STATE TIMES NEWSLeh/Jammu: A man from Kargil has tested positive for coronavirus and efforts are being made to trace all his contacts, a senior official said on Thursday. “The test of one person has arrived. He is positive. The person belongs to Sanjak area of Chitan belt of Kargil”, Commissioner (Health) Rigzin Samphel told reporters. The infected person is already in quarantine in a hospital, he said. Teams of health workers headed by a block medical officer (BMO) have been sent to the area of Sanjak-Chitan to find out his contacts and take urgent action, he said. “We came to know that he had also visited Achanathang area of Kargil. We have sent a team to that area to find his contacts,” he said. While the man has no history of foreign travel, he had come in contact with pilgrims from Iran, he added. Meanwhile, the chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil, has appealed for early evacuation of about 300 remaining local pilgrims from coronavirus-hit Iran. Feroz Ahmad Khan, who is also the chief executive councillor of LAHDC Kargil, made the appeal in a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar while also expressing gratitude for bringing back around 600 stranded pilgrims of Ladakh from the West Asian country. The Union Territory of Ladakh on Thursday recorded another positive case — first in over a fortnight, taking the total number of cases in the region to 14. However, three of the patients have fully recovered from the infection. In times of crisis, the Ministry of External Affairs has stood true to the commitment to the citizens of our country, Khan said referring to the evacuation of the Ladakhi pilgrims who have reached the country in the course of the past one month. He also appreciated the facilities being extended to them at their respective quarantine centres. “Considering the immense duress on the Iranian authorities and their resources in dealing with COVID-19 outbreak in their country, the LAHDC Kargil is extremely concerned about the well being of the 250 pilgrims who had tested positive for the pandemic there around a month ago,” Khan said in his letter while making a fervent appeal to the External Affairs Minister for their evacuation at the earliest. He said a number of volunteers who had also stayed back to look after the COVID-19 positive patients are learnt to be “hale and hearty” with no major signs and symptoms of the virus even after a month having passed by. The chairman appealed to the Centre to evacuate all of them numbering around 300 currently left out in Iran. Since they have already completed the quarantine period, they may be re-tested on their arrival in the country and the persons testing negative may be allowed to move back to Ladakh where they may be kept under quarantine if required under the protocols, he said.
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