Income Tax lawyer dies, Corona casualties rise to 3
* Flights to resume today in Jammu, Srinagar Leh
JAMMU, May 24: In major spike in Coronavirus cases in Jammu region, wife and son of an Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, who had returned from New Delhi, were among 52 persons including a Major, a BSF jawan and a police constable deployed at Lakhanpur who tested positive for Coronavirus today, 26 of them in Jammu district alone, while an Income Tax lawyer from Trikuta Nagar, who died of multiple problems at ASCOMS Sidhra has also tested positive for COVID-19 taking Corona casualties in Jammu region to three and total cases to 291.
Officials told the Excelsior that wife and son of an Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor who had returned from New Delhi tonight tested positive for COVID-19 and were immediately shifted to SMVD Narayana Hospital at Kakryal in Katra. The Advisor will be subjected to testing later. Other contacts of the positives, if any, will be identified and subjected to sampling shortly.
Three members of a family of Rajpura near Shakti Nagar in Jammu district also tested positive tonight.
An Income Tax lawyer hailing from Sector 1, Trikuta Nagar, who had died at ASCOMS Sidhra due to multiple complications earlier in the day, tested positive for COVID tonight as his sample was taken after his death. His body will be cremated under the protocol for Corona deaths.
This is the third Corona casualty in Jammu region, the first two being in village Tikri of Udhampur district and another at Preet Nagar, Digiana in Jammu district.
Of 52 Corona positive cases detected today, 26 belonged to Jammu district, eight Samba, four Kathua, three each in Udhampur, Reasi and Rajouri and rest to other districts.
Officials said a 31-year old Major has tested positive for COVID-19. He hailed from New Delhi but his place of posting hasn’t been mentioned.
A police constable of 19th battalion of Indian Reserve Police (IRP), who was on duty at Lakhanpur in Kathua district, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir from where thousands of stranded people have entered the Union Territory, has tested positive for COVID-19, police said, adding he hailed from Basohli tehsil of Kathua district and was sampled on May 18. He was on duty for frisking of the stranded passengers crossing Lakhanpur.
He has been shifted to the Government Medical College (GMC) Kathua and many police personnel who had come in contact with him are being identified for isolation and sampling.
A BSF constable hailing from New Delhi, who had returned to BSF Headquarters in Rajouri and was under quarantine inside the Headquarters also tested Corona positive today and has been sent to the hospital. Significantly, he was the first BSF jawan to test positive for the virus in Jammu region. An Army jawan from Samba district had earlier tested positive for COVID-19 but he has since been treated and discharged from the hospital.
A 26-year old girl from Praveen Colony, Channi Himmat, who had been declared negative for Coronavirus and released from administrative quarantine after return from New Delhi, was declared positive this evening, two days after her return to house.
Positive cases of Jammu district included a 19-year-old student from Bakshi Nagar, who was under administrative quarantine at Nagrota with travel history of New Delhi, a youth from Lane No. 7, Rani Talab, Digiana who had returned from Nagpur, , a worker from Akhnoor who had returned from Maharashtra and was under quarantine at Malik Market Narwal, a 26-year old youth from Rahal Camp in Bishnah with travel history of Nagpur and quarantine at Akhnoor and a 19-year-old boy under quarantine at Mandal, who had travel history of Bengaluru, two women from Simbal Camp and Miran Sahib, and one each from Bakshi Nagar and Gorkha Nagar and two from Talab Tillo among others.
Three more persons from Jammu district including a 63-year old Male, admitted patient in the hospital, a 26-year old Male from Shakti Nagar and a 24 year old Male from transit camp also tested positive tonight.
Seven persons, all Males including a 10-year old boy, six of whom had returned from Mumbai and one from Punjab, and were under administrative quarantine at different centres, have tested positive for COVID-19 in Samba district, SSP Samba Shakti Pathak said. One of them is a 10-year-old boy from village Rara while six others were aged between 30 to 48 years and were working at Mumbai and Punjab and had returned through trains and buses recently, he added.
District Magistrate Kathua OP Bhagat said four persons of Kathua district today tested Corona positive. They included a 30-year old woman from Ward No. 13, Kathua, who had returned from Pathankot, 42 and 38 yeard old man from Basohli and 28-year-old youth from Ward No. 6, Basohli First two had travel history of New Delhi while third had returned from Lakhanpur. All of them were under administrative quarantine.
Apart from a BSF constable, two other persons who have tested positive in Rajouri district hailed from Thanna Mandi and had travel history of Haryana. They too were under the administrative quarantine.
SSP Rajouri Chandan Kohli today visited different quarantine centres in Rajouri district to assess facilities and monitor deployment of police and paramilitary personnel there to ensure that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is strictly adhered to.
Two persons hailing from Majalata and Manwal in Udhampur district, who had returned in the trains and were under quarantine, tested positive today. Third person from Udhampur, a 35-year old Male tested positive tonight.
A 30-year-old make from Kishtwar, a 28-year old Male from Reasi and a 28-year old Male from Poonch also tested positive.
