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As COVID-19 cases rise, authorities tighten preventive measures at Srinagar airport

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‘No inbound travellers to be allowed to leave airport until their test reports are received’

Srinagar: With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some states, the government in J&K is taking preventive measures aimed at averting spread of the infection in the UT.

In a meeting convened here, the Incharge Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary issued directions for putting in place required measures to avert spread of infections in Kashmir division, as official press release informed.

He directed for strengthening the preventive mechanism at the Srinagar airport instructing the Srinagar and Budgam district administrations to set up additional coronavirus testing facilities there besides enabling quick receipt of test reports.

He also instructed that no inbound traveller be allowed to leave the airport until their COVID-19 test report is received directing that test reports be issued on the spot before letting the travellers go.

The instructions also come in the wake of a recent trend within Kashmir which shows greater number of infections in travellers compared to local cases of COVID-19 infections.

Earlier while speaking during the meeting, the Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr Samir Mattoo said the situation surrounding COVID-19 in the division is positive adding that the transmission rate is also quite low. He observed that stricter measures at the airport are important to avert rise in infections within the Valley.

It was also decided that the travellers whose reports come positive would be isolated in order to prevent transmission and spread of the infection amongst the local population.

Relevant protocols as given in the COVID-19 SOP manual will be followed in the case, the press release informed.

The meeting was informed that those with 48-hour-old RT-PCR negative reports from their departing cities will not have to undergo testing at the Srinagar airport.

It was informed that rise in positive cases as reported in some states outside J&K along with the recent trend finding more infections in inbound travellers has necessitated taking these preventive measures.

Additional District Magistrate Srinagar and Nodal Officer COVID-19 Mitigation Operations Srinagar Masarat Hashim, State Surveillance Officer IDPS and Nodal Officer COVID-19 Control Room Kashmir Division Dr Talat Jabeen, Assistant Commissioner Revenue Budgam Raeis Bhat, Chief Medical Officer Srinagar Dr Javaid Bakshi and HOD Social & Preventive Medicine GMC Srinagar Dr Salim Khan attended the meeting.

Incharge COVID-19 Testing at Srinagar airport, Epidemiologists of Srinagar and Bugam and officials representing SKIMS Soura, SKIMS MC&H Bemina and GMC Srinagar were also present in the meeting.

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