Alarming: Source of 190 Corona patients’ virus untraced, Govt calls for precautions

4 of family, couple’s 2 kin, 2-yr-old boy, 2 jawans among 27 more test +ve

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, May 26: As 27 more persons tested positive for COVID-19 today across Jammu region taking number of positive patients in past three days to 125, the Jammu and Kashmir Government said that the threat is not over as 481 returnees of the Union Territory from different parts of the country have reported positive for the virus while source of virus of 190 patients hasn’t been traced, which has become a new phenomenon and major challenge for the Health authorities in their fight against the pandemic.
Today’s 27 positives include two Army soldiers hailing from Platan Pallanwalla in Akhnoor and Kaluchak, two women from Janipura, another woman from Indreshwar Nagar, R S Pura, a 32-year-old youth from Trikuta Nagar, a 33-year-old travel agent from Chorli, Bishnah, all in Jammu district, four members of a family in Poonch, a two-year old boy and two family members of an already positive couple in Bari Brahamna area of Samba district. Today’s two positive cases of Army have taken total positive cases of security personnel to 10 in Jammu region.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the Government was seriously monitoring the situation developing in Jammu and Kashmir due to surge in Coronavirus cases especially after the return of stranded persons from different parts of the country via trains, buses and now flights.
Noting that a total of 481 such persons, who had returned in different modes of transport to Jammu and Kashmir from various Indian States, have so far tested positive for Coronavirus, the sources said this has made a number of districts as hubs of the virus though they were Corona-free about 15 to 20 days back.
“There are as many as 190 Corona patients in Jammu and Kashmir who have no travel or contact history but have still tested positive for COVID-19,” they said, adding there were three categories of such patients, the first being of those persons whose history of virus is now known and there are 85 such positive cases.
Fifty-four persons have tested positive for Corona across J&K during random sampling in Red Zones while 51 have been infected in the hospitals. All of them were without travel history and had no contact with positives.
“Ramban district didn’t have a single Coronavirus patient about 20-25 days back. Today, their numbers is 74, the second highest in 10 districts of Jammu region behind 109 of Jammu district. In a single day yesterday, Ramban reported 30 Corona cases and majority of them were returnees and their contacts,” sources said, adding Kathua was also a Corona-free district about a month ago and today they were placed at No. 3 in Jammu region with 53 cases.
Asserting that it was necessary to bring back the stranded persons of the Union Territory to their homes as both Centre and J&K Governments were committed to this, sources said the Government will continue to bring all left-out people back but, at the same time, will subject them to sampling and administrative quarantine till they are tested negative.
“Major worry for the Government remains untraced source of infection of some of the Corona positive cases including four Orthopedic patients who reported positive for the virus in the Government Medical College, Jammu yesterday, an Income-Tax lawyer of Trikuta Nagar, who died of COVID and other ailments at ASCOMS Sidhra the other day and another doctor of Trikuta Nagar, who was suffering from renal failure and was undergoing dialysis,” sources said, adding the list was long.
A pregnant woman of Akhnoor in Jammu district and another from Vijaypur in Samba district had become Corona positive but authorities couldn’t find their source of infection. Similarly, a 40-year old woman from New Plots suffering from kidney ailments had tested positive in the GMC Jammu though she had no travel history or contact with positive persons.
“Almost daily, the Health Department was now receiving 5-6 Coronavirus positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir, who neither have any travel history nor they are contacts of any positive patients,” the sources pointed out, adding this is a new phenomenon which was worrying the authorities.
Asserting that the threat is not yet over, they said the people reporting positives other than the quarantine centres will lead to more hotspot areas across the Union Territory as entire locality where a person tests positive for COVID-19 is declared Containment/Red Zone.
They said the people need to exercise utmost caution while visiting offices, shops or other places of work and markets by maintaining social distancing; wearing masks etc. and take all other precautions issued in the guidelines listed from time to time by the Health Ministry, Centre and UT Governments.
On second day of resumption of air operations, six flights today reached Jammu Airport carrying 177 passengers and left with 246, Director Airport Parvat Ranjan Beuria told the Excelsior. Three flights each came from Srinagar and Delhi today, he added.
Beuria said in three New Delhi flights, 38, 35 and 79 passengers arrived while from Srinagar the numbers in three aircrafts were extremely low at 11, 2 and 12 respectively. He added that 35, 75 and 38 passengers left for Srinagar in three flights for Jammu while in New Delhi bound aircrafts, there were 32, 38 and 28 persons on board.
Two flights landed at Leh Airport carrying 179 passengers from New Delhi and left with 34, Director Leh Airport Sonam Norboo said.
