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Two more persons die of Covid-19, J&K toll 96

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J&K records 144 fresh COVID-19 cases, total reaches 7,237

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley on Monday reported two deaths due to Covid-19, taking the count due to the virus in J&K to 96. Both the deaths took place at SMHS hospital here.

Officials said a 45-year-old man from Bijbhera Anantnag with “bilateral pneumonia” died this afternoon, a day after he was admitted to the health facility.

Earlier, a 65-year-old resident of Sugan Shopian who was also admitted yesterday (June 28) and “sampled on the same day” died at the hospital, they said. “The patient was hypertensive and had breathlessness besides other ailments. He died at 1:30 a.m. today.”

So far, 96 people have succumbed to the virus in J&K—11 from Jammu division and 85 from the Valley.

Srinagar district with 22 deaths has the highest fatalities followed by Baramulla (15), Kulgam (13), Shopian (11), seven each from Jammu and Budgam and Anantnag  and Kupwara (5), Pulwama (four) while one death each has been reported from Bandipora, Poonch, Doda, Udhampur and Rajouri.

Meanwhile, as many as 144 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, taking the total number coronavirus cases in the Union Territory to 7,237, officials said.

While 45 of the new cases were from Jammu region, 99 cases were from the Valley, they said.

There are 2,557 active cases in the Union Territory, while 4,585 patients have recovered from the infection.

The cases detected on Monday include 53 persons who had returned to the UT recently.

Officials said Pulwama district in south Kashmir recorded the highest number of cases – 29 — followed by 18 in Shopian and 17 in Srinagar.

Kishtwar was the only district where no fresh case was defected.

With these fresh cases, the total number of infected persons in Jammu and Kashmir reached 7,237.

“Of these, 5,658 are in Kashmir, while 1,579 are in the Jammu region,” the officials said.

The number of people who had died after testing positive for COVID-19 is 96.

In a related development about testing in the Union territory, the microbiology department of Government Medical College (GMC) in Jammu today claimed reaching a milestone by carrying out more than 2,100 tests in a day through introduction of partial automation.

The 2,143 samples are more than the daily average of 1,300 samples per day during the past two months, thus, accounting for an increase of about 39.33 per cent, an official spokesman said.

He said the testing of a substantial figure of 70,840 samples till date in the VRDL GMC Jammu has become possible only due to the strenuous efforts of clinical microbiologists, research scientists, laboratory technicians, para-medical staff, and connected staff, who have been working up to 18 hours a day since the outbreak of the pandemic in March.

Besides, more than 1.2 lakh tests, including screening and confirmatory runs, have also been carried out by the same dedicated, limited task force, as the test is technically very demanding and needs expertise and all these endeavours by the team have been carried out with a missionary zeal, the spokesman said.

He said the microbiology department is in the process of training and building human resources for new medical colleges to decentralise the enormous workload on account of the COVID-19 testing, besides routine testing of dengue, swine flu, hepatitis and other such contagious and other emerging novel agents.

“VRDL GMC Jammu is next only to SKIMS, Soura in testing, in the Union Territory. SKIMS is our referral VRDL lab with enormous state of the art infrastructure and resources,” Head of Microbiology Department, GMC, Jammu, Shashi S Sharma, said.

He said VRDL GMC Jammu has been successful in overcoming many of the initial infrastructure deficiencies, startup hiccups and related miscellaneous hardships in a very professional manner with collective approach of all stakeholders.

With the ongoing upgradation of infrastructure and creation of an academic vibe and work culture, the department of microbiology is now fully geared to meet the challenge posed by COVID 19 pandemic, Sharma said.

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