Sources said majority of 52 persons tested Corona positive today were returnees from outside the Union Territory and were under administrative quarantine at various facilities while others were their contacts.
With 52 positive cases today, total number of Corona patients in Jammu region had gone up to 291 and active cases to 214 as three patients of Jammu district were discharged today.
The discharged patients hailed from Bakshi Nagar, Nagrota and Bhatindi, Chest Diseases Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Rajeshwar Sharma said. A total of 75 Corona patients have recovered while there were two deaths.
Jammu Airport Director Pravat Ranjan Beuria told the Excelsior that a total of 11 flights will resume from Jammu Airport. However, nine flights will restart operations from tomorrow including three each from Srinagar and New Delhi, two from Mumbai and one from Gwalior. There will be one additional flight from Srinagar on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and one additional on Saturday, Beuria said, adding that all arrangements have been made for resumption of air services after over two months of lockdown.
At Srinagar Airport, nine flights will start landing from tomorrow and gradually the numbers might go up, sources said.
At Leh Airport, two flights from New Delhi-one each from Air India and Spice Jet will resume operations from tomorrow while flights from Jammu and Srinagar will start later, Leh Airport Director Sonam Norboo said.
He added that all arrangements were in place for resumption of air services.
District Magistrate Jammu Sushma Chauhan told the Excelsior that all passengers arriving in the flights will be 100 percent sampled and then sent to administrative quarantine.
“We have increased number of the quarantine centres including the paid facilities to accommodate the passengers,” she said after having detailed review of arrival of the passengers.
She said the passengers testing negative on their arrival from train and flights will be sent for home quarantine.
On long queues outside some liquor shops due to opening of selected shops by the Excise Department and keeping other shops closed, the District Magistrate said the administration has made it clear that there will be social distancing and less queues if more shops are opened.
Chauhan said in the month of May so far, 7500 persons have been put under administrative quarantine on their return from outside and, out of them, 5300 were released for home quarantine after testing negative. Nearly 2200 persons belonging to different districts of Jammu division are currently under administrative quarantine in the district, she added.
As already reported, the passengers travelling to Jammu and Srinagar in the flights will have to go for administrative quarantine till they test negative for COVID-19. Those testing negative will be sent for home quarantine while the positives will be dispatched to hospitals.
The administration has identified more quarantine centres including paid quarantine facilities like hotels as it anticipated numbers of returnees to go up from tomorrow following resumption of air services. Presently, only one commercial train is reaching Jammu from New Delhi while one to two `Shramik Special’ trains are reaching daily at Udhampur Railway Station carrying stranded persons of Jammu and Kashmir from different parts of the country.
In today’s `Shramik Special’ train from Thane in Maharashtra, 408 passengers reached Udhampur and were sent to respective district headquarters for sampling and administrative quarantine, District Magistrate Udhampur Dr Piyush Singla said.
He added that so far 13463 stranded passengers of Jammu and Kashmir have reached Udhampur in 17 `Shramik Special’ trains.
Meanwhile, the district administrations have received 28 COVID special trains from different States and UTs, so far, with about 23,097 stranded passengers while about 66024 persons have been evacuated by the government through Lakhanpur till date.
As many as 652 passengers including students have reached at Srinagar International Airport under Vande Bharat Mission through COVID special flights.
Nearly, 89,773 J&K residents, stranded outside UT due to lockdown imposed in the wake of global pandemic, have been brought back by the Jammu and Kashmir government through 28 COVID special trains, 4 flights besides scores of buses after strictly observing all necessary preventive measures regarding the virus.
As per the detailed break up about the figures, the Government has evacuated 66024 residents of J&K, stranded in various other States and UTs, through Lakhanpur besides bringing back home about 23,097 people through 28 special trains at Jammu and Udhampur railway stations.
Nearly, 650 stranded passengers have entered through Lakhanpur from May 23 to May 24 morning while 767 passengers reached today in the 11th Delhi COVID special train at Jammu. So far, 11 trains have reached Jammu with a total of 9634 stranded passengers belonging to different districts while 13,463 passengers have reached Udhampur in 17 special trains, so far.
Patients, pregnant women exempted from Admn quarantine
The Government today exempted certain categories of persons from administrative quarantine on their arrival to Jammu and Kashmir by trains or any other means of transport.
According to an order issued today by Chief Secretary BVR Subrah-manyam, who also happens to be the Chairperson, State Executive Committee, some categories of patients and other people on their arrival will be sampled for testing and sent to home quarantine for 14 days. However, if their test result is positive, they will be brought to a COVID hospital for recovery and treatment.
The exempted categories include pregnant women in the last trimester with a doctor’s certificate of pregnancy, cancer patients on chemotherapy, chronically ill patients, discharged from a hospital after surgical procedure, dialysis patients with a doctor’s certificate, mothers with infants of below one year, children below 10 years traveling alone without a family member, Government of India personnel on bonafide Government duty and passengers travelling with an RTPCR Test Negative Certificate from an ICMR approve laboratory/testing facility, not older than two days (48 hours) before the arrival date.