Travellers Raise Coronavirus Graph In J&K

Cabinet Secretary reviews public health response to COVID-19

Weekly Cases Up By 40 Percent, 66% Of them Travellers

Srinagar: After showing a considerable decline over the past months, coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed forty percent increase in weekly cases with over 60 % of the infected comprising travellers who are visiting the Union Territory.

These details were given by J&K Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam during a high-level meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, to review the public health response to COVID-19 in which he asked all the States and Union Territories to closely monitor the trajectory of COVID infections to prevent surge in cases and assiduously expedite vaccination of priority groups in accordance to the guidelines in this regard, an official spokesperson said.

The Chief Secretary, he said, informed that the J&K government is conducting mandatory universal tests on all incoming travellers coming via roadways, railways and airways.

“He informed that J&K saw a 40% surge in weekly cases with travellers contributing to 2/3rd of all the positive cases, adding that in Srinagar district alone 50% of recorded positive cases were travellers,” he said.

The Chief Secretaries of Chattishgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana, and West Bengal also participated in the meeting.

Subrahmanyam, as per the official spokesperson said that through concerted efforts the government was consistently monitoring the COVID trajectory among its local population with a special focus on districts with an increased tourist footfall.

“Regarding vaccination drives, it was informed that in J&K, 67% of healthcare workers and 59% of frontline workers have been vaccinated during the initial stages of the vaccine roll-out and arrangements are in place to incorporate the third prioritized group in the upcoming days,” he said.

Terming the situation in J&K by and large comfortable and under control, the Chief Secretary, as per the official spokesperson said that the bed occupancy in the designated COVID hospitals is less than 4% with approximately 100 patients admitted to health care institutes that have been prepped to accommodate 3000 patients.

Earlier, the Cabinet Secretary informed that India is witnessing a resurgence of COVID cases with an average of 14,300 daily cases, marking an approximate 21% week-on-week increase in the new cases.

According to the official spokesperson, Gauba urged the states and the Union Territories to ensure a multi-sectoral response in addition to swift vaccination drives to prevent subsequent waves of infection especially in the wake of emergence of mutant strains of the virus.

The next phase of the vaccination will start from 1st March, 2021 to cover the third prioritized age group of persons above the age of 60 years, and persons with co-morbidities in the age group of 45-59 years.

“He advised the States/UTs to ardently promote COVID appropriate behaviour, improve the rate of testing especially in districts that are falling short of target quotas, increase the share of RTPCR tests viz-a-viz RATs, monitor mutant strain for early hotspot identification, adopt refocused & stringent containment strategies and undertake priority vaccination with provisions of geographically targeted vaccination in clusters witnessing a surge in COVID cases,” the official spokesperson said.

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