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Ladakh likely to receive Covid-19 vaccine by February: Govt

Last Updated on November 22, 2020 at 8:42 pm

Giving rest to various rumors doing the rounds related to current Covid-19 situation in Ladakh, Commissioner/Secretary Health & Medical Education UT Ladakh Rigzin Sampheal called a press conference here today.

Giving a detailed account of Covid history in Ladakh he said that on March 7th Ladakh saw its first positive case of Covid-19 and 7866 people got affected till date, 98 people died in the region and at current date, Ladakh has around 900 active cases.  

Samphel gave a detailed account about challenges faced due to shortage of medical staff, the continuous effort of the UT Administration in giving satisfactory service to the people even in the face of paucity of medical staff by rendering excellent dedication and hard work by the medical fraternity, making additional 50 ambulances functional, achieving the mammoth feat of establishing COVID testing labs in both the districts facilitating early test results, and training to the lab technicians.

He further said that every arrangement has been made by the UT Administration to keep these Covid centers winter-ready and functional in the coming cold months of Ladakh. District Administrations of Leh and Kargil have made winter prepared fully functional 7 Covid Care Centers in Kargil and 5 in Leh district. Administration has made a 200 bed facility in Kargil hospital and in the coming days, the ICU unit in SNM hospital in Leh will see an increased facility of 120 beds. The heating and oxygen facility at Mahabodhi Karuna Charitable hospital has also been strengthened. Hospitals of Leh and Kargil are fully equipped with sufficient oxygen facilities. 

Also, personnel addition of 100 nurses each in Leh and Kargil hospitals will be made.

Arrangements with regards to heating and oxygen facilities have been made and the complete stocking of medicines have already been made.  

He further added that Ladakh is expected to receive Covid-19 Vaccines by the month of February next year for which 17 points in Kargil and 15 points in Leh have already been recognized for their storage. On receiving of the vaccines, the medical fraternity and then the senior citizens would be given preference for receiving the vaccination, he added.

In addition to current single-engine heli service, the Administration will also use the service of Mi17 choppers is also being used for meeting aerial support to far flung areas like Zanskar, Nubra, Changthang, and Drass.

Urging the general public to help contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus especially during the annual celebration of Losar, Sampheal appeals to the general public to observe the Losar celebration at home with only family members and try to avoid visiting relatives this festive season and contribute to containing the spread of coronavirus.

Answering the query about the appeal made for lockdown by civil society in Leh district, Samphel appreciated the overall cooperation and assistance of the civil society of Ladakh and termed it as an example for others to follow but reiterated the statement made by the District Administration and rather appealed to the general public to follow and adhere to the SOPs issued to contain the spread of coronavirus.   

Answering a query, he further affirmed that the SNM Hospital Leh has all the facilities for the patients and various steps have been taken for further improvement in giving satisfactory service to Covid patients in particular and others in general. On asking, he further assured that Covid-19 relief funds are being used towards relief to poor and needy on recommendations of the LAHDCs.