J-K reports first case of coronavirus as 63-year-old woman tests positive

The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir recorded its first case of coronavirus on Monday after a 63-year-old tested positive, a top health official said.

“A 63 year old woman from Kargil with a travel history to Iran and who lives in Jammu, has been tested positive for the Covid 19 infection,” Dr Shafqat Khan, nodal officer in the campaign against coronavirus said.

He said the final report of another case “with high viral load” was awaited.

The woman, who had a travel history to Iran, was among two patients who were declared “high viral load cases” by the administration at the weekend.

They are undergoing treatment at the isolation ward of the Government Medical College (GMC) hospital and are in a stable condition.

The two with a travel history to coronavirus-hit South Korea and Iran had fled the hospital’’s isolation ward on Wednesday shortly after their admission, but were brought back within hours of the incident.

After the two patients were declared “high load viral cases” on Saturday, the administration announced immediate closure of all primary schools in six districts of the Union Territory and suspension of all biometric attendance till March 31 as a precautionary measure.

Another woman, who had returned from Saudi Arabia, was admitted in GMC hospital Doda on Sunday and was kept under observation in an isolation ward, officials said.

Her samples were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune for testing

Meanwhile, principal secretary and government spokesman Rohit Kansal said the administration was keeping a strict watch on the situation across the Union Territory.

“Four hundred people are under surveillance in Satwari and Sarwal areas of Jammu. Anganwadi centers in these areas have been closed till March 31,” he said.

Coronavirus testing labs were also being made functional in many places in Jammu and Kashmir from Monday. The Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Srinagar already has a lab to test coronavirus suspects. A lab in the Government Medical College in Jammu will start functioning soon.

Five persons at SKIMS who were suspected of being infected, tested negative, the hospital’s director Farooq Jan said.

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