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Chief Secretary interacts with media on COVID -19

Port Blair ,

       The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Jitendra Narain today made a fervent call to the Islanders to take the present scenario of war against COVID-19 seriously and strictly adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour without any lapse. Addressing a press conference in the conference hall of Secretariat here this evening, the Chief Secretary said, the Islands are witnessing a rise in the corona positive cases primarily due to the incoming passengers from mainland and the Administration is putting its best effort for its containment, so that the safety and health of the Islanders are not put at stake.  Despite various proactive measures taken by Administration for the safety of the Islanders, even during such critical stage, many are seen violating the COVID protocol by not wearing mask, not maintaining social distancing and gathering in large numbers, said the Chief Secretary. Such laxity will beget immense challenge in the coming days, as more and more cases are being detected and might lead to a precarious situation, he added.
      Appealing to the people, the Chief Secretary said, "Please stay at home, spend time with your family and avoid unnecessary movements so that we can minimize the impact of the virus and prevent further transmission." Cautioning all, the Chief Secretary stated that in the next few weeks, we have to be extra cautious and it is the duty of every Islander to follow COVID guidelines explicitly and extend their cooperation to the Administration in this battle.
     The double screening of incoming passengers at Airport through Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) has helped in detecting large number of positive cases despite the passengers carrying RTPCR negative report, the Chief Secretary remarked. This has immensely helped the Administration in further curbing the chain of transmission and the positive cases detected are being handled as per the COVID protocol laid down by the Govt., he added. Expressing concern over flight passengers carrying fake/tampered RTPCR negative report, the Chief Secretary said, FIRs have been filed against such errant passengers. The Chief Secretary further requested the people to get themselves vaccinated for their protection. He urged all above 45+ including Govt. Servants to take the vaccine. To facilitate Islanders, the number of Vaccination Centres have been increased from 17 Centres to 88 Centres now.
     The Chief Secretary also called upon the media to play a constructive role in creating awareness about COVID appropriate behavior and encourage people to get themselves vaccinated as a shield against the deadly virus.
     The press conference was also attended by DGP, A&N Islands, Shri Satyendra K Garg, Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Health), Dr. V Candavelou, Secretary (Health), Shri R N Sharma, Secretary (IP&T), Shri Sunil Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner (SA), Shri Suneel Anchipaka and other officers of the Administration.
       Outlining the steps taken by the Police Department to control the disease, the DGP, Shri Satyendra Garg stated that ever since the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19, the Department is giving its best effort in preventing the spread of virus by enforcing COVID discipline and round the clock monitoring by the police personnel. Till date, he said, 11563 challans were levied for not wearing face mask; about 63960 challans were made for not following social distancing. He said, 381 FIR have been registered against people for not following COVID appropriate behavior. The A&N Police has so far collected a fine amount of Rs. 1.89 Cr. and more than 500 police personnel are engaged in COVID regulation duty. He also mentioned that 100 % first dose vaccination of police personnel have been done.
        Informing about the steps taken by the Administration, the Secretary (Health), Shri R N Sharma said, a total of 5782 beds are available for management of COVID patients. Out of this, 399 beds are at Hospital, 1397 at Dedicated COVID Care Centres, 80 at Dedicated COVID Health Centres and 3906 hotel beds identified for COVID Care Centres. The facility of bed as on March 1 was 1037 and it has been increased to 5782 as on April 21. About the vaccination drive, he said, 82700 beneficiaries  have been administered the
1st dose of vaccine while 9542 have been administered 2nd dose. Out of around 1 lakh population in the age group of 45+, about 92,242 beneficiaries have been administered vaccine doses till yesterday. He also said the vaccine wastage is nil in A&N Islands.
   A two minutes' silence was also observed during the press briefing in memory of first Lt Governor of A&N Islands, Shri ML Kampani, who passed away today and also the former Chief Secretary, Shri Anand Prakash, who died yesterday.