Govt extends closure of schools till Apr 18; GMC-J to limit surgeries, OPD patients

Relatives of COVID infected person wearing PPE kits at the cremation site after performing last rites of the victim in Jammu on Sunday. (UNI)
Relatives of COVID infected person wearing PPE kits at the cremation site after performing last rites of the victim in Jammu on Sunday. (UNI)

5 die of COVID, 915 fresh cases in J&K
* OSD to VC, Prof among 26 test +ve in JU on Day 3
* 140 more BSF jawans infected, total 304

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU/SRINAGAR/ LEH, Apr 11: The Government today extended closure of educational institutions up to and including 12th Class till April 18 across the Union Territory while the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu administration has ordered cut in routine surgeries to 70 percent, will confine OPD to 60 patients by telephonic appointments and initiated several other measures including re-notifying CCU and some Wards as “COVID dedicated’’ as Jammu and Kashmir recorded 915 fresh cases including 627 in Kashmir and 288 in Jammu besides five casualties, all in the Valley.
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The Union Territory of Ladakh also reported fresh surge with 146 new cases and one Corona fatality—a worker from Agra in Uttar Pradesh.
Five Corona fatalities in Kashmir include a 40-year-old man.
Further closure of educational institutions was first announced in a tweet by Office of LG J&K Manoj Sinha followed by a detailed order issued by State Executive Committee (SEC) Member Secretary Simrandeep Singh.
“In view of the continuing spike in the reported cases of infection, all schools in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will continue to remain closed for imparting on-campus/in-person education to the students of all classes (i.e. up to and including Class 12) till 18.4.2021,’’ the Office of LG J&K tweet said this morning.
The SEC order said the closure of educational institutions will not prohibit the conduct of any scheduled exam during this period by an examination conducting body/institution subject to the existing COVID norms of adequate social distancing and sanitization.
GMC Jammu Principal Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma told the Excelsior that in view of fresh surge in COVID cases and increasing caseload in the GMC, directions have been issued to slash routine surgeries in the College to 70 percent as Anesthesia doctors and infrastructure has to be diverted for COVID patients.
“In next few days, every OPD will be restricted to 60 patients on telephonic appointment. However, other patients who approach the GMC for treatment will be attended in the Emergency,’’ Dr Sharma said, adding that 16 beds of CCU and Ward No. 3 have been re-notified as “COVID dedicated’’ while shortly Ward Nos. 7, 11, 15 and 2 will also be declared as “COVID dedicated Wards’’.
Further seating capacity in Libraries and testing areas is being reduced to 50 percent, the Principal GMC Jammu said.
Meanwhile, 140 more BSF jawans deployed at Jaganoo in Udhampur district have tested positive for Coronavirus taking total numbers to 304, Lt Col Inam Danish Khan, Classified Microbiologist at Command Hospital Udhampur told the Excelsior.
Lt Col Khan said all 304 jawans tested positive for pathogen were in the age group of 22-28 and hailed almost equally from Gujarat and Maharashtra. They had reached Udhampur in trains. Only few of them were symptomatic while majority was asymptomatic. He added that the numbers could go up as more tests of the BSF jawans are pending.
“We are trying to control spread of virus among the BSF jawans by isolating the positive cases and tracing their contacts for testing,’’ Lt Col Khan added.
Meanwhile, on third consecutive day today, 26 persons tested positive for pathogen in the Jammu University including Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Vice Chancellor, a Professor in Biotechnology Department and spouse of president of Jammu University Non-Teaching Employees Association.
With this, a total of 96 staff members, students and faculty have tested positive in the Jammu University during last three days including half a dozen Professors and HoDs.
Among 288 new COVID cases reported in Jammu region today, Jammu district continued to account for maximum recording 192 positives, 189 of whom were locals and three travelers. It was followed by Reasi district which recorded 48 new cases including 30 travelers, most of whom were tourists. As reported, the tourists testing positive are either being sent back or being lodged in COVID Care Centres and not allowed to move further after testing positive for the virus.
Positives in other districts include 11 each in Kathua and Samba, eight each in Poonch and Doda, four Rajouri and three in Ramban district. Kishtwar didn’t report any fresh case today.
As against 288 positive cases, only 57 recovered from the virus today—30 in Jammu district, 11 Kathua, 10 Samba, five Udhampur and one in Rajouri district.
Jammu region’s Corona count today went up to 55203. Of them, 2332 are active as 52119 have recovered from the virus and there have been 752 casualties in the region.
The casualties are maximum in Jammu district at 391 followed by 64 Doda, 58 Udhampur, 56 Rajouri, 53 Kathua, 43 Samba, 26 Poonch, 23 Ramban, 22 Kishtwar and 16 in Reasi district.
Meanwhile, the Union Territory of Ladakh also reported fresh spike in COVID-19 cases with 146 persons testing positive including 140 in Leh district and six in Kargil.
A 46-year-old worker from Agra in Uttar Pradesh who had come to Leh died of the virus taking Corona toll in Ladakh to 131—87 in Leh and 44 in Kargil.
There are 611 active positive cases in Ladakh now—557 in Leh and 54 in Kargil.
Ladakh has total 10765 cases, 10023 recoveries and 131 casualties.
Meanwhile, Kashmir today reported 627 fresh cases of COVID-19 including 15 CRPF men while five persons succumbed to the infection.
Five fatalities include a 40-year old man taking the overall death toll to 2034-1282 in the Valley
And as the spike in COVID-19 cases continues, the number of active cases in J&K has reached 7335 including 5003 in Kashmir.
Those who tested positive today include 362 from Sriangar, Baramulla 111, Budgam 27, Pulwama 15, Kupwara 38, Anantnag 25, Bandipora 12, Ganderbal 8, Kulgam 15 and Shopian 14.
Moreover, 330 more COVID-19 patients have recovered and been were discharged from various hospitals including 273 from Kashmir Division.