Quarantines centers, RRTs formed in 10 AJK districts: Masood
The AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that the coronavirus is a test from Allah, and we should respond to the pandemic with patience and wisdom. He thanked the ulema for coming forward “to guide the people in this hour of trial and prepare them save lives in the light of the Quran and Sunnah”.
In a statement after telephonic briefing from the AJK Director General Public Health, Dr Sardar Aftab Khan on Monday, he said that Azad Kashmir was somewhat safe from this calamity so far, but the Azad Jammu and Kashmir government has taken all necessary measures to cope with the situation in the coming days.
The AJK president was briefed that rapid response teams (RRTs), headed by District Health Officers (DHOs), were fully functional in all the ten districts of the Azad territory. These teams comprising representatives of the Revenue Department, NGOs and Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI), are tasked with suspect tracking/ quarantines, especially of the people who had return from abroad or had a history of respiratory tract infections.
The Director General Health told the AJK president that isolated wards have been established in ten hospitals of Azad Kashmir, while samples of 44 suspected coronavirus cases of the state were referred to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Of them, test reports of 40 people have been received, and only one of them has been tested positive, who is in quarantine center in Mirpur.
The state president was informed that a Virology Laboratory at the Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences Muzaffarabad (AIMS), has been strengthened on emergency basis, and hopefully it will start functioning in a couple of days. The rapid response teams, he went on to say, have also been assigned with the tasks of coordination, prevention and monitoring the situation round the clock.
In his statement, the AJK president said that AJK government has already taken emergency measures like screening of suspects’ people at the entry and exit points, ensuring training of physicians and paramedics as well as timely provision of medicines. He said this is an ongoing process which will continue on daily basis.
Sardar Masood Khan appreciated the armed forces of Pakistan for imparting training to the medical teams deputed for dealing with the potential coronavirus cases. He also lauded National Disaster Management Authority, Azad Kashmir State Disaster Management Authority and other agencies leading disaster management and emergency relief.
He said that it is a great challenge to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus on the state economy, particularly on the vulnerable and marginalized segments of the society. However, the volume and size of an economic stimulus package for the affected people can only be determined after the data is collected. He appealed to the people to strictly follow the guidelines being provided by the government and medical experts to save themselves and their families from the pandemic.
While referring to the situation in the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the AJK president expressed serious concern that at a time when world has focused its attention on containing of the spread of coronavirus, India has started a new spate of repression in the occupied territory. The Indian troops have stepped up killing of the Kashmiri people during brutal cordon; and search operations throughout IOJK.
He called upon the international community to take notice of India's repressive actions and violations of human rights in occupied Kashmir.