As the Covid-19 spreads to semi-urban and rural areas of many districts of Jharkhand, the State Government has decided to set up Covid task force at block level to tackle the infections. Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Arun Kumar Singh has issued a letter to all deputy commissioners to strengthen health services in rural areas along with streamlining testing facilities, establishing isolation centres and making arrangements for testing centres and carrying out appropriate awareness campaigns.
The State Government stressing on improving health facilities at rural areas can be gauged from the fact that on Monday Chief Minister Hemant Soren inaugurated the 80-bed oxygen-supported Covid Care Center at DAV School, Ghatotand in Mandu Block, Ramgarh district, from his residential office. The priority is to strengthen the health system in rural areas.
The Additional Chief Secretary of Health department through his letter has stressed on testing, tracing and treatment of Covid patients at rural areas. The Additional Chief Secretary has focused on creating a nine-member task force at block level. The task force will be headed by Block Development Officer (BDO) and it will comprise members from block, panchayat level too. The task force will work in coordination with other officers of district administration ensuring proper testing of suspected Covid patients, facilities for arrangement of setting up isolation centres, availability of medicines and ambulance facilities for patients and other arrangements required for treatment of patients.
Also it has been directed that the task force will also ensure vaccination drives run smoothly without any problems. The government focus is to strengthen vaccination drives so that a large number of rural populace is vaccinated as early as possible. The task forces will also be responsible for proper management of dead bodies of infected patients.
Sources said that despite the state government taking all possible steps, still a large chunk of rural population depends on village ojhas or quack for their illness rather than going to any public health care centre. In Covid pandemic too, the rural population still depends upon village ojhas or quacks for treatment.
The State Government has asked all district administration to create awareness about Covid its symptoms, causes and possible treatment. With an attempt to intensify testing at rural areas, the state government has asked Aaganwadi Sevikas and Sahiyas who will be roped in conducting tests of suspected patients through Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
The Soren Government has decided to task force at block level as health-care infrastructure in villages — deficient at best or missing altogether before the pandemic — is ill-equipped to service the current needs. Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioning, farmers and rural areas that Covid-19 was spreading to villages at a “rapid” pace,
asking them to remain alert about corona. “The infection is now reaching the village at a rapid pace,” he said addressing several Chief Ministers of states over a video conference after releasing the eighth installment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme.