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Chief Minister checks implementation of corona curfew

Government using five point strategy to fight against Corona pandemic

A spokesperson of the Government said here today that the Government is leading the fight against Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination is an integral component of the five point strategy of the Government i.e. Test, Track, Treat, CAB and Vaccination. He said that the first dose of vaccine has been given to 80919 Health Care Workers, 51656 Front Line Workers and 1490686 Age Appropriate group more than 45 years.

He said that now the vaccines are authorized for persons of more than 18 years of age. Through the implementation of liberalized and accelerated phase III strategies, potential beneficiaries of more than 18 years have registered themselves for vaccination in the State. Presently, the Covishield vaccine is being inoculated in the State. He said that it is safe and there are certain precautions and contraindications related to the vaccine.

He said that the interchangeability of Covid-19 vaccine is not permitted which implies that second dose of vaccine should be same as that of first dose.

He further said that the vaccines are safe for all the population except persons with history of allergic reaction to previous dose of Covid-19 vaccine and pharmaceutical products. Pregnant and lactating women are also advised not to take vaccine as they have not been part of any Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial.

He informed that the vaccination should be deferred for 4-8 weeks after recovery from Covid infection, having active symptoms of infection or acutely unwell and hospitalized patients due to any other illness and patients who have taken plasma therapy during Covid infection. These vaccines should always be administered in hospital settings.

He further informed that there may occur injection site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, fever, chills, nausea etc. after the injection but there is no need to panic. He urged all the eligible persons to come forward and take their Covid vaccine injection at the earliest. He said that it is being observed that the severity of the disease or need of hospitalization due to Covid is less after taking vaccination. An appeal was also made to all those individuals, who have taken the first dose, to take their second dose between 6-8 weeks after first dose so that effective level of immunity can be developed.

Government ramps up testing of Covid-19

A spokesperson of the Government said here today that the testing is an integral component of the strategy for containment of COVID-19. Many types of test are available for COVID-19 viz. RT-PCR, Rapid Antigen Tests, TRUNAAT, CBNAAT, Antibody tests.

He said that the State has undertaken all efforts to enhance the pace of testing and has established 8 RT-PCR laboratory in the Government sector, 25 TRUNAAT in Government sector besides undertaking Rapid Antigen Test at all major Health Institutions. The State has also allowed the establishment of TRUNAAT testing in private sector and has accordingly given permission to two hospitals one in Kangra and one in Sirmour. The rate of TRUNAAT testing in private sector has been fixed at the rate of Rs. two thousand per test inclusive of all charges and applicable taxes by the State in December, 2020.

He said that the State has opened up the Rapid Antigen testing for private sector by fixing rate of Rs. three hundred per test in December, 2020 and as per the conditions prescribed, all such labs / hospitals need to take login ID from the respective Chief Medical Officers. He said that 20 private labs/ hospitals have started this testing. Till date, 1309 and 23668 tests have been performed through TRUNAAT and Rapid Antigen Tests by the private sector in the State respectively. The Government spokesperson made an appeal to the private labs/ hospitals to start Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) testing as per the terms & conditions prescribed by the State.

He further added that the ICMR has circulated the guidelines regarding the testing during second wave of pandemic. The laboratories are facing challenges to meet the expected testing target due to extra ordinary case load and staff getting infected with COVID-19 and it has been advised to optimized RT-PCR testing and ramp up testing through RAT. The State is also facing a rampant increase in the number of cases of COVID and till date close to 16 Lakhs number of tests have been conducted across the state. Due to this exceptional heavy load of samples, the laboratories in the State are also facing challenges to meet the expected testing targets. The Government spokesperson said that instructions have been given not to repeat the RTPCR tests in cases that have been tested positive with RAT or RTPCR.  Also no testing is required in the patients who have recovered from the Covid infection as per the protocol.

He said that there is a constant effort by the government to improve the access and availability of RAT testing. The State has already issued guidelines for establishment of walk in Kiosks at least in the urban areas to facilitate testing and Department of Health has issued directions to set up dedicated RAT booths in cities, towns, villages, colleges, schools, community centers and other vacant places. Drive through RAT testing facilities may be created by local administration to ensure accessibility to testing and avoid overcrowding at RAT testing facilities. RAT resting shall also be started in the State through Jeevan Dhara Mobile Health and Wellness centers.

