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All three Kashmir Covid patients test negative for new UK variant, discharged

File Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar:  Jammu and Kashmir has heaved a sigh of relief after three Covid patients suspected of being infected by mutated United Kingdom (UK) strain tested negative.

 “Both suspected cases have been tested negative for the UK variant. We have got reports from Delhi. One of them had tested negative here already. Since he was a close contact of COVID positive, we had retained him in the hospital,” Dr. Bilquis Shah, COVID Nodal Officer, Jawhar Lal Nehru Memorial (JLNM) hospital, told The Kashmir Monitor.


Earlier this month, two UK returnees were admitted to JNLM hospital for being infected with a new strain. Their samples were sent  to National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Delhi for verifying the variant.

Later, a foreign health expert working with Medicine Sans Frontier (MSF) in Kashmir tested positive for COVID 19. He was shifted to a hospital for isolation. His samples were also sent to Delhi for verifying the genome.  

“We have discharged both patients on January 16. After we received the report from Delhi, we conducted their RTPCR. Now they have tested negative on both. They are now COVID free,” Dr. Shah said.

A new mutation called VUI 2020 12/01 is circulating in the UK and its transmission has been faster than expected in the last few weeks.  Given the severity of infection, the UK government has extended the lockdown. India has also suspended flights to and from the UK to prevent the spread of infection in the country.

Last month, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, PK Pole had told The Kashmir Monitor that the people arriving from foreign countries are being tested for COVID 19 at Srinagar airport.

“All foreign returnees are being tested at the airport. There is a possibility that some foreign returnees may have traveled to the UK some time ago. Or some travelers may have traveled with UK returnees. We can’t take any chance. Therefore, all are being tested at the airport. Both RAT and RTPCR tests are conducted. When they test negative for both, they are allowed to go home,” Pole had said.

Official data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the recovery rate of the Covid-19 patients in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 95.8 percent on December 29.

Jammu and Kashmir has 123425 positive cases. Of whom 1111 are active positive and 120392 have recovered. The death toll has reached 1922. Of whom 716 have died in the Jammu division and 1206 in the Kashmir division.

Till January 18, 1017231 persons have been enlisted for observation. They include 32836 persons in-home quarantine, 1111 in isolation, and 61558 in-home surveillance. Besides, 919804 persons have completed their surveillance period.

To date, 4274813 test results are available. Of which 4151388 samples have tested negative.