LG Sinha calls COVID-19 vaccination drive ‘historic’


JAMMU, Jan 16: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday called the vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus as 'historic', and said that the Union Territory is working to successfully carry out its first phase.
"This is a historic day. We are working to successfully carry out the first phase of the vaccination drive within the deadline and then complete the second phase to make a healthy Jammu and Kashmir," Sinha said. The LG had paid a visit to healthcare workers at the Jammu Medical College and Hospital (JMCH) where the vaccination process is underway.
A sanitation worker who was among the first to receive the vaccine expressed relief after receiving the first shot, saying that they had faced several hardships during the pandemic.
"We faced several hardships while performing Covid-19 duties during the pandemic. I didn't go home for six to seven months out of fear that I would expose my family to the infection. The vaccine has brought us hope," said a sanitation worker.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched India's vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus via video conferencing.
Billed as the world's largest vaccination program, covering the entire length and breadth of the country, the drive aims to first vaccinate millions of its healthcare and frontline workers and reach an estimated 3 crore people by the end of its first phase.
Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday received the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine, "Covishield" from Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune.
As many as 1,46,500 doses of the Covishield vaccine have been received out of which 79,000 are for the Kashmir division and 67,500 are for the Jammu division.
The vaccine is being stored at the Divisional cold chain stores at Jammu and Kashmir divisions from where it will be distributed to all the districts maintaining the cold storage at all levels.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Governor recalled that COVID-19 pandemic was a big challenge for humanity and governments alike, and to steer out of this challenge was an uphill task, adding that the Coronavirus vaccine is only possible due to the untiring efforts of doctors, medical experts, scientists, and researchers.
Lt Governor informed that the vaccination would be given in three phases covering Health Care Workers followed by frontline workers (security forces, police, and other defense personnel) and elderly people in the initial phases.
Lt Governor urged people to remain vigilant and follow all Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) even after taking COVID -19 vaccine shots, with zero room for complacence until 14 days after the second dose is administered to them.
Lt Governor termed the launch of vaccine for coronavirus eradication as a 'golden chapter in India's history' and said that the day is an important event that would be remembered for generations to come.
While detailing about the vaccination programme, Lt Governor said the government has identified 1294 private and 1177 government facilities along with 5400 vaccinators and 14,481 potential vaccinators across J&K. Besides, he said maintaining harmonized protocol, training, data management system, divisional and district level control rooms, call centers, the administration has also conducted two dry runs of Covid vaccine and 1053 session sites have also been identified for the smooth vaccination process.
Giving further details about the vaccination drive, he said that in J&K, 28 lakh have been identified who will be given Covid vaccine in the first and second phase on priority.
Lauding the efforts of corona warriors, frontline workers, and other stakeholders, he appreciated their dedication and professional work ethics during the management of COVID-19 pandemic, and thanked them for braving difficult situations by endangering their own lives to save others'.
He said due to the untiring efforts of healthcare workers, J&K has performed better than many states and UTs of the country in terms of Covid management.
While complimenting the health workers, he said that a year ago, the scenario was different but today the situation is different as it is now, primarily due to the tireless efforts of COVID-19 warriors, more particularly that of medics and paramedics that gave us the breather.
Whenever there is mention of the pre-pandemic and post-pandemic period, the services of our frontline workers and corona warriors would be written in golden words, he said.
He observed that JK has only 2041 active cases with a recovery rate of 96.80 percent due to the dedication and hard work of health care workers.
He also thanked the people for their patience and said they extended great cooperation with administration during lockdown, resulting in preventing the spread of the pandemic to a large extent.
Also, Lt Governor urged the people not to fall prey to the propaganda during the vaccination drive, "as there will be efforts to spread rumors and doubts", and asked people to play their part to dispel any kind of misinformation regarding the vaccine.
Terming the testing as a game-changer, Lt Governor maintained that both tracing and testing were pivotal in restricting the spread, besides it also provided us an opportunity to enhance our capacity in the health sector exponentially.
He said that through 100% testing of inhabitants in containment zones, Swasthaya Nidhi app, intensive door-to-door health care survey, 24x7 call centres, and Sero-Survey, J&K contained the Coronavirus decisively.
Today when we are beginning the vaccination drive, it is important to mention here that from one testing lab, we have established infrastructure of 11 labs authorized by ICMR, 17 dedicated covid hospitals, 5708 Oxygen Supported Beds along with more than 1 crore reusable masks, 942 ventilators, and 442 ICU beds, Lt Governor said.
He said that indomitable will, better medical infrastructure, and a dedicated team helped to fight against the pandemic and saved many lives. The dedication exhibited during the last 10 months by healthcare workers and people alike is worth praising. With Dedicated Covid hospitals, testing labs, machinery, equipment, oxygen generation facilities, ventilators, healthcare facilities reached pinnacle as never seen before, Lt Governor maintained.

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