J&K gets uneasy with jump in daily cases

Travelers arriving at Katra push the numbers up: Government
J&K gets uneasy with jump in daily cases
A health worker collecting swab sample from a man at a COVID-19 testing facility in Srinagar. File/GK

Srinagar: With daily cases suddenly jumping to 176 on Thursday, 126 on Friday and 135 on Saturday, people have started feeling concerned over a possible new wave.

However, the government said there was no change in the number of positive cases in J&K and the numbers escalated due to the high number of travelers testing positive.

Thursday’s was the highest spike in August while the daily cases have remained under 150 during the two weeks of this month.

This week, the daily reported cases have been consistently around 120.

Of the 176 positives on Thursday, 96 were from Jammu division and 80 from Kashmir. However, the tally included 77 travelers, 73 of them from district Reasi alone.

On Friday, 126 people reported positive, 14 of them were travelers, mostly arriving in Reasi. However, the trend appears to be a new one as no travelers were reported positive from Reasi in the week before.

Additional Chief Secretary, J&K Government, Atal Dulloo said there was no rise in the number of cases in J&K if travelers were excluded.

“The cases were high due to a high number of travelers arriving at Katra. Otherwise, there is no change in the positive cases in J&K,” he said.

Dulloo said that the positive percentage in J&K was set to change due to travelers getting included in the number of cases tallied with the number of tests.

“However, if we exclude the travelers, the positive percentage has remained the same for the past month,” he said.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Reasi, Dr Rajeev Sharma said the travelers were from other states and had arrived in trains for pilgrimage.

“We are doing around 3000-4000 tests a day at the railway station, and we had a very high number of pilgrims testing positive due to which Reasi reported 73 cases,” he said.

Social and Preventive Medicine expert, Dr Rouf Hussain Rather, who is working at Divisional Covid Control Room, said the positive percentage had ranged between 0.2 and 0.8.

He said that the number of cases in Kashmir division had been steady.

“On Thursday, we had 80 cases in Kashmir, on Friday, we had 70 cases. There is hardly any change in the numbers,” Dr Rather said.

In many states of the country, cases are rising steadily in August, with the Union Health Ministry expressing concern over the spike.

Many experts have opined that the possible third wave of Covid-19 could hit India between October and December, with some fearing it could arrive earlier.

As per the government officials, the third wave of Covid-19 in J&K would depend on many factors with virus mutation a strong predictor of its timing and magnitude.

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