Akeel Rashid

COVID-19: 13 test positive in J&K on a single day

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10 in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu; total cases in UT jump to 33; Admin solicits support of everyone in reporting cases

Srinagar: Thirteen people tested positive for coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, taking the total number of cases to 33.

Of these, 24 cases have been reported from Valley while nine are from Jammu region.

“Hardly do I finish my press briefing – 28 cases- that I get more unpleasant news -5 new positive cases- 2 in Srinagar, 3 in Jammu- all contacts of previously positive ones; All Jammu cases asymptomatic. We are at 33 now,” government spokesman Rohit Kansal said in a tweet.

Earlier, in a video briefing, Kansal had confirmed that eight persons had tested positive for COVID 19 on Saturday.

“Five cases had a history of contact with already positive cases of religious congregation while the other three had travel history outside J&K,” he said.

He said contacts of the fresh positive cases are being traced.

This is the highest number of positive cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir on a single day.

Two patients have recovered while one died on Thursday.

Earlier, Principal Secretary, Planning, Development & Monitoring Department, Rohit Kansal, who is also the J&K Govt Spokesperson, today said that the administration is closely monitoring and reviewing the situation and proactively taking a number of steps to combat COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he appealed the people to report travel history and cooperate with the government in breaking the chain of the transmission.

Director Information & PR, Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar and Mission Director NHM  Bhupinder Kumar were also present during the occasion.

In an online briefing with the media persons, he said that public cooperation is of critical importance in breaking the chain of transmission.

He said that like in the rest of the country Jammu and Kashmir too has seen a spurt of cases in the last week or so. He informed that the total number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 28, of which active cases are 25 including 21 in Kashmir and 4 in Jammu division.

“Our teams have been consistently and aggressively trying to trace out the contacts and test them. This will cause some inconvenience and this is where we need support and cooperation of the Public. He further said that tracing out contacts and testing them is of critical importance in breaking the chain of transmission.

Giving further details, he said “We have found out that 11 of the positive cases in Kashmir division could be traced to a single religious congregation. Another 6 cases could be traced to another group which had travelled to Saudi Arabia. We are also getting reports that one of the positive patients had suppressed his travel history to Dubai. This is extremely dangerous for the family, the community and finally the entire UT” and appealed the people not to hide   travel history and self report and cooperate with the government.

“While we have been aggressively tracing out contacts, we have also been reviewing our capacities and facilities. We now have an administrative quarantine facility of over 35000 beds in Jammu (6500), Srinagar (10000) and individual districts(1000 each) spread over large locations” he added.

He further informed that the government has identified and earmarked 11 hospitals, 8 in Kashmir and 3 in Jammu division as exclusive COVID hospitals and as a result the government have earmarked 2400 treatment beds-1300 in Kashmir and 1100 in Jammu for the purpose. “We are also preparing to upgrade capacity to include 1000 more quarantine beds. On the request of the medical fraternity, the health department has also made arrangements for hotels both in Jammu and Kashmir for exclusive use of medical professionals engaged in treatment,” he added.

He said that the Health department is also engaged in procurement of all required material and equipment including masks, Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs) and ventilators.

Kansal also listed the steps taken in order to alleviate the difficulties being faced by the people in the emerging situation.

“The administrative council has already met under the Chairmanship of the Lt Governor and announced a series of steps to alleviate the problems of the people, especially the poor and the destitute. These include immediate release of Rs 1000 each to workers registered with Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board for purchase of one month’s advance ration under Mid-Day meal, release of two installments of old age, disability and family pension to all the 7.7 lakh pensioners and additional coverage of all 1.7 lakh pending cases, “he informed.

He further said that “To help the destitute, slum dwellers and migrant labour, ration packets containing essential edibles are being prepared and supplied through the DCs and urban local bodies. In addition, Rs 50 crore has been released to supplement already for the containment of COVID-19 to the districts, PHE department, ULBs for quarantine facilities.

“The administration has also fully geared up to implement all the welfare measures announced under the PRADHAN MANTRI GARIB KALYAN PACKAGE. Distribution of ration both the normal ration and free ration as provided under PMGKAY has already been started. Preparations for implementing other components are also being finalized,” he added.

He also mentioned that the supply lines of essential commodities including drugs are fully in place. There is no shortage of any kind of essential commodity in procurement level and facilitation passes have been issued in this regard. He therefore urged general public not to hoard any sort of commodity and avoid panic.

For the assistance of the labourers and residents of UT residing in different parts of the country, the administration is starting a dedicated labour helpline; an appeal has been made to all the State governments to take care of people from other states. Similarly in J&K, the administration is taking caring measures of all such people who may happen to be residing in the UT of J&K.

An appeal has also been made to all the religious leaders, for instance the grand Mufti of Srinagar has made an appeal regarding holding prayers at home. He also urged to maintain social distances and stay at home besides follow all the advisories issued from time to time to win this battle.

Chief Secretary appeals for calm

JAMMU: As the number of cases being tested across J&K rose to 33 today, Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam today appealed people to stay calm and not panic.

In a message, Subrahmanyam said the J&K Government has undertaken an aggressive testing campaign to detect COVID-19 positive cases as a result of which there is an increase in the number. He said the latest five positive cases today – 2 in Srinagar and 3 in Jammu – are all contacts of prior positives and are asymptomatic which would have never been known for upto 2 weeks and would have infected 100s subsequently.

The Chief Secretary said the testing rate in J& K is over 10% of those under surveillance which is higher than states like Kerala. He said Medical capacities, response mechanism and other parameters are being quietly ramped up.

Hoping that J&K would overcome the crisis, the Chief Secretary complimented the frontline health workers, field administration and volunteers who are resolutely fighting on the ground to defeat the pandemic.

“Rise in positive cases as a result of aggressive testing”

Srinagar: Soon after the number of COVID-19 positive cases spiked to 33 in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), posted two tweets in order to “offer reassurance” that the rise in positive cases was result of testing being done aggressively.

It was really a tough day for the people of UT as today 13 COVID-19 positive cases were reported in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, J&K government Spokesperson, Rohit Kansal, Retweeted the tweets writing, “Aggressive testing and contact tracing leads to asymptomatic contacts being traced- great effort.” “Reassuring message from CS J&K.”

The tweets are produced verbatim below:

#1 The number of positive cases rise in JK to 33, testing being done aggressively, hence rise in numbers. The last 5 positives today are all contacts of prior positives and are asymptomatic. They would never have been known for upto 2 weeks and would have infected 100s.

#2 The UT’s testing rate is over 10% of those under surveillance. This is higher than many states of the country. Government urges people to cooperate fully and not panic.

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