh said.
In SMGS also, a designated COVID ward is being set up with all desired paraphernalia, including testing lab, oxygen plant, concentrators etc.
Earlier in the day, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare had chaired a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in India and preparedness of public health system for surveillance, containment and management of COVID-19 in view of the recent spike in its cases in some states.
Underlying and reiterating that COVID was not over yet, he had requested states to monitor emerging evidence of COVID-19 cases, symptoms and case severity to plan appropriate public health responses.