War Against Virus


With five more persons testing positive for the novel Covid-19 disease in Kashmir the total number of patients in J&K has gone up to 38. Till now, two COVID-19 deaths have now been reported from the Union Territory, one from Hyderpora and another from Tangmarg. In a press conference on social media on Saturday J&K Government spokesperson Rohit Kandal said that the administration is closely monitoring and reviewing the situation and proactively taking a number of steps to combat COVID-19 pandemic. He urged the people to report travel history and cooperate with the government in breaking the chain of the transmission. Kansal revealed that eleven of the positive cases in Kashmir division could be traced to a single religious congregation and another six to another group that had travelled to Saudi Arabia. One of the major hurdle in the efforts to contain the spread of virus. Kansal said, is the people hiding their travel history. One of the positive patients, according to him, had suppressed his travel history to Dubai. This certainly is dangerous and tantamount to putting the lives of the families, the community and finally the entire UT at risk. It is thus incumbent on the people to self report and cooperate with the government.

At the same time it is also important that the government keep enhancing its capacity to tackle a potential rise in the number of the patient load in the coming days and weeks. J&K, as of now has just 97 ventilators and 85 ICU beds. However, the UT, according to Kansal, has now an administrative quarantine facility of over 35000 beds with Srinagar leading with 10000 beds and Jammu with 6500. Also, the government has identified and earmarked 11 hospitals, 8 in Kashmir and 3 in Jammu division as exclusive COVID hospitals. However, health department is woefully short of masks, Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs) and ventilators, which, hopefully, government should be able to stock up in near future.

Meanwhile, government is engaged in strictly enforcing lockdown across the region. According to J&K police chief Dilbag Singh, a total of 337 FIRs have been registered and 627 persons arrested for violating prohibitory orders. In addition, 118 shops and 490 vehicles have been seized for defying the orders. Government has also invoked prohibitory orders under the Epidemic Disease Act, and banned inward and outward movement of any person from some villages declared red zones. These villages have been identified as Khaigam, Sangerwani, Abhama villages of tehsil Rajpora and Gudoora, Chandgam, Pinglena and Parigam of tehsil Pulwama while adjoining villages of these tehsils have been declared buffer zones, for the safety and well being of the general public. Here’s hoping that these necessary harsh measures bear fruit and J&K as also the rest of the world are rid of this deadly disease in near future.

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