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Covid: J&K records month’s highest single day spike

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Reports 4651 fresh cases; three deaths

Srinagar: In the highest single-day spike so far this month, Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday recorded 4,651 fresh cases of COVID-19, taking the total number of infections to 3,66,851 while three deaths were reported in 24 hours, officials said.

Of the fresh cases, 1,546 were from Jammu division and 3,105 from Kashmir, the officials said.

They said Srinagar district recorded the highest number of 957 cases followed by 919 cases in Jammu district.

There are 21,677 active cases in the union territory, while the number of recoveries so far was 3,40,599, the officials said.

With three fresh deaths, the death toll in the union territory went up to 4,575, they said.

Srinagar reported 957 cases; Baramulla 633, Budgam 411, Pulwama 96, Kupwara 209, Anantnag 253, Bandipora 139, Ganderbal 172, Kulgam 215 while as Shopian reported 21 fresh cases today.

In Jammu province, Jammu district reported 919, Reasi 78, Udhampur 184, Rajouri 74, Doda 49, Kathua 94, Samba 109, Poonch 18, Kishtwar 06 while as Ramban reported 15 fresh cases.

Meanwhile, the officials said, there were 51 confirmed cases of Mucormycosis (black fungus) in the union territory. However, no such fresh case was reported since Monday evening.

About the vaccination drive, officials said that 51,060 doses of COVID vaccine have been administered in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative number of doses administered across J&K to 1,99,77,343.

Centre asks states, UTs to enhance Covid testing

Flagging a decline in the number of COVID-19 tests in many states and union territories, the Centre on Monday asked them to enhance testing so that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic can be kept and immediate citizen-centric action can be initiated.

In a letter to states and UTs, Additional Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Arti Ahuja advised them to pay attention to this aspect immediately and increase the testing in a strategic manner keeping in view the trend of case positivity in specific areas.

She highlighted that Omicron, which has been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, is currently spreading across the country.

Referring to the ministry’s earlier letters and the Home Ministry advisory of December 27 last year laying out the broad framework of pandemic management in the context of Omicron, Ahuja said testing remains a key and crucial component.

“However, it is seen from the data available on the ICMR portal that testing has declined in many states and union territories,” she wrote.

She said in all advisories on testing issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), including the latest on January 10, the basic objective remains early detection of cases for quick isolation and care.

In addition, testing remains a key strategy for pandemic management as it helps in identification of new clusters and new hotspots of infection which can in turn facilitate immediate action for containment such as setting up of containment zones, contact tracing, quarantining, isolation and follow-up.

This can enable the state and district administrations to curb the spread of infection. Also this will ensure reduction in mortality and morbidity.

“Progression of disease to a severe category can be averted by strategic testing of those who are at high risk and more vulnerable, as well as in areas where the spread is likely to be higher,” Ahuja said.

Reiterating the advisory on purposive testing strategy issued by the ICMR on January 10, she said in community settings all those who are symptomatic must be tested and all at-risk contacts of laboratory confirmed cases must also be tested.

This advisory needs to be read in conjunction with the earlier guidelines and advisories of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, wherein it has been recommended that strategic and focused testing should be done of people who are vulnerable, living in closed surroundings, in densely populated areas in emerging new clusters and new hotspots of positive cases, etc., Ahuja said.

“In order to ensure that an effective track of the spread of the pandemic is kept and also immediate citizen-centric action is initiated, it is incumbent upon all states/UTs to enhance testing,” she said.

Over 80 doctors, paramedics test COVID-19 positive in a day in GMC Srinagar

Over 80 doctors and paramedics have tested positive for COVID-19 in Government Medical College Srinagar in a single day, taking the total number of infected persons in the tertiary care institution to 546 in January so far, officials said on Tuesday.

“Omicron is spreading very very fast: 46 doctors, 22 MBBS students, 15 paramedics tested COVID Positive in 1 day in GMC Srinagar & Ass(i)st(ed)d Hospitals. Total count goes up to 546 since 1st Jan this year,” head of department community medicine at GMC Srinagar Dr Muhammad Salim Khan said in a tweet.

He urged the people to follow Covid appropriate behaviour and other SOPs religiously.

“Avoid gatherings. Please wear facemasks necessarily. Maintain social distancing,” he said.

“Today Kashmir reported highest COVID Positive cases this wave. Omicron seems predominantly circulating but Delta variant could also be affecting people leading to moderate to severe illness. Please mask up necessarily,” Khan added.

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