Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Police headquarters in Srinagar was sealed for all entries and sanitised in the forenoon on Monday after an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police Service (JKPS) senior officer was reported Covid-19 positive. Informed sources told STATE TIMES that all the 50-odd employees and visitors were asked to move out of the PHQ at Peerbagh, on the Srinagar-Airport Road, after a batch-1999 JKPS officer was reported Covid-19 positive. Extensive fumigation and sanitising was carried out in all rooms, corridors, staircases and washrooms on all floors so as to ensure that nobody was infected from a leftover pathogen. The infected AIG, staying as Darbar Move employee at the old Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) was immediately removed to a sanitised quarantine facility along with two judges who have also been reported as Covid-19 positive. Sources said that contact tracing of the three Covid positive TRC inmates was in progress. According to these sources, one of the six judges staying at the TRC hotel blocks of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) was planning to visit his family in Jammu last weekend. As he developed some mild symptoms, he decided to get himself screened before his departure to Jammu. He was reported Covid positive by a laboratory in Srinagar. During his contact tracing, one SSP/AIG rank Police officer was found to have been accommodated in the judge’s room. The judge had initially resisted occupation of his room by the Police officer but subsequently gave up his claim over the room after the JKTDC authorities shifted him to an equally suitable room. The AIG posted at PHQ occupied the room vacated by the judge reluctantly. He continued routine shuttling between the TRC complex and the PHQ complex with his office files which in routine travelled to the offices of two Additional DGs and also the office and residence of the Director General of Police. DGP did not respond to phone calls and text messages, though sources at PHQ maintained that he had not attended his office since previous Thursday. He is reported to have visited different areas and offices and seen the files at his residence. Sources said that special medical and sanitation teams were called to PHQ and DG’s residence. While some teams carried out extensive sanitising of the premises, another team collected swabs from DGP, two ADGs and some other senior officers. Nasopharyngeal swabs of other officers and officials, including several IGPs, DIGs and SSPs, would be collected on Tuesday as 200-odd staff have been asked to gather at the PHQ lawns on Tuesday forenoon. All the officers and officials who have come into physical contact with the infected AIG have been advised to remain in home quarantine till the process of their screening would be completed. Sources said that PHQ would remain out of bounds for the staff and visitors for two to three days. General Manager JKTDC Nasir and Additional District Magistrate Srinagar Dr Hanief Balkhi revealed to STATE TIMES that the three Covid-19 positive officers, including two judges and one SSP/AIG rank officer, had been shifted to suitable accommodations for quarantine. They would be assessed further as per the Standard Operating Procedure. They said that the JKTD GM had written to the Government whether to continue all the remaining 77 Move/Non-Move employees at the TRC complex or to shift them to a different location. “We are busy with the shifting process”, Dr Balkhi asserted. Meanwhile, sources said, the University of Kashmir Vice Chancellor Prof. Talat has been alerted and asked to be ready for screening after his cook turned out Covid Positive in the evening on Monday. Prof Talat has been staying at his University residence in Hazratbal.
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