Covid-19: 3 More Test Positive In Kashmir, Total Cases Rise To 4

SMC men sanitize Natipora locality in Srinagar after a resident there tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.  KO Photo

Srinagar- In a worrying development, three more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Kashmir on Tuesday. One among them is a preacher, who has attended many religious events and travelled widely after his return from Delhi recently.

“2 more cases reported positive in Srinagar. One has confirmed travel history outside India. Full details regarding the second being ascertained,” Govt spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted.

A youth also tested positive to coronavirus in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. A native of Bandipora, the youth had arrived in Valley three days ago.

“The sample of the youth admitted to Government Medical College Baramulla came positive to the infection. His swabs were sent to SKIMS for laboratory tests,” a senior doctor was quoted as saying.

With three fresh cases, the number of people infected by Covid-19 in the Valley reached three today.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Saleem Khan, Nodal Officer Govt Medical College (GMC) told Kashmir Observer that two people were admitted to the Chest Diseases Hospital here on Monday and their samples were sent for laboratory tests.

“Their reports came positive for Covid-19 today. Both the patients have been kept in separate isolation wards and their condition is being monitored regularly,” he said.

One of the infected, Khan said has a travel history of Saudi Arabia and had returned on March 16 in the same flight (443-Air India) which was boarded by the 67-year-old Srinagar woman who tested positive on March 18.

“Another person is a member of ‘Tablighi Jamaat’. He had recently returned from Delhi after attending an event in which people from Indonesia and Malaysia also participated,” Khan said.

The 65-year-old man, he said has travelled a lot in the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi.

“With the religious group, he went to Darul-uloom Deoband in U.P. From there, he travelled to Jammu and Samba before returning to Srinagar. He also visited Sopore after his return to Valley,” the officer said.

“We are tracking his each visit. It is obvious that during his trips, he has met a lot of people,” he added.

Khan said the families of both the Covid-19 patients have been put under quarantine and their samples have been taken for tests.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary told reporters here at a joint press conference with the director of SKIMS hospital that the areas around the residences of the two positive cases in Srinagar reported today have been sanitised.

“Teams of doctors and supporting staff from other departments have reached there. All the houses in the 300-metre radius in these areas have been put on surveillance and all the contacts are in quarantine. All the medical procedure will be followed and if there is a need for tests, that will be done," he said.

He said so far there were three positive cases in Srinagar.

The deputy commissioner said the administration has taken several steps, including restrictions on the movement and assembly of people, to contain the spread of the infection.

"In the coming days, the restrictions will be increased," he said.

The director of SKIMS hospital appealed to the people to cooperate with the government and follow the advice of the doctors.

"If any person has a travel history, even if he is asymptomatic, he should self-declare and bring it to the notice of the government and health agencies. If anyone is symptomatic and has travel history or any family member has travel or contact history with some positive case, or a health worker who has treated a positive case, he should self-declare and undergo tests and treatment which is very important," he said.

Ahangar also appealed to the people to not buy or hoard the medicines Hydroxychloroquine and anti-viral drugs which, he said, should not be taken without doctors' prescriptions.

Meanwhile, the government in its daily media bulletin released today said only six positive cases in J&K have been recorded, and one among them has recovered. The bulletin also said that 4765 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance across the UT.

According to the bulletin, 2928 persons have been kept under home quarantine while as 71 are in hospital quarantine.

“Persons who are under home surveillance stand at 1268 while as 498 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period. 279 samples have been sent for testing of which 253 tested as negative. 20 reports are awaited till March 24, 2020,” the official handout read.

The government has urged the students and travellers who have  been to affected areas of the country, to report their travel history to local health authorities and helpline numbers if they have not done it so far.

“Family members, neighbours and people in general are appealed to bring such cases in notice of the administration, so that necessary measures in the interest of public health can be taken by the Government,” the advisory adds.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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