One more death, toll 3; COVID cases climb to 125 as 16 test +ve

A Railways cabin converted into an isolation ward in Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
A Railways cabin converted into an isolation ward in Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

GoI declares Udhampur, Rajouri, Bandipora distts as ‘Risk Zones’

3 Tablighis from Meerut, Mumbai staying for over month in UT among +ve cases in Jammu

All J&K cases foreign travelers, contacts: Dr Jitendra

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Apr 7: Number of Coronavirus positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir today went up to 125 as 16 new cases were reported across the Union Territory including 10 from the Valley and six from Jammu region. No fresh case has been reported from the Union Territory of Ladakh but another COVID-19 patient has been cured there.
Three Tablighi Jamaat activists including two hailing from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and one from Mumbai in Maharashtra, have also been tested positive for COVID-19 making them first outsiders who became Coronavirus patients in Jammu region. Of six positive cases in Jammu today, five came from Jammu district and one from Udhampur.

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Out of 125 Coronavirus patients in the UT, tally stood at 98 in Kashmir and 27 in Jammu region. There have been three deaths, all in the Valley. Three patients have been treated and discharged in Jammu region and one in Kashmir, reducing active cases to 118 including 94 in the Valley and 24 in the Jammu region. Reports of 12 samples were awaited.
Reports said a total of 22 Tablighi Jamaat cadre including those from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra who had reached Kashmir on March 3 and Jammu on March 21 were kept for quarantine at a Mosque in Bhatindi area under the jurisdiction of Trikuta Nagar police station in Jammu district. Authorities had taken 22 samples of Tablighis for testing during last two days. Seventeen of them turned negative and five positive.
Of five positive cases, one was a 62 year old from Mumbai, Maharashtra while two others were 33 and 22 years old from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. Two others were 38 and 22 years old from Sunjwan.
They have been shifted to Isolation Ward of the hospital for treatment.
Bhatindi area has been further sealed by the police.
Sources said the Tablighis had come to Jammu and Kashmir in March 3 and reached Srinagar where they stayed for more than a fortnight. They separated themselves in two groups, one of which reached Jammu on March 20 and another on March 21. After tracing them, the administration had lodged them in a Mosque at Bhatindi for quarantine.
An 80 year old woman, who happened to be mother-in-law of a Tablighi, has also been tested positive for COVID-19. She hailed from Narsoo village in Udhampur district and was fifth victim of Tablighi’s family whose four family members were already in the hospital.
Narsoo has already been declared as ‘Red Zone’ by the district Udhampur administration.
Out of six samples reported positive today, six were tested by Microbiology Departments of the Government Medical College Jammu and one by the Command Hospital Udhampur.
Lt Col Inam Danish Khan of the Command Hospital Udhampur told the Excelsior that they have tested 75 samples so far and four of them have been reported positive, all of whom hailed from Udhampur district.
Among 24 active Coronavirus cases in Jammu, 19 have been admitted in Chest Diseases Hospital, which has been declared as dedicated COVID Hospital, three in SMGS hospital (two of whom were children) and two in the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu. Condition of 22 of them was stable, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Central Government today declared three districts of Jammu and Kashmir including Rajouri, Udhampur and Bandipora as ‘Risk Zones’ after detection of large number of Tablighi Jamaat cadre in the district and reports that many more still could be hiding to avoid testing and travel history.
All 27 COVID-19 positive patients in Jammu region belonged to three districts of Jammu, Udhampur and Rajouri while seven other districts were ‘Coronavirus free’.
Sources said after declaring three districts of Jammu and Kashmir as ‘Risk Zones’, the Centre has directed the civil and police administration to go all out to track down the Tablighi Jamaat cadre and subject them to quarantine and sample testing . There have been reports that some of the Tablighis have escaped to mountainous areas to avoid quarantine and testing.
When contacted, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, who is Incharge of all 22 districts of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh for Coronavirus, told the Excelsior that all positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir were foreign travelers and their contacts.
Sources said samples of some more Rohingyas have also been taken for testing on the suspicion that they too had come in contact with Tablighi Jamaat cadre.
Meanwhile, another COVID-19 positive patient tested negative today in the Union Territory of Ladakh, taking total numbers of treated persons to 10, leaving only four positive cases in the UT now, one of whom belonged to Leh and three to Kargil district.
Commissioner/Secretary Health, Union Territory of Ladakh Rigzin Samphel told reporters in Leh today the Union Territory had total 14 COVID-19 positive patients and 10 of them have been cured. Four others were still admitted in the hospital, he said.
Meanwhile, a person escaped from quarantine centre in Mendhar area of Poonch district but was brought back by the cops and restored to the centre.
The man, however, accused police of manhandling. Police have registered a FIR against the person for trying to escape from the quarantine centre.