The spokesperson added that all District administrations have been advised to ensure full utilization of RT PCR testing facilities in Public and Private Laboratories. The patients who are tested positive in RAT should be immediately isolated as COVID positive cases in home isolation, however those tested negative should be linked with RT-PCR facility and should be urged to follow home isolation and treatment till the test is done and reports are available. Similarly individuals having fever with or without cough, headache, sore throat, body ache, breathlessness, recent loss of taste and smell, fatigue and diarrhea should be considered as suspect case of COVID 19 unless proven otherwise.

He further said that the State is committed to ramp up the testing in the RT-PCR lab as well. Today Mission Director National Health Mission Dr. Nipun Jindal along with other team members visited the RT-PCR Lab at IGMC Shimla to inspect the functioning in wake of the increase in pendency of the COVID tests reports. After reviewing all the infrastructure and gaps, to augment the capacity of the existing lab, it was decided that adequate space will be provided for the functioning of lab and one more RT-PCR machine and automated RNA extractor will be provided to IGMC Shimla and similarly one automated RNA extractor will be provided to Dr. RPGMC Tanda.

The State Government vide order dated 06.05.2021 has already provided permission to the RT-PCR labs for engagement of 29 additional Human Resources to ramp up testing.  The lab incharges have also been instructed that the message regarding the test report should be sent to the concerned person immediately after the test report is ready so that if any person is positive he/ she may be isolated and the spread of infection to others may be avoided.

Government appeals public to avoid misuse of Covid registration portal

A spokesperson of the State Government said here today that Covid online registration portal has been put in place, as per State Disaster Management Authority guidelines, to facilitate people entering the State and to apprise local administration about the same so that Covid Protocols could be adhered to. The applicant has to register on the registration portal (https://covid19epass.hp.gov.in) by filling complete details of the persons planning to enter State along with relevant documents like proof of Identity, RTPCR report, vaccination certificate etc. depending on the purpose of visit selected by the applicant. Once applied online, the applicant receives SMS about the same along with link to download the acknowledgment receipt which is to be shown to the Police personnel at State Border. The Police Personnel scan the QR code printed on acknowledgment receipt using Mobile App and verify the details fed by the applicant along with Identification Proof. Once satisfied, the applicant is allowed to proceed to his destination. It is mandatory for every person to register himself online on registration portal before entering the State. Moreover, the registering person has to declare that the facts and contents given during the registration are true to the best of his/ her knowledge and belief.  The objective behind the whole process is to make registration simple and to allow smooth entry of people into the State. Besides, the portal also provides seamless flow of data of incoming persons to the local administration so that District administration is able to enforce applicable Covid protocols upon them accordingly.

He said that it has come to the knowledge of this Department that two registrations bearing Pass Nos. HP-2563825 and HP-2563287 have been made in the names of Donald Trump and Amitabh Bachchan, both having same mobile number 9882810033. Both the registrations seem to have been made with the malafide intention of spreading rumor and misinformation as the particulars entered in both these registrations seem to be fake. This is clear from the fact that the same Identity proof has been uploaded by the applicant against both these registrations. This is clear violation of the declaration given by the applicant at the time of registration. Such misuse of the portal completely defeats the dual objective of having a registration system i.e. to enable hassle free entry of persons into the State and provide real time information of entrants to District Administration to enforce Covid protocol for these entrants. The State appeals the general public to avoid such misuse as well as spread of misinformation/rumors regarding the Covid registration portal so that energy of State departments is positively channelized towards fighting the pandemic in this difficult time.

Chief Minister checks implementation of corona curfew

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today visited The Mall Shimla to have a first hand information regarding proper implementation of corona curfew imposed in the State in the wake of sharp surge of covid-19 cases.

Chief Minister also interacted with few shopkeepers dealing with daily need items and inquired from them about their views regarding corona curfew.

Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj and Deputy Commissioner Shimla Aditya Negi were also present on the occasion.