Coronavirus: 5 In SKIMS Quarantine In Covid-19 Free UT

SRINAGAR: With three more people being kept in hospital quarantine, the number of people being treated at SKIMS, Soura has reached five. Officials said two of them have already tested negative and the samples of three others have been collected for diagnosis.

However, all the five persons had a travel history that led them to stay admitted in the isolation ward of the hospital.

“We do not have any positive case for which we thank God,” Dr Shafaqat Iqbal, who is overseeing the Coronavirus related issues across the UT said. “Chief Secretary is personally monitoring things on an almost hourly basis.”

Iqbal said there were two cases in SKIMS, one having a travel history of China and another 11-year-old boy who had flown from Thailand. “Both tested negative,” he said. “We were worried because one had come from Wuhan in China but we retained him for more than 14 days and is still there.”

Today, three more were admitted: two had flown from Iran and one had come from Thailand. Samples have been taken for mandatory testing, Iqbal said. The testing is taking place at National Institute of Virology, in Pune.

Dr Ghulam Hassan Yatoo, Deputy Medical Superintendent SKIMS, however, clarified that only one fresh patient was admitted today, bringing the total to five. “They are all stable,” he said. “We already have reports about two of them and three more we are expecting within 24 hours.” He said the government is thinking of creating the diagnostic facility in Srinagar.

Dr Yatoo said SKIMS has 12 HINI patients admitted as well. They are all stable and responding to the treatment, he said.

In Jammu, two additional individuals were taken to the hospital quarantine. One, a resident of R S Pora, who had flown from Italy and another had come from South Korea. “Both are asymptomatic but we are not taking any chances,” Iqbal said.

Interestingly, both the persons had fled the isolation ward of a Jammu hospital late last night. They were finally brought back and kept in quarantine and observation, reports appearing in media said.

Staff nurses and other officials of Chest Diseases Hospital Srinagar have started wearing masks following the apprehensions that some patients might be carrying the Coronavirus infection. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

However, the people who are abroad are flying home. More than 40 individuals, mostly students, have flown home from Iran in the last few days. “We are tracking them on a daily basis and they all are at home,” Iqbal said. “So far, none of them has shown any sign, indicating they have contracted the infection.”

Unofficial reports said around 34 individuals from Jammu and Kashmir are still in quarantine in Delhi. Not many details were available.

Though the officials are asserting that they have increased vigil on all the entry points into the UT, reports appearing in the media suggest that the systems are lax. An individual who travelled from Delhi to Srinagar by road said they were not stopped anywhere for the basic check-up. Even the Srinagar airport lacks a foolproof system of assessing the individuals flying home.

Meanwhile, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has asked the government to arrange separate OPDs, outpatient entry and waiting area and wards for people suffering from flu-like illness.

“The health department, doctors and paramedics are prepared to immediately activate the highest level of emergency response mechanisms for early containment of a Covid-19 outbreak,” DAK leader Dr Suhail Naik said. He said Wuhan experience in using non-pharmaceutical measures would be useful.

A schoolboy can be seen wearing a mask in Srinagar on Thursday, March 5, 2020. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

DAK asked people to start enforcing the rigorous application of infection prevention and control measures at homes, offices and schools. “The dire need of the hour is that doctors, mass media, teachers, preachers and community leaders should educate the general population’s about of Covid-19,  it’s a mode of transmission and basic methods to prevent it from spreading,” Dr Naik said.

DAK asserted the separation for flu impacted patients will help. “The separation will help check the spread of flu inside hospitals by ending intermingling of the crowd. Doctors, nurses and attendants will be present to take the swabs too if the need arises,” he said.

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