People Hiding Travel History Must Come Forward: DC Srinagar

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DC Srinagar Dr Shahid Choudhary addresses presser in Srinagar on Thursday. KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: The administration in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, urged people on Thursday to cooperate with the authorities in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and appealed to those hiding their travel history to come forward voluntarily to get tested for coronavirus.

“I can say that 90 per cent of people are cooperating while 10 per cent are not. But I want to emphasise the fact that even if there is a one-per cent loophole, it will create a lot of problems in the recovery from this situation (lockdown),” District Magistrate (DM) Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary told reporters here.

As the number of COVID-19 cases saw a spike in the city over the past few days, Chaudhary said officials of the departments dealing with the pandemic were working tirelessly to ensure that no lives were lost to the disease.

“I want to assure the people of Srinagar that we are 100 per cent committed to ensuring that no life is lost. There has been an increase in the number of cases but all of their contacts have been traced. There is only one case where we only have an indirect link,” he added.

Chaudhary said while there was a lot of criticism on putting people with a travel history to foreign countries in quarantine, the move has paid dividends as 15 cases detected in the city on Wednesday were already among those in the isolation facilities.

There are 49 positive COVID-19 cases in the city so far.

“We have to understand that each positive case entails a contact list of around 150 people and we have to trace all of them. Those who tested positive included five from a group of eight who had travelled to a foreign country,” Chaudhary said.

He said the authorities had identified 648 high-risk contacts of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and all of them have been put under surveillance.

“There are another 6,800 low-risk contacts who are being watched with teams checking on them twice a day,” Chaudhary added.

The DM said 14 areas in the city have been declared as red zones and teams have been formed to make sure that these areas get the essential items without any problem.

He added that the district administration has set up a call centre, which will start functioning from Friday, for addressing the concerns and grievances of people.

“This call centre will be in addition to the zonal control rooms that are already in place. There will be a dedicated line for psychological and social trauma cases, where 12 experts will be rendering their services,” Chaudhary said.

He urged people not to resort to rumour-mongering and share the details of COVID-19 patients or suspects on social media.

“There was a rumour about the government imposing emergency and taking away the money from the banks. A small branch in interior Srinagar recorded 720 transactions within three hours due to this rumour,” the DM said.

He said the district administration has delivered ration at the doorstep of 75 per cent ration ticket-holding households in the city, while the remaining will get it in the coming days.

“We have also delivered 69,000 LPG cooking gas cylinders in the city as part of our efforts to make people stay at home during the lockdown,” Chaudhary said.

He asserted that there was no shortage of medicines, including life-saving drugs, in the city, and said, “The stocks are being replenished regularly.”

 

 

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