Coronavirus: 1433 under Surveillance in JK

SRINAGAR: In Jammu and Kashmir, 1433 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases are under surveillance, the government said in Jammu. One patient so far has tested positive.

Bhupinder Kumar, Director of National Health Mission Jammu and Kashmir

According to the daily Media Bulletin on novel coronavirus (Covid-19), 1178 persons have been kept under home quarantine while as 17 are in hospital quarantine.

Persons who are under home surveillance stand at 80 while as 158 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.

Further, the Bulletin said that 74 samples have been sent for testing, of which 29 tested as negative and only one case has tested positive, so far while as reports of 44 cases are awaited till March 12, 2020.

As per the latest travel advisory issued by the Central Government, all incoming international travellers, including Indian Nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15, 2020, shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 5:30 PM IST on March 15, 2020, at the port of departure.

Further, all passengers having travel history to coronavirus affected countries are advised to undergo self-imposed quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival. The people are appealed that they should self-declare about their foreign travel history.

Pertinently, coronavirus lab testing facilities have been started in Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar and Government Medical College Jammu. One more lab at Government Medical College Srinagar has been operationalized today.

To deal with any exigency, control rooms and surveillance teams have been constituted across all the districts of J&K. Adequate isolation rooms and quarantine facilities have been kept ready in all the Medical Colleges, District Hospitals and other institutions across the Jammu and Kashmir for quarantine and treatment of infected patients and suspected cases.

Moreover, adequate numbers of N-95 masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Kits have been made available for the medical and other associated staff, an official spokesman of the Jammu and Kashmir government said.

The Government has strongly urged all social, religious and political organizations to avoid large gatherings.

“There is no need to panic, the public is advised to maintain social distancing; avoid un-necessary travel and use of public transport; and also take basic precautions including personal hygiene, frequent handwashing with soap and observing coughing and sneezing etiquettes,” the government advisory said.

Anyone with fever, cough and difficulty in breathing has been urged to seek medical care at the earliest.

Earlier in the day, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo took stock of measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir besides reviewing the facilities for patients in different hospitals of Jammu.

Principal, Government Medical College, Jammu; Dr Sunanda Raina; Nodal Officer, Coronavirus, UT J&K, Dr Shafqat Khan and other officers accompanied the FC during his visit.

During his visit to the Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, the FC inspected the isolation wards for coronavirus suspects and directed the hospital authorities to follow proper guidelines with utmost care. He also directed them to make the newly constructed Intensive Care Units, High Dependency Wards functional at an earliest.

The FC also visited the Shri Maharaja Gulab Singh (SMGS) hospital where he inspected the quarantine and isolation facilities established for suspected coronavirus cases of women and children.

He said that the government is closely monitoring the situation and effective measures are being put in place to contain the virus in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said that the government is capable of tackling the situation and said there is no need to panic. He also dispelled rumours about the death of anyone through this virus. He said that so far only one patient has tested positive in JK whose condition is stable and is under the active observation of doctors.

He also said that travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under active surveillance and some of them have completed a surveillance period of 28 days.

The FC also sought cooperation from the public and advised them to avoid mass gatherings and urged people having travel history to affected countries to undergo self-imposed quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival.

He reiterated that citizens must take basic precautions such as maintaining personal hygiene, hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquettes and must avoid frequently touching face, eyes and nose. He also asked citizens to report any symptoms (fever, difficult breathing and cough) to the medical authorities immediately in order to contain the virus.

Atal Dulloo said that there is no shortage of safety masks and other equipment. He also said that seven pharma shops have been closed who were indulging in overcharging and said that Drug Controller Organisation has been activated to keep a check on the profiteers.

During his visit to GMC, the FC took stock of the facilities available for patients. He directed the concerned to operationalise the new Intensive Care Units, High Dependency Ward and Spinal Injury ward. He said that the functioning of these units will bring major relief to the patients. The FC was informed that all the arrangements are in place and these newly constructed wards will be made operational in the next few days.

At Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu, the FC took stock of the functioning of the Dialysis centre where new dialysis machines have been installed for effective patient care.

The pandemic that WHO says is “controllable” has spread to 125 countries and has killed 4754 individuals so far. Nearly 94 per cent have recovered in 73431 cases. Of the indisposed right now, only 10 per cent are stated to be in critical condition.

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