With two suspected coronavirus cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir, the administration Saturday ordered the closure of government and private schools up to the primary level in six districts and suspended biometric attendance across the region till March 31.
“A preliminary report of their samples sent to AIIMS, Delhi, shows they have tested positive. We are waiting for the final test reports before officially declaring them as confirmed cases,” said epidemiologist Dr Deepak Kapoor.
A statement by the Union Territory’s administration said both are “high viral load cases” and that there is a “high probability of (their) testing positive”.
The two persons, hailing from Satwari and RS Pura, have been isolated at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu.
Primary schools in Jammu, Samba, Baramulla, Bandipora, Budgam and Srinagar have been ordered to remain shut till March 31. Biometric attendance across the UT also stands suspended till the end of the month, UT spokesperson Rohit Kansal said.
Large gatherings have been disallowed in Bandipora and officials have ordered the suspension of morning assembly in all government and private schools in Kupwara district till March 31.
The administration has also introduced help desks at Jammu and Katra railway stations, Kansal said, adding that the Vaishnodevi Shrine Board has introduced measures such as self declaration by pilgrims and thermal imaging. The screening process at Srinagar airport is also being intensified, said an official statement.
Authorities said the suspected coronavirus victims had travelled to Iran and South Korea. They were directed to the hospital after they landed at Jammu airport. The two also triggered alarm bells after leaving the hospital against medical advice after doctors collected their samples on March 4. Those who had come in contact with them have been put under surveillance.
Kansal said 287 people had been put under surveillance and 95 of them have completed the surveillance period of 28 days. Twenty eight samples were sent for testing and 25 of them have tested negative.
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