Jammu: The rural development department of Jammu and Kashmir has initiated a slew of measures, including distribution of masks and sanitiser, for containment and mitigation of the coronavirus outbreak in the rural areas.
Giving details, Director Rural Development Department in Jammu Sudershan Kumar told PTI that the staff of the department and elected panchayat members are working in close coordination with district administrations to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection.
The department has so far distributed around 1,65,811 masks in Jammu division -- Doda district 15,000, Jammu 12,200, Kathua 18,400, Kishtwar 19,195, Poonch 5,000, Rajouri 28,500, Ramban 2,000, Reasi 8,194, Samba 13,347 and Udhampur 43,975, he said.
Village awareness and monitoring committees have been formed at panchayat and block levels for the purpose of creating awareness, surveillance and monitoring of COVID-19 among the rural masses, he said.
The director said the block-level committees headed by block development council (BDC) chairpersons and panchayat-level committees headed by Sarpanches are making rural people aware about the benefits of frequent and proper washing of hands with soap, use of sanitiser and maintaining cleanliness in and around the villages.
Coordination with district administrations in taking care of the elderly, disabled, pregnant women and chronically-ill patients remains high priority of the department, Kumar said.
The department is "also helping volunteers in making arrangements and distribution of basic amenities to the needy persons, including stranded labourers," Kumar said.
He said persons who are being home quarantined for 14 days are properly monitored by the panchayat members so that there is no chance of further spread of the infection.