Covid19 | J&K total rises to 341 with 13 new cases

Percentage of samples testing positive declines from 6.6 to 2.4

Kashmir has seen a decline in proportion of samples testing positive for coronavirus over the past five days. The trend continued on Saturday with only 13 samples of the 648 tested found positive.

Data accessed by the Greater Kashmir reveals that percentageof samples that test positive at the two laboratories in Kashmir has droppeddrastically over the past five days. From 14 April to 18 April, 2698 sampleshave were tested at SKIMS and CD Hospital together. Of these, 65 samples havebeen found positive for coronavirus. The percentage: 2.4.

Five days prior to that, from 09 April to 13 April, 1424samples were tested at these two labs. Of these, 94 samples tested positive.The percentage: 6.6.

The number of samples being tested has seen a major upscalethis week.

On Saturday, only 13 of the 648 samples tested in Kashmirtested positive.

A day earlier, on Friday, 14 of 829 samples that weretested, were positive.

Dr S Saleem Khan, nodal officer for COVID19 at GMC Srinagarsaid the drop in percentage could be due to "expansion of the contact list"."Earlier, we were possibly testing only the close contacts. Now, we have moveda little beyond that. The possibility of infection decreases that way," hesaid.

The next step, he said, should be to test for communitytransmission in Kashmir. "The red zones are especially vital. We definitelyneed to expand our ambit of testing in these zones," he said.

Prof Parvaiz Koul, influenza expert and head of internal andpulmonary medicine at SKIMS said the dropping percentage was a good sign andreflected more widespread testing. " It gives us a better picture of what's inthe community," he said.

Dr Farooq Jan, medical superintendent SKIMS said drop inpercentage of tests found positive was a good sign. He said SKIMS had alreadystarted testing for community transmission as per ICMR guidelines. "Allpatients with respiratory illness are tested for Covid19 at SKIMS," he said.

He added that many hotspots seemed to have emerged. "Todaytoo, out of the six tests that turned out positive at SKIMS, five were fromBandipora," he said.  With this addition,Bandipora became the district with highest number of COVID19 cases, surpassingSrinagar. The total number of cases in Bandipora stood at 80 on Saturday, whileSrinagar, with no new cases, stood at 78 for third consecutive day.

He added that one patient from Budgam had also testedpositive.

At CD Hospital, five of the seven samples that testedpositive were from Shopian. The remaining two, Dr Khan said, were from districtAnantnag.

"These clusters need to be investigated thoroughly," Dr Khansaid.

COVID19 toll reached 341 on Saturday in J&K, with fivedeaths and 51 recoveries. At SKIMS, four patients were discharged today aftertheir tests, following treatment, were found negative.

Currently, there are 287 active COVID19 cases in Kashmir and54 COVID19 cases in Jammu division.

Government has advised people to desist from selfprescribing medicines including Hydroxychloroquine – shown to have adversehealth effects without close monitoring by a doctor.

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