2675 Covid19 Cases In 8 Days: Is Jammu Kashmir Already In Third Wave?

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir is in a state of panic as the number of Covid19 cases has started spiralling up in 2022. On January 8, officials said 655 cases were reported across Jammu and Kashmir, most of them – 392 in Jammu. Three deaths were also reported in the last 24 hours taking the overall Covid19 deaths in the last eight days to nine.

The upsurge in the numbers is being seen as the highest in the last seven months. The positivity rate actually jumped from 0.35 per cent to 1.11 per cent in the last five days.

Divisional Commissioner P K Police visited the hospitals in Srinagar on January 8, 2022. Also seen in the picture is Principal GMC, Srinagar and her team.

Those detected with infection include as many as 26 officials of a department in Jammu. These infections came days after three top officers from police and civil administration tested positive for Covid19. A former lawmaker fighting Covid19 died of the viral infection on January 7.

Numbers suggest that in the last eight days of January 2675 Covid19 detections were recorded. These include 1188 in the Kashmir region and 1487 in the Jammu region. Interestingly, Srinagar and Jammu being the major populations of Jammu and Kashmir, are contributing more than half of the caseload. In 2022, s far, Srinagar has added 609 cases and Jammu city 836.

“Six more from Raj Bhawan Jammu today tested positive for COVID-19 taking the number of total positives during last four days to 11,” a Jammu newspaper reported. Eleven persons also tested positive for the virus at Wave Mall on Narwal Bypass today. A total of 160 persons were tested in Wave Mall during the day. Two persons from Bahu Apartments also reported positive for the pathogen. Eleven students from Central University at Rahya in Samba tested positive after which Additional DM Samba Suram Sharma declared the Varsity as anti-Containment Zone.”

Authorities are working overtime to manage the crisis that is coinciding with snowfall in Kashmir and an abrupt temperature fall in Jammu. Already the leaves of all the faculty members and the staffers working with the GMC in Jammu and Srinagar have been cancelled. Saturday saw the top officials visiting various health facilities to assess the requirements. Already, the authorities have thrown open three PTCTR laboratories in Srinagar for making testing faster.

For the time being biometric attendance in government offices has been put on suspended mode to prevent infections. In Jammu, a large number of officials have reportedly contracted infections in the first week. Jammu reported a couple of cases of Covid19’s Omicron variant as early as November 2022.

With the footfalls in Srinagar improving – mostly the leisure winter tourists, the officials are making arrangements to ensure the implementation of the mandatory quarantine for the people flying from abroad. Now, all domestic travellers are supposed to undergo a PTCTR test if they lack vaccination. Officials have started getting into fast forward mode on vaccination from especially in the below 18 years age category.

Doctors treating the patients suggest that Jammu and Kashmir seem to be heading towards the third wave which is likely to be in full bloom by the end of January.

A senior officer, however, told Kashmir Life that the numbers are not frightening. “In a day we had the highest number of infections at 5500 and deaths at 73. That situation is not around now,” the officer said. “Right now, while infections are there, people are not opting for hospitalisation. Right now, the rate of hospitalisation of the infected is 3.6 per cent, which means that the people feel they are in a position to manage it.” The officer said this period of the area is otherwise an influenza period.

This, however, does not mean, the officer said that the guard is lowered. People must take the numbers seriously and ensure they follow the basic protocol – wash hands, stay away from crowds, use a face mask and ensure social distancing.

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