Four new patients tested positive for COVID19 in Kashmir today, taking the total number of positive cases in J&K to 11, eight of them in Kashmir alone.
Principal secretary to J&K government, Rohit Kansal, said all the four were residents of Bandipora. “Preliminary findings suggest that they were in close contact of the Srinagar patient, who tested positive yesterday. All the five (including patient who tested positive on Tuesday) are reported to have participated together in a religious event,” he wrote on Twitter.
With the four new cases today, reported positive from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and three cases on Tuesday, Kashmir has seen a sudden surge in COVID19 cases, seven in two days. The first COVID19 case of Kashmir came to fore on March 18, a 67 year old lady who has been declared “fully recovered” by authorities. In Jammu, three patients have tested positive for COVID19 till date.
Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, in-charge COVID19 at Chest Diseases Hospital, said 38 samples were taken from contacts of patients who tested positive yesterday. In addition, he said, 10 samples were taken from patients currently admitted at the hospital.
He said 70 people, all contacts of the positive cases were being tested.
Meanwhile two samples were found to be negative at SKIMS, of students currently undergoing quarantine in Srinagar.
At Chest Diseases Hospital, 24 samples tested negative today. These, Dr Saleem Khan, nodal officer COVID19 at Government Medical College Srinagar, said included samples received from hospitals outside GMC umbrella. As per the media bulletin issued by Government, 326 samples have been sent for testing of which 294 tested as negative while as 21 reports were awaited. The bulletin said 5124 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance. It further said that 3061 persons have been kept under home quarantine while as 80 are in hospital quarantine. Persons who are under home surveillance stand at 1477 while as 506 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.
An advisory was also issued by Government which underlined for complete lockdown. “People are appealed to stay in their homes and take the lockdown imposed by Government with utmost sincerity as carelessness of few can throw us into grave jeopardy, keeping in view the global experiences of countries which have been successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 through implementation of social distancing measures unlike some other countries where thousands of people have died,” reads the advisory. The advisory urged public to strictly follow directions of the Prime Minister who has called for complete lockdown in the entire nation for the next 21 days in an effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic as it is essential to break the chain of its transmission.
On the implementation of Social Distancing measures, the advisory said that it is the key to stop and prevent the spread of Covid-19 from those who are infected to those who are not infected. The intervention includes remaining out of crowded settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.