Passenger testing ramped up on Srinagar-Jammu Highway

Passenger testing ramped up on Srinagar-Jammu Highway
Block Medical Officer, Qazigund Dr Zahoor Ahmad said, RAT of mostly unvaccinated travellers is conducted daily from 9 am to 6 pm at Lower Munda on the national highway.File/GK

Anantnag: While testing for travellers entering Kashmir through the Srinagar- Jammu National Highway during the day time has recently seen an uptick, testing for night travel is yet to be enforced by the administration. Officials told Greater Kashmir that testing has been ramped up because of the present Omicron threat but added that testing for passengers entering Kashmir after dusk has not been started yet.

“We used to conduct Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) of 400 travelers every day but ever since the first case of Omicron surfaced in India, we have increased the testing to 1000 per day,” Sub Divisional Magistrate Dooru, Ghulam Rasool said. The official said that no traveller has tested positive for COVID in the recent past.

Block Medical Officer, Qazigund Dr Zahoor Ahmad said RAT of mostly unvaccinated travellers is conducted daily from 9 am to 6 pm at Lower Munda on the national highway.

However, the health official questioned the move to test the travellers during specific hours.

“Testing travelers entering the valley during day time and allowing them to go untested for the rest of fifteen hours is beyond understanding,” he said.

The official said as India now reports over 100 cases of Omicron, there is every likelihood of this new variant making its way to Kashmir.

“In view of this threat, not testing all travellers can prove to be disastrous,” he said.

Earlier in April this year following the spike in COVID cases in Kashmir the J&K government established a testing facility at Lower Munda near Qazigund in south Kashmir's Anantnag district while testing hours were from 8 am to 6 pm and most of the travellers managed to enter the Valley untested.

A month later after Greater Kashmir carried the story on many infected travelers entering Kashmir, the government directed for round-the-clock testing. However, a few months back as the cases started coming down the testing facility was again reduced to barely eight hours of functioning.

Greater Kashmir
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