Gangtok, 05 Feb (IPR): Director General-cum-Principal Director, Health, Dr. P.T. Bhutia, called on an emergency meeting with the press and media fraternity today at the conference room of Health Care, Human Services & Family Welfare Department in Gangtok to provide a quick update on the State’s preparedness on any possible Coronavirus outbreak. The meeting also had the presence of Additional Director, Health-cum-Nodal Officer, Dr. Y.D. Chankapa.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Bhutia said that the State Health Department has set its primary focus on screening, quarantine and isolation with the main focus being on awareness about the virus. He stated that the screening process is being undertaken at border check-posts on a daily basis as a preventive measure since 29th January. Till date, cumulatively 52,239 people have been screened at Rangpo, 26,321 people at Melli, 1,908 at Reshi, 639 at Rongbang and 160 people at Uttarey. A total of 14,957 people were screened at the respective check-posts on 4th February, he informed.
Dr. Bhutia added that the Health Department has been making robust efforts to spread awareness on Coronavirus through media platforms like Doordarshan and Radio FM channels, pamphlets, posters and standees exhibiting preventive measures in both English and Nepali and through regular updates on its Facebook page – Health of Sikkim.
For the quarantine stage, Dr. Bhutia informed that a 20-bedded set-up has been prepared at the old STNM Hospital Emergency Ward that has been functioning as Urban Primary Health Centre. Isolation ward (20-bedded) has also been put together on the 8th Floor of the New STNM Hospital and in other hospitals in all other districts as well. He stated that dedicated ambulances have been kept ready for emergencies as per Government of India norms and added that personal protection gears and masks are also in stock.
The DG-cum-Principal Director urged the press and media fraternity for proper and responsible coverage and awareness of Coronavirus and maintained that there was no need to panic as the State government has assessed every aspect of preparedness for any possible outbreak of the virus in Sikkim. He further encouraged all to reach out to toll free number 104 for concerns and queries regarding Coronavirus and added that the department officials will be available for any clarifications with regard to the virus.