Meanwhile, 5071 migrant workers were today dispatched by the J&K Government in three special trains from Katra to Bihar, Nodal Officer and CEO Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) Ramesh Kumar told the Excelsior.
Kumar said so far 21686 migrant workers have been sent to different States from Katra including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.
An official statement issued by the Union Territory Government said they have so far evacuated 94,621 stranded persons of Jammu and Kashmir in buses through Lakhanpur, special trains which were almost regularly reaching at Udhampur and Jammu Railway Stations and flights.
“So far, 33 trains have landed at Jammu and Udhampur Railway Stations from different States and UT carrying around 26797 stranded passengers while 67172 persons have returned home in buses from Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir in Kathua district,” the official statement said.
It added that 478 stranded passengers returned to J&K via Lakhanpur during last 24 hours while 763 persons reached in 13th train from New Delhi to Jammu.
Meanwhile, 27 persons today tested positive for Coronavirus in Jammu region including nine in Jammu district, four each in Samba, Poonch and Kathua, two in Udhampur and one in Ramban district.
Four members of a family including a 40-year old man from village Dodi in Surankote tehsil of Poonch district, his two sons aged 14 and 10 years and 26-year old nephew, all of whom had returned from New Delhi in a train on May 19 and were sampled at Railway Station Jammu, have tested positive for COVID-19.
SSP Poonch Ramesh Angral said they were under administrative quarantine and have been shifted to the hospital.
Meanwhile, a Community Health Centre (CHC) Surankote Nursing Orderly who had earlier tested positive for Corona but was called back from the GMC Rajouri over confusion on his report, has tested negative in the second sample.
“Sister-in-law (bhabhi), 35 years, and nephew, 10 years, of a man, who along with his wife had tested positive at Bari Barahamana in Samba district after returning from New Delhi, also tested positive for COVID today,” SSP Samba Shakti Pathak said.
The family of the couple had already been isolated and now two positive persons have been sent to hospital.
A two-year old boy from Bari Brahmana, who was contact of a positive family member and 25-year old woman from Samba also tested Corona positive tonight.
Two workers of Ramnagar in Udhampur district who had travel history of New Delhi and were under administrative quarantine have also tested Coronavirus positive.
District Magistrate Udhampur Dr Piyush Singla said the duo have been shifted to the COVID hospital from the quarantine centres and their contact tracing is on.
Nine persons of Jammu district were tested positive today.
They included two women-one aged 65 and another 40 years old, hailing from Janipura, both of whom under administrative quarantine after their return from Gurugram (Haryana) and New Delhi.
A 33-year-old travel agent from Chorli, Bishnah, who had retured from New Delhi along with his wife and daughter and was under administrative quarantine at a hotel, has tested positive for the virus. A 32-year old youth from Trikuta Nagar also tested positive tonight. A woman from Indreshwar Nagar, R S Pura in Jammu district has also tested Corona postive.
An Army soldier, who was a resident of Platan in Pallanwalla tehsil of Akhnoor and had returned from New Delhi along with his wife and kin, today tested Corona positive. However, his wife and kin tested negative. All three were under administrative quarantine at a private hotel. The jawan has been sent to hospital. Another jawan, aged 30, tested positive in Kaluchak. He had travel history of Haryana.
A 23-year old boy from Muthi, 32-year-old man from Satwari who had returned from Haryana, and two youth aged 26 and 40, who were under quarantine centres and had returned from New Delhi and Haryana, have also tested positive in Jammu district. All of them were under quarantine.
Four workers of Kathua district, who had travel history, today tested positive for COVID-19, District Magistrate Kathua OP Bhagat said, adding that they have been shifted to the hospital from quarantine centre.
A 26-year old youth of Ramban with travel history of Kerala tested Corona positive today.
Four more persons were today treated for Coronavirus and discharged from the hospital taking number of total recoveries to 11, Medical Superintendent CD Hospital Jammu Rajeshwar Sharma said.
Meanwhile, in a rare incident a horse has been home quarantined while his owner has been sent to administrative quarantine in Thannamandi area of Rajouri district.
“A team of police intercepted a man today evening who had travelled to Rajouri district from Kashmir via Mughal road along with his horse in Thanamandi area,” Chandan Kohli, SSP Rajouri told the Excelsior.
He said that the man was intercepted along with the horse and immediately put under quarantine for having a travel history.
“We have sent the horse owner to administrative quarantine but kept the horse in-home quarantine till further action,” Kohli said adding that decision on conducting sampling or testing of the animal depends on the report of his owner.
Meanwhile, an administrative official expressed that the caretakers have been directed to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits while dealing with the horse and he will be monitored by veterinary experts till four weeks period of quarantine.