With Jammu and Kashmir reporting the biggest ever spike of 33 positive cases in a single day raising the total number of coronavirus cases to 158 Wednesday, the UT government ordered door-to-door testing of people in areas declared as red zones, besides making the wearing of masks mandatory for all, including officers, staff and visitors inside the civil secretariat.
Baseer Khan, advisor to UT’s Lt Governor, who is the overall in-charge of Coronavirus Control efforts in Kashmir Division, asked the officers to conduct door-to-door testing of people residing in Red Zones in a strict manner so as to break the chain of COVID-19 virus.
Holding a meeting to review stock and supply position of medicines and other measures initiated by Health departments regarding prevention and control of COVID-19, he also directed that suitable buildings close to hospitals should be taken for quarantine and Isolation Centers for coronavirus suspects. The buildings will also be used for accommodation of medical staff presently working in different hospitals, he said. In the meeting, it was decided that the indoor stadium at Baramulla would be taken for quarantine facility centre.
Meanwhile, UT government’s spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted that “19 more cases test positive in Kashmir division” nearly an hour after he said 14 people tested positive, including 11 in Kashmir and three in Jammu.
Pointing out that 30 positive cases were reported in Kashmir, official sources said there were at present 148 active cases as six people had recovered and three died. Till date, there were 40,336 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases put under surveillance.
Of them, 8,494 persons were in home quarantine, including facilities operated by the government, 518 in hospital quarantine, 130 in hospital isolation and 23,364 under home surveillance, while 7,830 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period. Till date 2,269 samples have been sent for testing, of which 2,116 have tested as negative and 14 reports are awaited.
The UT administration, in the meantime, made the wearing of masks mandatory for all including officers, staff and visitors inside the civil secretariat. The General Administrative Department in an order authorised all the administrative secretaries to purchase masks for supply of three reusable masks to each employee in each department in the secretariat. The expense in this regard shall be defrayed from the office expenses head, read the order, adding that in case of non-availability of masks in the open market, the administrative secretaries shall submit their requirements to the Department of Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution for the supply of the same.
The decision came in the wake of 33 people, including three members of Tablighi Jamaat in Jammu, testing positive on Wednesday.
In Jammu, at least 20 of the 27 people tested positive in Jammu division are either connected to Tablighi Jamaat congregations, or are their contacts.
Since Tuesday last, eight people who tested positive on the outskirts of Jammu city happened to be members of the Tablighi Jamaat, with at least six of them hailing from Meerut and Mumbai. They were part of a 22-people group kept at a quarantine facility at Bhatindi since March 20.
The outskirts of Jammu city have reported 14 active cases including a doctor, his wife, father and a domestic help. The doctor, an assistant professor in Government Medical College’s Microbiology Department here was associated with the collection of samples of COVID cases.
While one of the two persons was reported to be a contact of an already positive case, the contact tracing in respect to another was in progress.
Of the 10 positive cases reported in Udhampur district, sources said three were members of Tablighi Jamaat and seven others their contacts, including family members.
Similarly, in Rajouri district, a doctor had reported to have contracted coronavirus from a member of the Tablighi Jamaat after he met him at Banihal. Later, he infected his son also. Another person tested positive there reportedly had a travel history to Bengaluru and Delhi.
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