COVID-19 – involve private hospitals in testing

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Coronavirs (COVID-19) has brought entire world on its knees. More than 7000 have died with the deaths being highest in China (the epicenter of the virus), followed by Italy and Iran. Three infected persons have died in India while three have tested positive in union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu and Kashmir, as per official records, 2478 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance while as 2095 persons are under home quarantine. Persons who are in hospital quarantine stand at 29 and 178 persons are under home surveillance. 106 samples have been sent for testing, of which 98 tested as negative and only three cases have tested positive, so far while as reports of six cases are awaited.

The UT administration has geared up men and machinery to tackle the grave crisis. Media, both electronic as well as print, is being used to spread awareness about the deadly virus and about the precautionary measure announced by the WHO. At the moment, there is no specific cure to stop the spread of killer virus, precaution remains the only option to stop the spread. In this regard, it is the responsibility of every individual to ensure that the WHO guidelines are followed in letter and spread. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have to understand that our health care system is one of the poorest and therefore we have to be more precautious to help defeat the spread as prevention is better than cure. People should avoid unnecessary outings and minimize human contact.

The administration too needs to be more proactive in precautionary measures. Reports suggest that on Jammu-Srinagar Highway the check points meant for testing of all visitors are there just as a formality and the staff there is not doing their job seriously. Secondly, the government should rope in all the private hospitals and direct them to dedicate special teams and labs for testing of Coronavirus. If Spain, in the wake of the threat, can go to the extent of nationalizing the private hospitals, why the UT administration cannot direct private hospitals to arrange testing facilities during these difficult times?

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