Kashmir COVID-19 free so far; Three test negative, 184 home quarantined
Srinagar, Mar 6: Kashmir continues to be officially coronavirus free as three more persons with related symptoms have tested negative. Around 184 persons have been quarantined at their homes while as four patients with coronavirus like symptoms have been isolated at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS). On Thursday, five suspected cases of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) were isolated at the tertiary care center. In-charge Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr. Ghulam Hassan Yattoo said one patient has been discharged. “Also, three have been tested negative, and report of one patient remains awaited,” he said Sources said all the four male patients are stable and under constant monitoring. Epidemiologist, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Kashmir, Dr. Manzoor Qadri said the surveillance of the persons traveling from the high-risk zones began from February 1. “184 people are under surveillance and they are in home quarantine. They are constantly in touch with the district surveillance units,” he said. The administration of Jammu and Kashmir has stepped up preparedness to identify the symptoms and deal promptly with the emerging infection of coronavirus across the globe. Although no positive cases of coronavirus have been reported in Kashmir, health officials said all hospitals should ensure their staff is trained, and well-prepared to deal with the infection. Also, the additional trained staff has been placed for screenings at the Srinagar Airport and National Highway. An isolation center has been set up at Sanat Nagar and Bemina so that the suspected cases are directly taken there instead of the tertiary care unit. Given the coronavirus fear, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Thursday appealed the government to arrange separate OPDs, the outpatient entry and waiting area and wards for people suffering from flu-like illness. In a statement, President DAK Dr. Suhail Naik said they are satisfied over concrete measures taken by the government to combat coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir. “The health department, doctors and paramedics are prepared to immediately activate the highest level of emergency response mechanisms for early containment of COVID-19 outbreak,” he said. DAK appealed people to enforce the rigorous application of infection prevention and control measures at homes, offices, and schools.