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Growth rate of coronavirus slows in J&K but no room for complacency: Kansal

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Testing rate now 703 per million, 2nd highest in the country

JAMMU: Principal Secretary, Planning, Development & Monitoring and Information, Rohit Kansal today said that rapid testing and effective control measures in J&K have helped reduce the rate of growth of coronavirus leading to decrease in doubling rate.

Rohit Kansal, who is also the Govt Spokesperson, was addressing a press conference here, whereat he gave an overall update about the COVID situation in the Union Territory.

He said that the testing rate in J&K has been increased to 703 per million, which is second highest in the country, while initially it was 77.5 per million.

“We were one of the first to have our own testing facilities. Since then we have been continuously ramping up our facilities. From a testing capacity of 50 tests a day, the number of samples tested yesterday was more than 700,” Kansal informed and added that the capacity will be shortly braced up to 1000 tests per day in our four ICMR accredited labs.

“We are enhancing testing capacities in these labs as well and shortly adding two more labs. We are maintaining supply chains of essential reagents and are adding more and advanced equipment and manpower,” he told the media. He further informed that decentralised sample collection centres have also been set up in the districts.

Reiterating that there is certainly a case for some respite, he said as of this moment, the total number of positive cases in J&K is 380 of which the number of active cases is 294, including 256 in the Kashmir Division and 38 in the Jammu division. One active case has been reported from Kathua district today.

“As you are already aware, there have been 81 recoveries which include young children and we also have had 5 unfortunate deaths,” he said and added that 60,000 (Sixty thousand) persons have been enlisted for surveillance out of which nearly 35,000 (Thirty-five thousand) have completed the mandatory 28 days period of surveillance.

Briefing on control measures, he said, based on the results and number of active cases and other parameters, five districts namely Bandipore, Baramulla, Kupwara, Srinagar and Jammu have been identified as hotspot districts in the UT.

Divulging further, he said 92 areas have been designated as Red Zones in the UT- 14 in Jammu Division and 78 in Kashmir Division. He said that these Red Zones will be under strict restrictions, extra surveillance and enhanced testing.

He said, “While we do believe a strict lockdown, a robust tracing process, aggressive testing and strict protocols have led to identification of even asymptomatic cases, but for stamping out of many spread chains and a slowed infection growth it is important to emphasize that there is no room for complacency. We are dealing with a dangerous invisible enemy and we need to be alert and watchful.”

He said that the strategy of aggressive tracing and increased testing will continue.

A pilot project has already been started in Jammu District. We are strongly encouraging the use of Aarogya Setu App. So far, more than 6.5 lakh users have installed the App in the UT,” he added.

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