Covid-19 Test Report Now Mandatory For Inbound Travellers

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Srinagar: Taking no chance in view of rising coronavirus cases in parts of the country, the divisional administration on Saturday ordered a set of preventive measures, including preventing the inbound travellers to leave the airport until their test reports are received, in a bid to avert the spread of virus in the Valley.

The directions in this regard were passed by Incharge Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary in a meeting convened here as part of the preventive plan to avert spread in the Kashmir division, an official spokesperson said.

He said that Choudhary directed for strengthening the preventive mechanism at the Srinagar airport instructing the Srinagar and Budgam district administrations to set up additional coronavirus testing facilities there and to enable quick receipt of test reports.

“Dr Shahid instructed that no inbound traveller be allowed to leave the airport until their COVID-19 test report is received directing that test reports be issued on the spot before letting the travellers go,” the official spokesperson said.

The instructions also come in the wake of a recent trend within Kashmir which shows a greater number of infections in travellers compared to local cases of COVID-19 infections.

Speaking in the meeting, the Director Health Services Kashmir Dr Samir Mattoo, as per the official spokesperson said that the situation surrounding Covid-19 in the division is positive and transmission rate is also quite low.Mattoo, he said, also observed that stricter measures at the airport are important to avert rise in infections within the division.

The official spokesperson further said that it has been decided that those travellers whose reports come positive would be isolated in order to prevent transmission and spread of the infection amongst the local population. Relevant protocol as given in the COVID-19 SOP manual will be followed in the case.

“The meeting was informed that those with 48-hour-old RT-PCR negative reports from their departing cities will not have to undergo testing at the Srinagar airport,” he said.

“It was informed that a rise in positive cases as reported in some states outside J&K along with the recent trend finding more infections in inbound travellers has necessitated taking these preventive measures as directed,” he added.

Additional District Magistrate Srinagar and Nodal Officer COVID-19 Mitigation Operations Srinagar Masarat Hashim, State Surveillance Officer IDPS and Nodal Officer COVID-19 Control Room Kashmir Division Dr Talat Jabeen Assistant Commissioner Revenue Budgam Raeis Bhat, Chief Medical Officer Srinagar Dr Jehangir Bakshi and HOD Social & Preventive Medicine GMC Srinagar Dr Salim Khan attended the meeting, the official spokesperson said.

Incharge COVID-19 Testing at Srinagar airport, Epidemiologists Srinagar and Bugam and officials representing SKIMS Soura, SKIMS MC&H Bemina and GMC Srinagar were also present in the meeting.

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