15 People Arrive In JK From China, Bangkok; Asked To Remain In Isolation

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JAMMU – Fifteen people, including 5 doctors who arrived in Jammu and Kashmir during this week with travel history from China, are being kept under observation and have been asked to remain in isolation as a precautionary measure.

According to a report, out of 15, eight arrived in Kashmir and seven in Jammu region during this week. Fourteen of them have arrived from China but none of them from Wuhan province, the epicentre of Coronavirus.

One of them has arrived from Bangkok. Eight of them are students who are studying in China and five of them arrived in Srinagar today only.

The Nodal Officer for J&K to deal with the Coronavirus, Dr Shafqat Khan was quoted by a local newsgathering agency KNT as saying that the samples of 10 of these people who had flu like symptoms have been taken and they have been sent for analysis. Out of them, three have been taken from Kashmir and seven from Jammu.

“All these people are under observation and are being monitored. They have been asked to remain in isolation and take necessary precautions. However, no one has been hospitalized,” he said.

Government has established 33 bedded isolation ward at Government Medical College Jammu for Coronavirus cases and 22 bedded such facility at GMC, Srinagar, SKIMS Soura and Maternity Hospital Sanatnagar in Kashmir valley. The sample taking facility has been kept at GMC Srinagar and GMC Jammu.

The Government ordered the establishment of a control room in the State Surveillance Office in Srinagar and Jammu, quarantine of suspected patients, besides advisory to all districts and announcements to be made at Railway Stations and Airports.

The new strain of Coronavirus, which originated in Hubei province in central China late last year, has so far killed more than 300 people amid more than 17,000 total reported cases. Globally, around 130 cases have been reported and two of them are from Kerala in India.

DAK Asks Hospitals To Remain Prepared

In the wake of World Health Organization’s declaration of China’s Coronavirus outbreak as an international emergency, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday advised hospitals in the valley to prepare for dealing with potential cases of the deadly infection.

“If the virus sneaks into the valley, public safety will depend on hospital preparedness,” DAK President Dr Nisarul Hassan said in a statement issued here on Monday.

He said hospitals should be prepared to identify, isolate and treat patients to prevent the spread of the disease.

Dr Hassan said the two designated hospitals, SKIMS and SMHS should have specially designed ‘negative- pressure’ isolation rooms for suspected or confirmed cases.

“The negative pressure of the room would prevent contaminated air from escaping the room. These rooms should have dedicated ventilators and they should be fitted with HEPA filters that would reduce the risk of transmission of the virus,” he said.

“These rooms should have separate entrance so that infected patients don’t risk other patients and staff in the hospital,” he added.

He further said doctors and paramedics should be trained for screening, testing and treatment of this novel (new) virus.

“Hospitals should ensure standard infection prevention and control measures like hand washing, cough etiquette and disinfection of surfaces,” Dr Hassan said, adding ‘they should ensure availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) and diagnostic kits.PPE includes face masks, gowns, head caps, goggles and shoe-covers’.

“With the virus likely to become a pandemic, we must start preparing now,” he said.

“The clinical manifestation of the virus is cough and fever and in severe cases difficulty in breathing. Anyone having these symptoms and has a history of travel to the affected area or has been in contact with a suspected or a confirmed case should be screened for the novel virus,” he said.

“At least 361 people have died and more than 17,000 people have been infected with this deadly strain so far,” Dr Hassan added.

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