30 in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu; wearing face masks made mandatory
STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU/SRINAGAR: Thirty-three people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, the largest single day rise in COVID-19 cases in the Union Territory, officials said. The total number of coronavirus cases is now 158 in Jammu and Kashmir, of which 148 are active, they said. “Thirty-three new cases were detected today. Out of this, 30 were in the Kashmir division and three in the Jammu division,” Principal Secretary Information Rohit Kansal said. Two patients were discharged from a hospital after recovering from the disease, the officials said. While four patients have died, six have recovered till now, they said. The officials said aggressive contact tracing of the new cases has been started and some new areas have been declared as red zones in Srinagar following detection of the fresh cases.
Furthermore, till date 40,336 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance which include 8494 persons in home quarantine including facilities operated by government, 518 in Hospital Quarantine, 130 in hospital isolation and 23364 under home surveillance. Besides, 7830 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period. The Bulletin further said that till date 2269 samples have been sent for testing of which 2116 have tested as negative, and 14 reports are awaited till April 08, 2020. It said that two more Covid-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged from SKIMS Soura, Srinagar today. The Bulletin urged the general public to stay indoors, strictly implement social distancing measures, disclose recent travel history to COVID-19 affected countries and report any contact with positive cases voluntarily. The general public is advised to avoid unnecessary visit to hospitals, in case anyone develops fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical advice promptly by calling on Covid-19 helpline numbers so that they can be provided correct medical advice and directed to the right health facility, if needed. The Bulletin informed the general public that in case of any emergency people can avail free ambulance services 24×7 at their doorsteps by calling on toll-free No. 108. Pregnant women and sick infants can avail free ambulance services by dialling toll-free No. 102.
Furthermore a 24×7 toll-free national helpline number 1075 has been activated for support, guidance, and response to health-related queries on novel coronavirus disease. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has also set up helpline numbers in this regard: 0191-2549676 (UT level Cell for J&K), 0191-2520982, 0191-2674444, 0191-2674115 (For Jammu Division), 0194-2440283 and 0194-2430581 (For Kashmir Division). With regard to personal hygiene, the advisory stressed on frequent hand washing with soap and water and to observe, coughing and sneezing etiquettes. Public is advised to strictly follow the advisories issued by the Government from time to time and are urged to rely only on the information released by the government in this regard through the daily media bulletin to print and electronic media. People are advised to refrain from spreading rumours and pay no heed to them at the same time. Meanwhile, wearing face masks has been made mandatory in the Civil Secretariat-the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government–and Leh district in the Union Territory of Ladakh, officials said on Wednesday. An order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) said face masks have been made mandatory for all the officers, staff and visitors in the Civil Secretariat as a preventive measure to stop the spread of coronavirus. The Civil Secretariat is presently functional here as part of the bi-annual darbar move, under which the government functions six months each in Jammu and Srinagar during winter and summer months. Accordingly, all the administrative secretaries are authorised to effect the purchase of masks, so as to provide three (3) reusable masks for each employee of his/her department in the civil secretariat. The expenditure on this account shall be defrayed from the office expenses (OE) head, Additional Secretary, GAD, Rohit Sharma said. In the event of non-availability of masks in the open market, he said, the administrative secretaries would submit their requirements to the department of civil supplies, consumer affairs and public distribution for supply of the same. District Magistrate, Leh, Sachin Kumar Vaishya ordered the general public as well as the government officials (both civilian and armed forces) to mandatorily wear the face masks at public places without any exemption. In case of any violation, penal action under rules shall be taken against the violators. This shall come into force with effect from April 9, he said in his order issued in exercise of powers under section 34 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. In a related development, 16 more persons who were shifted into administrative quarantine in Srinagar two weeks ago were discharged after successfully completing their 14-day quarantine period. All these persons belonged to Srinagar district. Upon being discharged all these persons were ferried home in an SRTC bus the administration had arranged for their convenience. Concerned supervising officers oversaw their discharge and their transportation. The group like all others before was under thorough medical supervision throughout their quarantine period and was discharged after clearance from doctors and health authorities.
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