At 8,000 tests per day, J&K No. 1 in Covid testing in country: UT Govt

Jammu (NVI): Jammu and Kashmir government today said that the UT is conducting the highest number of Covid-19 tests– at 8,000 per day– in the country.

At a press conference in Jammu, Principal Secretary and J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal said that at a testing rate of over 10,000 per million, J&K has now become number one in the country in testing.

“The testing capacity in the UT has gone up from just about 100 tests/day in March to 8000 tests/day today. In the last one month alone it has gone up from 1800 tests/day to 8100/day – an increase of 350 per cent,” Kansal said.

He said that aggressive and sustained testing is the only effective weapon against the disease and the administration shall continue to pursue it effectively.

On the efforts of the administration in combating the situation arising out of coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic for the last more than 8 weeks, Kansal said that the Government has taken a slew of measures on the health, economic and welfare fronts.

“Jammu and Kashmir was probably one of the first states or UTs to take note of the emerging situation and initiate action and many of our interventions have not only been fast but effective too.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in J&K is 1,668, out of which 1,374 are from Kashmir division and 294 are from Jammu division. The number of active cases is 836 of which 620 are in Kashmir Division and 216 are in Jammu division. As many as 809 recoveries which include young children and 23 deaths have also been reported.

A total of over 1.34 lakh persons have been enlisted for surveillance out of which over 72,000 have completed mandatory period of surveillance. 47 new Covid positive cases have been reported today, out of which 33 cases are from Jammu division and 14 cases are from Kashmir.

Kansal pointed out that while J&K had been able to achieve a low growth rate and a doubling rate of over 3 weeks, this should not become a cause of complacency.

Reminding that effective lockdown, strong containment policy, aggressive testing and cooperation by the people of J&K has played a key role in containment of COVID 19, the spokesperson said that there is no room for any laxity.

The spokesman said that at least two districts have seen a considerable increase in cases even when there are no returnees. “In fact, there are many areas where the positivity rate of cases is much higher for local population than for returnees,” he said.

He said that over 90,000 stranded persons have already returned to J&K in the last 4 weeks alone. They include 66,024 persons by road, 25,400 by 30 Shramik special and COVID special Rajdhani trains and 652 persons by air.

“J&K is the one state/UT which has smoothly completed more than 85% of its evacuation process. The government has consciously adopted a policy of testing 100 per cent of all returnees. All the returnees are being tested, and as a result of the strategy the administration has been successful in tracing 481 positive cases so far.”

Emphasizing on the importance of economy and livelihoods, Kansal said that UT Government has issued SoPs for the reopening of markets, industry and trade. Similarly, SOPs have been issued for returnees and passengers.

“But as responsible citizens, we need to realize that any complacency or letting down of the guard can cost us very dearly. In red zones and containment zones, there is a need to be vigilant otherwise all the efforts of the last 2 months will be wasted,” he cautioned.

The spokesperson appealed people to stay at home and go out of their homes only if it is absolutely necessary and follow the advisories, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. “Remember, the virus is alive, it is active and it has given no relaxation. So, our self-restraint and discipline must continue,” he said.