COVID 19- 1878 People Under Surveillance in J&K

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A security guard wears a mask as a preventive measure against coronavirus, at a special ward of a hospital, in J&K (PTI Photo)

SRINAGAR – The reports of five people, including a woman suspected of having coronavirus have come negative, while one person on Saturday was admitted to the SKIMS here with the symptoms of the deadly infection.

Four people who were admitted to SKIMS on Friday tested negative for the infection after their reports came today, Nodal officer for coronavirus control at SKIMS, Dr G H Yatoo said. All the four, he said were put under observation in the isolation ward of the premier health institute on Friday after they were admitted.

Besides, these four, Yatoo said report of a woman from Anantnag who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, has also tested negative for Covid-19.

“Today, one person was admitted to the hospital. His sample has been sent for the examination,” Yatoo told news agency GNS.

Meanwhile, a government spokesperson in the daily bulletin said today that 1878 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance while as 1567 persons are under home quarantine.

Persons who are in hospital quarantine stand at 24 and 123 persons are under home surveillance.

The spokesperson said that 164 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period and, so far, only two cases have been tested positive in Jammu and Kashmir.

Further, the bulletin said that 89 samples have been sent for testing, of which 78 tested as negative and only two cases have tested positive, so far while as reports of nine cases are awaited till March 14, 2020.

The public in general has been requested to lend its support in efforts of the government to strengthen surveillance mechanism by making self-declaration about their foreign travel history to health authorities. Moreover all social, religious and political organisations are urged to avoid large gatherings.

Reiterating that there is no need to panic, the media bulletin advised public to maintain social distancing,  avoid unnecessary travel and use of public transport; avoid crowded places and large gatherings, taking basic precautions for personal hygiene; frequent hand washing with soap and water; and observing coughing and sneezing etiquettes. “If anyone has fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical care at the earliest,” the bulletin reads.

People have been urged to rely only on the information released by the government in this regard through the daily media bulletin to print and electronic media.

The general public has been advised to adhere to advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GoI & UT Government of J&K from time to time in the background of the present COVID-19 outbreak.

Meanwhile, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo today visited different hospitals of Jammu to review the quarantine facilities established for suspected coronavirus cases.

The FC directed the officials to put in their best efforts to prevent the spread of virus and asked them to intensify efforts to find anyone who might have come in contact with the suspected cases. He said that proper guidelines need to be followed while dealing with the evolving corona virus situation.

He also interacted with the quarantined persons and enquired about their well being and facilities being provided to them. He assured them that adequate measures are being put in place for their safety and there is no need to panic.

The FC directed the officials that all suspected cases should complete the quarantine period fully and their results should come negative twice and after that they should be allowed to leave the facility. He asked the officials not to take any chances and follow the guidelines with utmost care besides advising the quarantined people to cooperate with the administration which is vital for their well being and their family.

During his visit to the quarantine facility established at Bhagwati Nagar, the FC asked the officials to follow the proper health guidelines carefully. He directed the officials to provide every care and facility to the patients.

The FC was informed that adequate facilities are being provided to the quarantined persons there. He was informed that bedding is being continuously changed and proper guidelines are being followed while dealing with the situation.

Dulloo also reiterated his call that all departments should work in convergence for creating awareness in community about the disease and the precautions to be taken. He also directed the officials not to share names of the quarantined people to the media, citing privacy.

At Government Hospital Sarwal the FC asked the officials to put in their best efforts and ensure adequate stocks of N 95 masks, Personal Protective Equipment, triple layer masks and other equipments.

Later he also visited the Government Hospital Gandhi Nagar where two people are under quarantine. He enquired into the arrangements being put in place to face any eventuality and was informed that teams are ready to trace the contact lists, if any.

Director Health Services, Jammu Renu Sharma along with other officers accompanied the Financial Commissioner during his visit.

As part of its efforts, to deal with the corona virus situation, the government of Jammu and Kashmir has already started lab testing facility at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, Srinagar and Government Medical College, Jammu besides surveillance teams have been constituted across all districts to meet any kind of eventuality.

UT level Control Room has been established by NHM at Nagrota and Divisional Level Control Rooms also have been established which are functional 24X7.

Govt Issues Advisory For Hotels

The Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration on Saturday issued an advisory to the hotels in wake of the looming coronavirus threat.

According to the Advisory, the hoteliers have been asked to make sure that the premises of hotel are clean and hygienic, and the surfaces are wiped with disinfectant regularly.

The Advisory stresses on promoting regular and thorough hand-washing by employees, employers and customers.

The hotels have been asked to put sanitising hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace and ensure that these dispensers are regularly refilled. The Advisory calls for promotion of good respiratory hygiene in the hotel.

The Advisory has asked the hoteliers to ensure that face masks (surgical mask) and / or paper tissues are available at their hotels, for those who develop a runny nose or cough at work, along with closed bins for hygienically disposing of them. “Display moments of hand wash, steps of hand wash and respiratory hygiene at reception through posters. Keep IEC/ FAQs for reference/ displayed,” the Advisory reads.

The Advisory has also directed the hoteliers to keep the log of visitors’ updated and record information in a set format separately for all the guests.

KU Shuts Hostels, Postpones PG-Examinations

The University of Kashmir on Saturday closed all the hostels and postponed post-graduate examinations, including internals in wake of the coronavirus threat.

On Saturday, different departments of KU issued formal orders in view of the coronavirus threat.

“Consequent upon the decision taken in the Deans Committee meeting and its approval by the authorities in view of the pandemic of Coronavirus and the advisory issued by the Government, to avoid congregation, all the boys and girls Hostels of Main Campus and Zakura Campus shall remain closed with effect from Monday that is from March 16 till further orders.” reads an official order, according to news agency KNT.

Another circular issued by Deputy Registrar Academic Affairs reads that in of the COVID-19 scare and the advisory issued by the government, all the PG Examinations including internals have been postponed till March 31, 2020.

The order further reads that in the interest of students the concerned teachers are advised to upload the study material of their respective subjects on the University Website.

In yet another order issued by Coordinator DPE&S, all sports activities have been postponed till further orders in wake of Coronavirus threat. One more order reads that the Health Club of the Directorate in Varsity will also remain closed till further orders as a precautionary measure.

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