2 More Test Positive In Ladakh, Total Cases 10


Sonam Nurboo Memorial (SNM) Hospital – File Pic

Leh – Two more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh, taking the number of such patients in the Union Territory to 10, a senior government official said on Friday.

Commissioner Secretary (Health) Rigzin Samphel said both the latest cases were from Choshot village of Leh, which was already notified as a containment area by the district administration.

“After the reports of the two patients came positive, they were immediately shifted to an isolation ward in a hospital here by health officials,” Samphel told reporters here.

He said the test reports of 55 more patients, including 11 taken on Friday, were sent to a laboratory in Delhi.

Officials said the condition of all the coronavirus patients in the Union Territory was stable.

Responding to a question on the government’s decision to shut a bank branch in Leh, Samphel said it was part of the preventive steps being taken to control the spread of coronavirus.

“A family member of a health department official (who had tested positive for coronavirus earlier) is working in a local branch of the State Bank of India. Though an earlier sample of the bank employee was found negative, we are sending his fresh sample for testing again as the latest cases are also from the same family,” he said.

Once the test report came, the bank will reopen, Samphel said.

Earlier, a total of eight patients, including an Army jawan, had tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh, forcing the authorities to impose prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), banning the assembly of five or more persons.

All educational institutions, hotels, restaurants, bars, food courts and community kitchens were closed down in the region till March 31 while a notification against organising conferences, workshops, rallies, gatherings, sit-in-protests, labour gatherings at Balkhang Chowk, Skampari and Indoor-Stadium was issued, the officials said.

The authorities had also issued an advisory, restricting the entry of international tourists within the territorial jurisdiction of Leh district till April 30 and said if the need arose, similar steps might be initiated regarding domestic tourists as well.

Entry of labours from other states into Ladakh has also been banned till March 31.

As regards the concerns regarding non-availability of left-over food for stray dogs due to the closure of restaurants and food courts in both the districts, Samphel said the running campaign for stray dogs by the Animal Husbandry Department would be intensified and dog sanctuaries created.

Meanwhile, an official spokesperson said the Indian Air Force’s publicity programme and recruitment rally, which were planned in the Union Territory, were postponed till further orders.

“Fresh dates for the conduct of the Indian Air Force recruitment rally at Leh and the publicity campaign in the Ladakh region will be communicated as and when finalised and approved by the Central Airmen Selection Board (CASB), New Delhi,” he said.

Leh Flights To Carry Only Locals, Officials; Military Personnel

Airlines were asked not to carry any passengers, except locals, civilian officers and security personnel, to Leh due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Ladakh administration ordered on Friday.

The decision came a day after eight positive cases of the deadly COVID-19 were found in the Union territory.

In its order, the Ladakh administration said in wale of the outbreak and as part of stringent precautionary measures against it spread, it is hereby ordered that no commercial flights landing at the KBR airport in Leh should carry passengers to Leh, other than the residents of Ladakh, civilian officers and officers of uniformed forces serving in Ladakh or on duty to Ladakh till further orders.

There are eight confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Ladakh and the infection has reached the Union territory through the pilgrims who returned from Iran, the Union Home Ministry said on Thursday.

A total of 58 people were quarantined in hospitals in Ladakh and 18 people, including positive cases, are in hospitals in isolation. Currently, there are eight confirmed cases, including an Army soldier in Ladakh.

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