DG, ADG negative but 19 found Covid-positive at PHQ; 100 prisoners, detainees found infected at District Jail Anantnag
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
JAMMU: The Coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday claimed as many as 14 lives across Kashmir-highest in a day since its outbreak in March-as the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory entered a crucial stage with dearth of ventilators and beds at different hospitals. Even as the daily Covid-19 bulletin was not released till late on Wednesday night, STATE TIMES learned from highly placed authoritative sources that as many as 14 patients died at different hospitals in the valley in the last 24 hours. With this total number of fatal casualties in J&K has crossed the 200 mark and reached 209. According to these sources, 11 Covid-19 patients died at SKIMS and one each at SMHS Hospital, Government Medical College Baramulla and GMC Anantnag since Tuesday evening. Financial Commissioner Atal Dullloo issued a circular debarring Director SKIMS, Principal SKIMS Medical College Bemina, Principals of GMC Jammu and GMC Srinagar and Directors of Health Services of Kashmir and Jammu from issuing any Covid bulletins directly to the media. The circular directed the officers to submit daily reports related to Covid-19 to the National Health Mission which, in turn, would issue press releases. Officials said that issuance of data from different offices separately had created remarkable confusion. Reports from different hospitals, including SKIMS Soura, said that a fresh emergency situation had been created due to the increasing number of Covid patients. The Institute’s Sarai has been vacated to accommodate incoming patients as many normal patients have been discharged prematurely. Sources said that the hospital was encountered with “big problems” in absence of adequate infrastructure, including ventilators and oxygen. Meanwhile, informed sources said that massive testing of Police staff was underway at J&K Police Headquarters following an officer of the rank of SSP/AIG turning Covid-positive. Sources said that nasopharyngeal swabs of 250-300 of the PHQ staff were collected for testing on Tuesday and Wednesday. Out of 195 tests available till late on Wednesday night, 19 were positive. One of them is a Sub Inspector and others from lower ranks. Reports of other personnel would be available on Thursday and Friday.
Sources said that DGP Dilbag Singh and ADG Coordination Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani were among the officers and officials who have turned up negative for Covid-19.
Sources said that swabs were also collected from 47 BJP leaders and workers for Covid testing in Srinagar. Over a hundred leaders and workers have reportedly given swabs at other district headquarters. Samples of BJP leaders and workers are being collected after J&K President of the party Ravinder Raina had been reported Covid-positive on conclusion of his 5-day Kashmir visit on Tuesday.
Sources in Anantnag said that 100 prisoners and detainees have been reported as Covid-positive at District Jail Anantnag in Mattan.
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