COVID-19 I 2 infected in Jammu, 2 in Ladakh recover No let up in UT: 4 more test positive in Kashmir, total 11

TNN Bureau. Updated: 3/26/2020 12:06:40 PM Front Page

Authorities fear for worse, 150 hiding travel history traced in Valley

SRINAGAR/JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday reported four more positive cases for coronavirus, highest in a single day since the outbreak of the deadly disease, taking the total number of infected persons to 11, even as the authorities believe that there might be more cases in the union territory as a significant number of people have concealed their travel history, especially in Kashmir Valley.
All these fresh cases were reported from Kashmir Valley, while two of the three infected persons in Jammu have recovered. No new fresh case was reported in the neighbouring union territory of Ladakh, where two of the 13 infected persons also recovered on Wednesday.
Four more people, hailing from Bandipora district, tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir to 11.
"Four new positive cases have been reported from Kashmir. All of them are from Bandipora district," the government spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted.
He said that the new patients had come in contact with a person who had tested positive. The case was reported from Srinagar on Tuesday.
“Preliminary findings suggest they were close contacts of Srinagar patient who tested positive yesterday. All the five people who have tested positive -- four fresh cases and one from Tuesday -- were reported to have participated together in a religious event,” Kansal said.
Authorities were collecting individual details of travel history and local contacts of each of the fresh cases, the officials said.
With these, the total number of positive cases in the valley has gone up to eight. Three fresh cases were reported on Tuesday.
Authorities in Kashmir said they are worried that the coronavirus cases might be more than the eight reported so far in the Valley as a significant number of people have concealed their travel history.
Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said the administration was flooded with messages about people concealing travel history, apparently to avoid undergoing mandatory quarantine.
"Flood of messages about travellers who concealed travel history; and about contacts. I wish such people acted responsibly. Those appeals weren't without reason. Control room and teams are having tough time," he tweeted on Wednesday.
"Doctors suggest actual cases in community could probably be more than those tested positive," Chaudhary said in a tweet on Wednesday.
An official release from his office issued late evening said that during the past week, the control room has received complaints about over 400 persons who have returned from outside countries in the recent past but have hidden their travel histories.
“Of these over 200 have been verified and found to be true so far after surveillance teams traced the persons these complaints were about. Of the latter around 150 persons with recent travel histories to outside countries have been shifted into quarantine,” it said.
Investigations and verifications have revealed that these persons have returned from different countries which among others include Italy, Iran, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Hungary, Taiwan, Malaysia and Kazakhstan.
The remaining 50-odd persons were found to have had national travel histories and were put under home quarantine whereas the remaining number of the total number of complaints received are under process of tracking, it added.
Dr Chaudhary appealed to the people to stay indoors during the lockdown period so as to break the chain of transmission of the virus.
The deputy commissioner said there are more than 1,700 persons at various quarantine facilities in the city who had returned from various countries during the past week.
"With last 2 flights coming in late evening (on Tuesday), we have 1741 guests at Srinagar quarantine facilities. Teams from health, essential services, magistrates, police, SMC and others/nodal officers taking care. Family members requested not to throng there," he said in another tweet.
Meanwhile, in Jammu, three persons have tested positive so far, out of whom, two recovered from the disease, the officials said on Wednesday.
“Two confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been now tested negative after following due protocol in Jammu,” Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Atal Dullo said.
Earlier, one infected woman in Kashmir had recovered from the disease on Tuesday.
This leaves the active positive cases of the total 11 to 8 in the union territory.
An official government bulletin on Wednesday said that as many as 5,124 travellers and people who came in contact with suspected and positive cases have been put under surveillance.
Among them 3,061 are in home quarantine (including facilities operated by the government), 80 in hospital quarantine and 1,477 in home surveillance while 506 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.
The Bulletin further said that 326 samples have been sent for testing of which 294 tested as negative while as 21 reports are awaited till March 25, 2020.
The advisory urged public to strictly follow directions of the Prime Minister who has called for complete lockdown in the entire nation for the next 21 days in an effort to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic as it is essential to break the chain of its transmission.
“People are therefore appealed to stay in their homes and take the lockdown imposed by Government with utmost sincerity as carelessness of few can throw us into grave jeopardy, keeping in view the global experiences of countries which have been successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 through implementation of social distancing measures unlike some other countries where thousands of people have died,” reads the advisory.
Meanwhile, Ladakh UT spokesperson Rigzin Samphel on Wednesday said that the three tests results -- two from Kargil and one from Leh -- which came on Tuesday were negative.
"Two out of total 13 infected patients in the UT have tested negative," he told reporters on Wednesday.
He said Ladkah has been very stable from last four to five days following which the authorities have reduced the number of samples.
"Test samples are sent on symptom basis. If a person shows any symptom of Coronavirus," he added.

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