Prelude Conference on “Management of Pandemics”
Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) JK Branch organized a Prelude Conference on “Management of Pandemics”. Dr Pawan Kotwal (IAS), Principal Secretary, Revenue, Government of Jammu & Kashmir and also Administrative Coordinator for all non-treatment issues at Hospitals; Dr. Yashpal Sharma, Managing Director, J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited and Director (Coordination), New Medical Colleges, J&K; and Dr. Arun Sharma, Medical Superintendent Super Specialty Hospital & (Maternity) Designated COVID Hospital Gandhinagar, Govt Medical College Jammu were the key resource persons. While speaking during the conference, Dr Pawan Kotwal gave an optimistic perspective with respect to management of pandemics in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir. He said that the doctors and other staff in a span of 6-8 months have learned exponentially about the various challenges and strategies to combat the pandemic. He further informed that the government has taken adequate measures to improve the health infrastructure & facilities across various hospitals across the UT to combat this virus. His strong advocated the need of wearing of masks, washing hands and physical distancing till the time the vaccine is made available. Dr. Yash Pal Sharma in his address said that the Government of Jammu & Kashmir has converted this challenge of pandemic into an opportunity to strengthen its Health Care Institutions to a great extent, which will go a long way in future management of patients and such disasters. Despite various challenges faced during the initial period, the health care infrastructure for management of COVID patients / suspects was improved by establishing 22,644 Isolation beds, 442 ICU beds and 5553 Oxygen supported beds in Category-I, II & III hospitals / COVID Care Centres. Besides this, 1,053 Ventilators were also provided to the health care institutions out of which 850 ventilators were provided under PM CARES. He informed that as on date, the bed occupancy is 23% and 33% in Jammu Division and Kashmir Division respectively in Tertiary Care Hospitals indicating that the UT has enough facility to combat the pandemic He further informed that the government has sanctioned Oxygen generation plants, Manifolds and medical gas pipelines for all associated hospitals of GMCs (Old & New), with the financial implication of Rs. 212 Cr., 30 CHC / District Hospitals (15 each in Kashmir & Jammu Divisions), are being provided with Manifold and Gas Pipeline System under World Bank funded project with financial implication of Rs. 60 Cr. Liquid Oxygen Tank with financial implication of Rs. 11 Cr has also been sanctioned for Govt. Medical College Hospital Jammu to overcome the crisis of Oxygen shortage. These plants are likely to be established in the next two to three months. Dr. Arun Sharma in his address shared his experience about the management of pandemic with the confirmed corona virus disease. He said that patients with a mild clinical presentation (absence of viral pneumonia and hypoxia) may not initially require hospitalization, and many patients will be able to manage their illness at home. He further advised to avoid the 3C’s – spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact and also advocated the wearing on masks as part of our lifestyle. He further said that people in generic should seek information from trusted sources and wherever possible should avoid self-medication. Sh. K B Jandial, IAS (Retd), Director (Seminars) in his welcome address highlighted the challenges posed by pandemic on various institutions of governance. He stressed that it is important to reflect back on the lessons learned during the pandemic in devising strategies for meeting the challenges in the future. Prof. Alka Sharma, Hony Secretary conducted the proceedings and Sh Vikrant Kuthiala, Hony Treasurer presented the formal vote of thanks. The Executive Committee of IIPA J&K Regional Branch under Dr. Ashok Bhan, IPS (Retd), Patron and Sh B R Sharma, IAS (Retd), Chairman also passed a resolution congratulating Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for assuming the charge of Chairman, IIPA, New Delhi.