Health Department on toes as 9 new Corona Variants of Concern reported

*434 test +ve in UT, one death in Jammu

Govind Sharma

JAMMU, July 20: While the COVID positive cases continued to surge in Jammu & Kashmir for last about two weeks, reporting of nine new Variants of Concerns for COVID-19 have added to the worries of the Health Department of the UT which is clearly visible in the order of the Director Health Services Jammu who has asked all the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) to increase testing, tracing, treating, vaccinating and implementing COVID Appropriate Behaviour.

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Official sources told Excelsior keeping in view the recent upsurge of COVID cases in Jammu Division, the samples of positive cases were dispatched for Whole Genome Sequencing to NCDC Delhi on June 30 as well as July 11. They said reports of these samples were received today from NCDC Delhi which has detected nine new Variants of Concern.
As per the sources, the new Variant of Concerns detected in the positive samples are BA.2.75, BA.2.38, BA.5.2, BA.2.76, BA.2, BA.2.78, BA.5.2.1, BA.4 and BA.2.74. The new Variants of Concerns have added to the worries of the Health Department, particularly in Jammu province where the surge in COVID cases is more than Kashmir region.
Meanwhile, in an advisory issued to all the CMOs, Director Health Services Jammu Dr Saleem Ur Rehman has asked all CMOs to closely monitor the patients/families affected by the new Variants of Concern in their respective districts as behavior of the virus is unpredictable due to constant mutations.
“However, the admissions in the hospitals and mortality is negligible at present but in view of the new strain and also upsurge of COVID cases, you are requested to adopt strategic surveillance by increasing testing, tracing, treating, vaccinating and implementing CAB Covid Appropriate Behaviour in your respective districts,” Dr Salim said in the advisory to CMOs.
Meanwhile, 434 persons were tested positive for COVID-19 in J&K today while one more death was reported in Jammu region taking number of casualties during last three days to three.
A number of Healthcare workers and patients admitted in the hospitals have also tested positive for the virus. A 71-year-old man hailing from RS Pura tehsil in Jammu district died of co-morbidities and Coronavirus in the Military Hospital Satwari today taking death toll in Jammu division to 2336 and Jammu and Kashmir to 4761.
Amid surge in viral infections, District Magistrate Jammu Avny Lavasa, DC Kathua Rahul Pandey and DM Rajouri Vikas Kundal today issued orders making wearing of masks by the people mandatory. Yesterday, the district administration in Ramban had issued similar order.
Jammu district has highest number of COVID casualties at 1229 followed by 249 in Rajouri, 168 in Kathua, 147 Udhampur, 144 Doda, 125 Samba, 110 Poonch, 69 Ramban, 49 Reasi and 46 in Kishtwar.
Among 434 fresh COVID positive cases reported in Jammu and Kashmir today, 248 were registered in Jammu division and 186 in Kashmir. Jammu district topped with 154 fresh cases while Kathua accounted for 31. Udhampur added 19 cases, Doda and Ramban nine each, Poonch eight and Kishtwar, Samba and Rajouri districts six each. Reasi district didn’t report any new cases.
Number of active positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir has gone up to 1724 including 996 in Jammu region and 728 in the Kashmir valley. Jammu district has highest number of 750 active positive cases followed by 81 in Udhampur, 66 Kathua, 32 Samba, 18 Poonch, 17 Doda, 11 Rajouri, 10 Kishtwar, nine Ramban and two in Reasi district.
Corona count in Jammu stood at 1,68,721. Of them, 1,65,389 have recovered from the virus while there have been 2336 fatalities and 996 active cases.
Meanwhile, the Union Territory of Ladakh today reported 22 fresh COVID positive cases. Twenty one cases were reported in Leh district while Kargil district reported lone COVID positive case after several days.
Ladakh now has 92 active positive cases including 91 in Leh district and one in Kargil. Ladakh has a total of 28670 Corona cases including 28350 recoveries and 228 deaths. Casualties include 168 in Leh district and 60 in Kargil district.