With a dip in vaccination and testing in Kashmir, the government has given directions to test and vaccinate all people visiting government and private hospitals across Kashmir Valley.
Director Health Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather told Outlook that he gave directions for testing people visiting hospitals district and tertiary level hospitals for Covid-19 and also for vaccinating them against the virus.
He said even though the number of Covid-19 positive cases have declined, the government will not lower the guard and testing, as well as vaccination, will continue.
The government has issued the directions following complaints that people are not turning up for the vaccination at the vaccination centres. In Jammu and Kashmir, health authorities are visiting villages and remote areas to vaccinate people. Officials in the health department say there is huge vaccine hesitancy in the old city of Srinagar.
“What better place to test and vaccinate people than the hospitals in districts and at tertiary level. We have included private hospitals in this new programme as well,” says an official.
The directorate of health is working with different private initiatives to test and vaccinate people. On Wednesday dozens of the transgender community members were vaccinated at the Sheri Kashmir Park here. “We organise such camps in different districts of the valley to motivate people to get vaccinated. We seek the help of the health authorities,” says Nadima Nazir Ali of KashmirCare group, which organise vaccination programmes. “People have some concerns about vaccination but when you organise camp near their village or localities, they come forward and get vaccinated,” she says.
Even as Covid-19 continues to infect people in J&K, many have started to step out of their homes without masks and assembling at different places. On Wednesday, 364 new Covid-19 cases, 49 from Jammu and 215 from Kashmir, were reported taking the total number of positive cases in J&K to 3,15,662. On Wednesday, seven Covid deaths were also reported; three from Jammu and four from Kashmir. So far 29 Mucormycosis cases were reported from J&K. At present, there are 4600 active positive cases in J&K.
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