The number of Red Zones, areas with a cluster of positive covid19 cases, has doubled in J&K during the last two weeks; from 45 on April 6 the number has scaled to 91— 84 in Kashmir Valley and 7 in Jammu division.
The spurt in the numbers— both of positive patients and thered zones in Kashmir — is becoming a serious concern for the administration.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Pole said thatthe "Red Zone Management Plan" formulated by the J&K government last week,was being followed thoroughly.
"The immediate focus is to increase our capacity to docontact tracing and collect samples for testing of covid19. Teams of healthcareprofessionals have been formed block-wise and trained to collect samples," Polesaid.
He said even though there was an increase in number of positivecases, the manpower available with the administration was sufficient to dealeven with an extremely worst situation.
"We have 60 mobile testing units for rapid testing; we justneed cooperation from the people," Pole said.
He said: "The 'administrative' quarantine in hotels andother locations has helped a great deal to check spread of covid19."
The Div Com said the three main government testingfacilities in Kashmir have increased the capacity of sample testing to 800-1000tests per day. "As many as 700-800 tests are being conducted in the Valleyevery day and even contact tracing is being done professionally. Anepidemiologist along with a DSP or an SP rank officer is deputed for thecontact tracing which has proved to be quite successful," Pole said.
The Div Com said the lockdown in the Red Zones was beingensured strictly but at the same time "essential items and other serviceswere being delivered in these areas."
Explaining the process involved in identification of the RedZones through Geographic Information System (GIS), an official said afterreceiving the data of covid19 positive cases from Health Department, theaffected areas are located from satellite and GIS data. "The exact location ofthe affected patient marked by Geo-tagging is known as center point from which3 kilometers of area is declared as a containment zone," the official said.
He said the buffer zones in rural areas are the localitiesfalling within 7 kilometers from the center point. For urban areas, 5 kms fromthe center point or the actual location of the positive case is declared asbuffer zone, he said.
"In containment and buffer zones there are restrictions ofpeople visiting their relatives and neighbours," the official said.
The official said the kilometer criteria for buffer andcontainment zone is being reviewed by the administration from time to time.