Scare after IAS officer tests positive

Seven senior officials of J&K administration posted in Kashmir division have gone into home quarantine after their meeting with a bureaucrat who has tested positive for Covid19.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole, said quarantine had been advised to officials who had come in contact with the IAS officer who tested positive recently.

He said the epidemiologists entrusted with the job of identifying and tracing contacts will decide on the contacts of the COVID19 positive IAS officer. “They (epidemiologists) are the technical people and have advised 7-8 officials for home quarantine,” he said.

Divisional Commissioner said the officials who have proceeded for home quarantine will be tested on Day 5 of the exposure. “Three days have already elapsed, they will be tested in a couple of days now,” he said. Pole said the officials will continue to work from home.

In Jammu, many senior officials have already been quarantined soon after the IAS officer tested positive. Epidemiologist and nodal officer COVID19 sampling in Jammu division, Dr ADS Manhas, said the officials will need to be tested 5-7 days later till there is “adequate viral load”. He said those who test negative after these tests can resume their activities while others will need to be in hospitals. “The exact number of those under quarantine is dynamic and a long one and district administration is taking care of that,” he said.

An official in health department said those quarantined include some officials in the core team of COVID19 response. In addition, he said, around 60 people, close and casual contacts of the COVID19 positive official have been put under quarantine. “They have been asked to isolate till their samples are taken and tested,” the official said. “People have been asked to self report any contact with him,” he said.

An IAS official in J&K administration had tested positive for COVID19 on 29 May, after he had been sampled at Jammu Airport on his return from Srinagar, where he had convened a meeting with COVID19 response teams.