Jammu and Kashmir administration is screening all the government employees for COVID-19 through Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) method under one roof at the Directorate office in Lal Mandi of Srinagar.
The drive began on Wednesday from the Department of Agriculture where all employees were screened.
Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, Director, Department of Agriculture of the Union Territory told ANI that employees of his department were reporting for work even during the lockdown, which was imposed in the middle of the harvest season in the state.
“Our offices never closed, even during the lockdown as it was our harvesting season at that time. We could not afford the food deficit and that’s why the government of Jammu and Kashmir took the decision that every person who is working in essential sectors will be screened,” said Andrabi.
He added that the government is concerned about the wellbeing of its employees, and wants to ensure that infection is not spread among them.
The employees also praised the government’s decision and thanked it for the initiative.Speaking to ANI, Arjun, an employee of the Department of Agriculture said, “I’m thankful for the medical department and Director of the Agriculture Department for this initiative. This is a good initiative and everyone should follow this.”
Another employee Zahoor Ahmad who works in the same department also thanked the government for the initiative and said that most essential workers were not getting time to get tested due to their busy schedule.
“This is a very good initiative by the government. We were working tirelessly and Sunday went into household chores. We weren’t getting time for getting ourselves tested. We thank the health department for the initiative,” said Ahmad.
Mithun Kumar, a Lab Technician Health Department told ANI that his team has been instructed to test all government employees in every department.
“We are directed by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to screen every employee in all the departments. It is a mandatory exercise. We are using the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) method which saves time and results come within 15 minutes. Those who test positive will be sent into 14 days of home quarantine,” said Kumar.
As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Union Territory currently has 11,859 active cases of Covid-19 while 815 people have so far succumbed to the deadly virus.