64% cases are patients’ contacts, 31% travellers

Representational Pic
Representational Pic

Contact tracing and surveillance of travellers has revealed 99 percent of Kashmir's COVID19 patients, the majority being contacts of COVID19 patients, as per official data

An analysis of data maintained by J&K Health and MedicalEducation department has revealed that 158 out of the 246 (till 15 April) COVID19cases in Kashmir were contacts of patients who had tested positive. Contacts,as per the figures, constitute 64.2 percent of the total cases.

The data further reveals that 58 of those who testedpositive had travelled here from other states. This section constitutes about24 percent of the cases. In addition, 18 people (7.3 percent) with foreigntravel history tested positive.

"All of these people were in our surveillance network," DrOvais Ahmed, OSD J&K health and medical education department, said. "Theywere identified and sampled by the field staff after aggressive and immaculatecontact tracing," they said.

He said many of the 18 people with foreign travel historywere in administrative quarantine while others were under surveillance of thefield staff. "Those under surveillance are visited by a health official dailyto check for symptoms," he said.

He said a total of 244 patients out of 246 have been resultof surveillance and contact tracing. He said that J&K's model of mappingthe activities of a positive case to locate as many as possible contacts was"the most meticulous and scientific". "It is this model that is resulting inour positivity to be among the highest… because the sampling has been verytargeted," he said.

Contact tracing involves mapping the daily activities of aCOVID19 patient and reaching out to people who he or she has possibly come incontact with during the past two weeks. Around the world this technique hasgained lot of traction with many experts calling it 'one the most effectivestrategies in tackling the spread of corona virus'. "In Kashmir too, as thedata suggests, aggressive tracking of the suspected cases has so far managed tokeep J&K safe from rampant spread. Things are under control," Ahmad said.

Currently, there are 59205 people under observation inJ&K as per government figures. 7631 people have been put under quarantine,including facilities administered by Government. 23662 people have completedsurveillance period.

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