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With 44 lakh tests, J&K has screened 40% population for COVID-19

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File photo: KM/Umar Ganie


Srinagar: More than 40 percent of the population in Jammu and Kashmir has been tested for COVID 19.

Official figures reveal that Jammu and Kashmir government has conducted over 44.44 lakh tests in the last nine months. Of the 4444236 tests conducted, 4320079 have come back negative till January 26.

 

Jammu and Kashmir has become one of the top-ranking states and union territories to conduct the highest number of COVID 19 tests per million population.

 “Our ratio is 3.60 lakh tests per million, which is one of the highest. We are among the top states and union territories which have conducted the highest number of tests per million. Around 40 percent of the population has been tested in J&K so far,” Atal Dulloo, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, told The Kashmir Monitor.

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File Photo (KM/Umar Ganie)

Jammu and Kashmir has 124157 positive cases. Of whom 1103 are Active Positive and 121124 have recovered. The death toll has reached 1930. Of whom 719 have died in the Jammu division and 1211 in the Kashmir division.

Till January 26, 1089360 persons have been enlisted for observation. They included 34929 persons under home quarantine, 1103 in isolation, and 96611 under home surveillance. Besides, 954787 persons have completed their surveillance period.

“We never stopped testing travelers, which is a big plus for us. We had only one laboratory when we started. Now we have 11 testing laboratories. Earlier we were conducting Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and then we started Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). Now we are conducting both RTPCR and RAT. Plus our aggressive contact tracing also helped,” Dulloo said.

Due to aggressive testing and awareness campaign, the cases have come down sharply in Jammu and Kashmir. Even the mortality rate has dropped considerably in the UT.

“Though cases have fallen, we need to be careful. We can’t lower our guard. We need to follow SOPs like wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining social distance.  People have also realized that SOPs are important. That is why there is a drop in the cases,” he said.

 Jammu and Kashmir government has also de-notified 15 COVID hospitals following the fall in the positive cases. “Our hospitals are decongested. We have de-notified 10 to 15 Covid hospitals so far. Some Covid wellness centers are still operational. But we will gradually de-notify them too,” Dulloo said.