Coronavirus: Numbers could be more than reported, DC Srinagar apprehends

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Srinagar

Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, the Srinagar Deputy Commissioner who is at the forefront of managing the quarantine facilities said that doctors suggest actual cases in the community could probably be more than those tested positive in Jammu and Kashmir.

Taking to a social networking site, Twitter, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary wrote: “Doctors suggest actual cases in community could probably be more  than those tested positive.For heaven’s sake stay at homes and report to designated hospitals if you have symptoms /travel history. Consult on phone before visiting Hospital. Please. Spread the word.”

A total of four persons have tested positive in the Kashmir so far and three persons have tested positive in Jammu.

On Tuesday late evening, DC briefed the media about specific measures the district administration is taking to contain the spread of the infection and the overall status with regard to this emerging health situation in the district.

He had said that the administration is taking this virus very seriously and as part of measures to tackle it is taking all preventive measures as recommended by the World Health Organisation and other global health organisations and experts adding that the focus of efforts in this regard is tracing and quarantining suspected cases and imposing strict restrictions on public movement and gatherings.

He said these measures started being put in place from the time of the WHO declaration of coronavirus infection as a global health emergency last month and have been strengthened since the surfacing of the first positive COVID-19 case in the district.

He said that in the absence of a cure for the disease that contracting of this virus results in and in view of the magnitude of the toll it has taken on the world including those with the most advanced healthcare systems the administration has to take all these strict measures in efforts to break the chain of its transmission.

Dr Shahid said that people hiding their travel histories have made the administration’s job difficult which he said is evident from the increased number of positive cases – which is now three – in the district but added that a thorough surveillance mechanism has been put in place in the district to trace all such persons.

He said that around 100 persons with travel histories have been traced and put into quarantine so far adding that another 200 such persons reported to the COVID-19 control room in the district are being verified and will be put under quarantine if found true and required.

Giving details about them he said that 90 quarantine facilities have been identified and established in the district so far adding that their number is being increased in order to ensure that all those requiring quarantines can be accommodated. He said that some 1800 persons returning from outside countries so far have been accommodated in these facilities.

He said the health department and all those associated with it including doctors and paramedics and all healthcare workers are engaged in containment and treatment efforts going on round-the-clock adding that the administration is hiring hundreds of volunteers who have approached it for assisting in measures put in place for tackling the situation in the district. He also said that one dozen NGOs have been roped in to assist the administration in its efforts to provide personal protective equipment to those requiring them.

Dr Shahid said the administration is putting in place a mechanism for home-deliveries of essential commodities to residents to enable them to stay home as much as possible as advised adding that deliveries are being started from later this week.

Director SKIMS Dr AG Ahangar while speaking on the occasion highlighted the deadliness and great transmission capabilities of the coronavirus infection and emphasised the critical importance of taking precautions and practising social distancing at all costs.

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