Altaf Hamid Rao.
MIRPUR (AJK) , (Parliament Times) : United Kingdom-based Kashmiri rights outfit – the Global Pakistan Kashmir Supreme Council has called for effective WHO-sponsored vaccination program to contain fast-spread Covid-19 in Indian Illegally-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
In a joint statement issued late Thursday, the GPKSC Chairman Raja Sikander Khan and the President Kala Khan said “the Covid-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and amplified gender, social and health inequities. As World Health Day 2021 is being observed during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is urgent need of taking stringent action to eliminate health inequities, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world including the internationally-acknowledged disputed territories the world over including IIOJK – the Indian Illegally occupied Jammu & Kashmir state. .
The recent world-wide surge in Covid-19 positive cases across the country is worrisome as even the figures of last year’s positive cases have been breached in recent days. In Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) State also the positive cases in recent weeks have shown an upward trend which is alarming. India’s healthcare index is among the lowest in the world. In IIOJ&K, the public health network suffers due to lack of adequate funds, infrastructure and human resources. To contain the pandemic, it is imperative and enjoined upon the World Health Organization (WHO) to exert pressure on India and the Indian occupation forces to make District Hospitals and PHCs across the internationally-acknowledged disputed IIOJK state equipped to deal with the issues of Covid-19. Besides it must be ensured that good quality masks are provided and made available to common people at village level health centers across the already politically turbulent disputed occupied J and K territory”, they added.
The GPKSC leaders continued as saying “the Covid-19 poses serious challenges for everyone across India but in IIOJ&K, the consequences can be more dangerous, if the WHO does not move to ensure appropriate steps at the earliest in the internationally-acknowledged disputed Inian Illegally occupied State. “IIOJ&K has quite inadequate and woeful health facilities. If the infection rate continues to grow, things are going to get pretty grim in a few weeks’ time”, the GPKSC Chairman Raja Sikander Khan and President of the organization Kala Khan warned.
“There is a need to have an effective vaccination programme which requires a robust public health system. Unfortunately, there are insufficient numbers of skilled and practiced personnel to administer the vaccine in IIOJ&K. Since these are sensitive vaccines, preparation and administration of the vaccine must be done by trained public health workers to ensure it is delivered optimally and to prevent side effects. There is also a need to have well-developed systems to monitor the impact of the vaccines and it requires long-term follow-up, the GPKSC leaders urged upon the World Health Organization .
Meanwhile, the GPKSC has appealed to the people across the globe including at both sides of the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir State to strictly practice social distancing norms, sneezing etiquette, which are important elements in this fight. “We should not become complacent, wear face masks and follow other norms as prescribed by the experts at any cost. Use of masks by the general public will cut the transmission to a large extent”, they suggested as per the joint statement.