Coronavirus: No New Case But Officials Say Non-cooperation Could Trigger A Crisis

SRINAGAR: No new positive case was reported from anywhere in Jammu and Kashmir. This was despite the Chest Disease Hospital making three new admissions and the SKIMS taking three fresh samples of patients with foreign travel history, officials said.

A health official scans the body temperature of a passenger as she arrives at the Srinagar International Airport. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“We took samples from three individuals,” Dr Farooq A Jan, the medical superintendent of the SKIMS, Soura said. “These include two persons having returned fro Thailand and Saudi Arabia and one is a close relative of the case that turned positive early this week.”

In the GC run counter-Coronavirus set up, there were three fresh admissions – one each has come from Dubai and Saudi Arabia and the third person is a relative of one suspect. These samples were taken for tests and the results are awaited.

“Ever since our laboratory started functioning on March 14, we have carried out as many 41 tests,” Dr Mohammad Salim Khan, who speaks for the GMC said. “All have tested negative.”

Suspect Flees

Doctors at the twin facilities said they are taking every effort to ensure that persons with any suspicion must be tackled on priority. But there are instances in which the people are not cooperating. “Today, a person who was sent for an X-ray did not report back to the doctor,” Dr Khan said. “Now the hospital staff is locating him in his uptown Srinagar residence so that they would satisfy themselves that he does not carry any infection.”

Non-Cooperation

Doctors handling the Coronavirus said they are facing absolute non-cooperation at the society level in cases, which are supposed to be scanned. “Most of the cases that reported to the hospitals so far were either referred by the doctors from their own localities or by their families,” Dr Khan said. “We are yet to see a person who voluntarily comes with his travel history and requests doctors to examine them.”

The health professionals said that their efforts would bear no fruit unless the society does not support the initiative. This situation, they insist, is making the travellers, their families and the society at large vulnerable to a crisis. This is something that the administrators are saying for all these days that these things are essential in personal and public interest.

New Revelations

Trade sources told Kashmir Life that after the Umrah pilgrim group, of which the lady who tested positive, there was yet another group on March 18. They flew in two separate flights – 25 passengers in Vistara and five in Spice Jet. Trade sources said that they all managed to reach home the same day, perhaps by telling the scanning staff at the airport that they flew from Delhi. They might have also not exhibited any abnormality during the screening – a temperature checkup.

“We usually accuse the authorities of permitting these people home without a quarantine,” one trade larder said. “The fact is that we are lying to them at the airport.”

Doctors visiting the old city locality for the infection assessment on March 19, 2020, a day after a lady was detected with Coronavirus infection. In this photograph, they are seen marking a house after the visit. KL Image Bilal Bahadur

The trade leader said they have given the entire record of the recent arrivals of the Umrah pilgrims to the officials so that they can do the necessary follow-up. However, he had no idea if there was anything done or not.

Earlier, the authorities had traced most of the contacts of the Khanyar lady who tested positive and is doing well in the SKIMS. All the families from Shopian had been evacuated to a local primary health centre for quarantine.

Doctors admit that if the people could have voluntarily come for the tests, perhaps the number of people under observation would have been slightly more.

Mock Drill

A report said the SKIMS is carrying out a mock drill on March 22 for emergency response handling Covid-19 cases. All the staff has been asked to attend their duties routinely and any absence will be handled under the law.

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