COVID deaths, cases surge in rural areas; CUJ Prof, contractor among 37 more die in Jammu

Couple dies with just 4 hours gap, cremated together

Bishnah, RS Pura, Nowshera, Ramnagar emerge new hotspots

34-beeded new ICU to be ready  in GMC-J within 3 days

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, May 15: Jammu and Kashmir today reported 63 more COVID casualties and 3677 cases. Jammu region continued to record maximum casualties with 37 persons, 17 of them women, succumbing to the virus while 1728 more persons were found infected.
Five persons were brought dead to the hospitals having breathed their last due to Coronavirus at home while 26 dead had no other ailments except COVID-19 and related complications.

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Maximum 22 casualties were reported in Jammu district followed by six in Rajouri, four Poonch, two each Udhampur and Ramban and one in Kathua district.
An aged couple from Talab Tillo here died of COVID-19 with just four hours of difference. Doctors said the man succumbed to COVID-19 in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu and after four hours, her wife, who was also positive for the virus, too breathed her last in the same hospital. Both of them were jointly cremated today as per the COVID protocol.
A Central University Jammu (CUJ) Professor Dr Dharmendra Singh, Head & Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communications & New Media, died of COVID-19 at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital Jaipur. He hailed from Agra. His death was announced in a post by the Registrar CUJ.
A contractor from Jammu and settled in New Delhi, who had come here for work got infected and passed away today at Akash Health Care SS Hospital Delhi.
Surge was significantly very high in rural areas in almost the entire Jammu region, a result of which eight districts today reported more than 100 cases.
As many as 58 persons tested positive in Bishnah, 57 in Akhnoor, 50 RS Pura, 35 Marh, 28 Kot Bhalwal, 15 Chowki Chowra, 14 Pallanwalla and nine in Sohanjana in Jammu district. RS Pura also accounted for four Corona fatalities-one each from Satowali, Satraiyan, Suchetgarh and Baspur. Two deaths were reported from Akhnoor including one from Jagir Sohal and another from the town.
It was not only RS Pura and Akhnoor but Nowshera tehsil in Rajouri also accounted for four COVID casualties out of total six in the district. Two deaths occurred in Nowshera town and one each at Chowki and Dabber while two other natives of Rajouri succumbed to the virus at Behrote and Dalhori.
In Rajouri district, 61 fresh cases were reported from Sunderbani, 51 Rajouri, 46 Kalakote, 40 Darhal, 30 Kandi and 22 Nowshera recording positivity rate of 7.5 percent, Additional District Magistrate Rajouri Thakur Sher Singh said.
Almost similar was the position in Udhampur district where 50 persons were found infected in Tikri, 46 Ramnagar, 19 Chenani and 14 in Basantgarh.
In Kathua district, 61 persons tested positive for the virus at Lakhanpur alone, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir. They include seven from Punjab, six Bihar, four each Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and three of Himachal Pradesh besides 37 from J&K.
Other Corona fatalities in Jammu district were reported from Janipura Colony, Sarwal, Subash Nagar, Baba Fareed Nagar, Sunjwan, Digiana Camp, Trikuta Nagar, Janipura, Purani Mandi, Talab Tillo, Friends Colony Subash Nagar, Tope Sherkhanian and Paloura.
Four deaths in Poonch district took place at Phagla, Mastandara Surankote, Mangnar and Kama Khan while two of Udhampur district occurred at Udhampur town and Nimbla Ramnagar. Two elderly persons from Sangaldan and Krawa Banihal died in Ramban district while 60-year-old woman from Panjgrain breathed her last due to Coronavirus in Kathua district.
Meanwhile, 34-bedded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID patients will be ready in the GMC Jammu in next three days, Principal Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma told the Excelsior.
Entire ICU will be fitted with the ventilators, which have come under the PM Cares Fund, Dr Sharma said.
Twenty nine ventilators have come from peripheral hospitals.
“Work on the ICU is going on war footing and, hopefully, it will be ready in next three days,” Dr Sharma said, adding it will give more relief to COVID victims requiring hospitalization and advanced treatment.
A senior officer of the Income Tax Department today tested positive for the virus.
Among 1728 fresh cases today, Jammu district reported 621, Rajouri 250, Udhampur 163, Samba 145, Kathua 137, Reasi 122, Ramban 108, Poonch 102, Doda 46 and Kishtwar 34.
As many as 1086 persons recovered from the virus, the highest being 408 in Jammu district, 175 Kathua, 161 Udhampur 101 Rajouri, 95 Ramban, 67 Kishtwar, 36 Reasi, 26 Doda and 17 in Samba district.
Jammu region’s Corona cases have now reached 93005 and active positive to 19960 while 71637 persons have recovered from the virus and there have been 1408 casualties.
The deaths include maximum 802 in Jammu district followed by 120 Rajouri, 93 Udhampur, 92 Kathua, 80 Samba, 73 Doda, 59 Poonch, 41 Ramban, 26 Kishtwar and 22 in Reasi district.
Two persons including 95-year-old retired DFO Haji Ghulam Haider of Kargil died of COVID-19 in the Union Territory of Ladakh today. Second casualty was reported from Leh town.
Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil Chairman Feroz Khan said Haji was in isolation at his home where he breathed his last.
With two deaths, Ladakh’s toll has gone up to 163—118 in Leh and 45 in Kargil.
The UT also reported 240 new cases today including 170 in Leh and 70 in Kargil taking Corona count to 16156. The active positives cases in Ladakh are 1554 while 14439 patients have been treated.

98% 45+ people take first jab
Almost 98 percent of estimated 45 years plus population in Jammu district has received first shot of COVID vaccine.
This was stated by District Magistrate Jammu Anshul Garg.
In a tweet, Garg said that the people left-out of vaccination will be covered through an exclusive session planned for them on May 16 (Sunday) at all 100 vaccination sites for saturating 45 plus category with first dose.
“Please spread the word,” he further tweeted.
Only yesterday, the National Health Mission had released data of COVID deaths saying 93 percent persons who succumbed to the virus hadn’t been vaccinated while seven percent were partially vaccinated.

FIR against Convent Principal, deputy
Police today registered First Information Report (FIR) against Principal Sister Hema and Vice Principal Sister Leema of St Mary’s Presentation Convent Secondary School Gandhi Nagar after an inquiry conducted by the Executive Magistrate found them responsible for violating the Government guidelines on closure of the school resulting into COVID-19 infection to one of the teacher Neelu Varinder, who subsequently succumbed to the virus in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu.
FIR No. 154/2021 under Sections 188/269/270/506 IPC, 3 Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and 15 Disaster Management Act 2005 was registered against Sister Hema and Sister Leema at Gandhi Nagar police station for further investigations.
The FIR was based on inquiry conducted by an Executive Magistrate into reports that the Convent School Gandhi Nagar violated the Government guidelines on closure of schools due to COVID-19 and continued to call the teachers leading to infection to one of them and subsequently her death.
Husband of Neelu Varinder was also stated to be suffering from COVID-19.
To a question as to when Sister Hema and Sister Leema will be arrested, police officials said the investigations have been initiated and their arrest can’t be ruled out.