Testing docs to stay in hotels, many contacts sent for quarantine
*Lakhanpur completely sealed, none allowed to enter J&K
JAMMU, Mar 30: Fresh Coronavirus cases in Jammu and Kashmir today surged to 49 with the Union Territory reporting 11 fresh cases including eight in the Valley and three in Jammu region while tally in the UT of Ladakh stayed at 13 with no new case reported during past 11 days.
The Government today completely sealed J&K’s border with Punjab and restricted every kind of movement at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir in Kathua district, blocking entry of all inhabitants of the Union Territory trying to return to their home towns while District Magistrate Jammu Sushma Chauhan ordered containment of five localities in the district to prevent spread of the virus.
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Of three persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Jammu today, two belonged to Jammu and one to Udhampur district taking number of Coronavirus patients in the region to 12.
Among three positive cases reported today, one of them is a Lecturer in Microbiology Department of the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu but, according to HoD Microbiology Dr Shashi S Sudhan, the doctor was not part of Coronavirus testing team.
The medical experts were trying to find out the source of doctor’s infection and his family members in Channi Himmat including his father, a retired SSP, have been taken for test and quarantine by the doctors. It is being ascertained whether the doctor caught virus within the Medical College or he had come in contact with any person of travel history especially those who have returned from pilgrimage from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Indonesia.
Dr Sudhan said the Microbiology Department has trifurcated staff into three teams, Collection, Testing and Infection Control and all of them are working effectively to speed up testing process. Today, she said, the Department staff took 35 samples mostly of those who were contacts of three positive patients including staff of her Department especially those who had come in contact with the positive doctor, for testing.
The HoD Microbiology said all doctors and staff of her Department have stopped visiting houses and were being kept in hotels by the administration.
Sources said the Government has hired four hotels nearest to the GMC Jammu to lodge the doctors engaged in testing to ensure their as well as their family members’ safety after one of the doctors tested positive for COVID-19.
Deputy Commissioner Udhampur Piyush Singla told the Excelsior that a woman tested positive for Coronavirus today is wife of an already positive patient of Magaini, Garhi and all her family members were under quarantine. The village, as per the protocol, has been sealed.
“Twenty seven samples of three already positive patients of COVID-19 in Udhampur district have been tested and reports of 26 were negative and only one came out to be positive who happened to be wife of Coronavirus patient. She has been sent to the Government Medical College Jammu under due protocol,’’ Singla said.
Third positive patient in Jammu region today hailed from Hyderpora locality and had come in contact with one of the positive patients of Manjakote in Rajouri district. All eight family members of positive patient have been shifted from Hyderpora to Teachers Bhawan in Gandhi Nagar for quarantine.
All three persons who were tested positive today for Coronavirus have been admitted in Isolation Ward of the GMC Jammu.
With today’s three positive cases, total number of Coronavirus patients in the Jammu region has climbed to 12.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Jammu Sushma Chauhan today restricted any kind of movement in and out in five localities including Bhatindi and Sunjawan falling under the jurisdiction of Trikuta Nagar police station, Gujjar Nagar under Peer Mitha police station and Hyderpora and Bhawani Nagar in Janipura police station jurisdiction.
However, for any medical emergency, the people of these localities can contact 24×7 Control Room at 0191-2571616 and 0191, 2571912 telephone numbers.
While a Coronavirus positive patient was inhabitant of Hyderpora, three localities of Bhatindi, Sunjawan and Gujjar Nagar were contained following reports that some persons there had travel history abroad or they might have come in contact with those who had visited abroad, sources said.
During last five days, nine persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 including four in Udhampur district, three in Rajouri and two in Jammu. Out of three persons who had tested positive in first week of March, two have been treated and discharged while only one a 63 years old woman from Leh, who was then putting up in Jammu, was still admitted in the GMC. She had travel history of Iran like two others who have been discharged.
Meanwhile, the authorities today completely sealed Jammu and Kashmir-Punjab border at Lakhanpur in Kathua district on the Government directions to seal inter-State and inter-district borders.
Deputy Commissioner Kathua OP Bhagat said no movement now will be allowed into Jammu and Kashmir from Lakhanpur as per the Government instruction. Till today, he said around 5600 persons have entered the Union Territory of J&K from Lakhanpur since nationwide lockdown. Of them, around 3000 have been lodged at different places for quarantine in Kathua district and nearly 2600 were accommodated in Samba district.
“Around 350 persons turned up at Lakhanpur today for entering J&K to reach their hometowns but were denied permission by the district administration,’’ sources said, adding that all of them have reportedly been lodged at different places in Gurdaspur district.
Punjab has also banned entry of the people from Jammu and Kashmir from Lakhanpur.
Additional SP Kathua Ramnish Gupta and SHO Lakhanpur Inspector Bharat Sharma were camping at Lakhanpur to ensure that the people don’t manage to enter the UT.