• Nearly 2000 contacts of positive cases identified
• JK’s testing rate second only to Kerala
• Business establishments, industrial units, factories, mines, projects, contractors asked not to terminate casual or contractual workers nor reduce their wages
Principal Secretary Planning, Information and Government Spokesperson, Rohit Kansal Wednesday said robust contract tracing led to detection of 62 positive cases of COVID-19 in J&K.
“A total of 17041 cases are under surveillance so far. This is a dynamic process and while some cases who complete their period are being released for home quarantine, newer cases keep getting added as per contact tracing results,” Kansal said while addressing a press conference.
He said government is conscious that there has been concern among the public at large about the cases being tested positive.
“However we would like to emphasize we have a robust tracing process. Many of the positive cases could be traced as a result of a vigorous contact tracing exercise undertaken by the administration. As a result we were able to trace many cases including some that were asymptomatic. This is important because if not traced these cases could have continued in the general population and could even have infected more cases,” Kansal said adding, “The government will actively pursue this strategy.”
He said nearly 2000 contacts of positive cases have been identified. “We have issued instructions that no known contact be left untraced. I had mentioned last time that this is bound to lead to some inconvenience. Hot spots would need to be isolated and sealed and movements fully restricted,” he said while appealing people for their cooperation in this exercise.
Kansal said J&K’s testing rate has been nearly 77.5 per million, one of the highest in the country and next only to Kerala. “We have decided to further increase it. To begin with, we plan to test every single one of the 2000 contacts that we have identified”.
He said the strategy of aggressive tracing and increased testing will continue.
Kansal said the health department has started upgrading its manpower and equipment. “It has started reengagement of retired professionals, consultants and will use every possible mechanism to ensure that there is no shortage of manpower. Similarly, it is procuring all essential material including masks, PPEs and ventilators”.
He said an advisory has been issued to all the employers of Public/Private Shops Establishments, Industrial Establishments, Factories, Mines, Projects and Contractors etc. in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to not terminate, particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduce their wages due to the ongoing situation.
Stating that the position of supplies as on date is normal, Kansal said, “In order to maintain the supply line of all essential commodities, medicines, baby foods and other items, special arrangements have been made across the UT of J&K and especially at Lakhanpur. Since the beginning of the lockdown upto 8 Am today morning 3483 trucks carrying essential goods containing fruit &vegetables(1114), Ration/food grains(1003), Milk(141), Eggs (138), Medicines (108), LPG (307), POL (94) etc. have entered J&K from Lakhanpur. In order to ensure uninterrupted farming and agricultural activities, Cattle feed/fodders (234 trucks), Fertilisers (19 trucks) and Polutry/sheep have also been allowed. On an average, 800 trucks of essential supplies are entering J&K through Lakhanpur (Kathua) in 24 hours”.