|Administrative quarantine facility with 35,000 beds set up in J&K: Kansal|
|Testing in J&K highest in country-nearly 10 % of surveillance cases being tested|
|Early Times Report|
jammu, Mar 28: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday said it has created administrative quarantine facility of over 35,000 beds in the Union Territory, besides earmarking 11 hospitals exclusively for COVID-19 patients.
The administration has also chalked out a plan to help people facing problems due to the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said.
The government has taken a number of welfare measures in this regard, he said.
'We now have an administrative quarantine facility of over 35,000 beds in J&K with over 6,500 beds in Jammu, 10,000 in Srinagar and 1,000 beds in each of the other districts,' Kansal said. He said the government has already earmarked 11 hospitals -- eight in Kashmir and three in Jammu -- as exclusive COVID-19 hospitals with 2,400 treatment beds.
Of these beds, 1,300 are in Kashmir and 1,100 in Jammu, Kansal said, adding that 'we are planning to upgrade 1,000 more quarantine beds'.
On the request of the medical fraternity, he said the health department has made arrangements for lodging and boarding to be exclusive used by medical professionals both in Srinagar and Jammu.
'Similarly, the health department is also procuring personal protective equipment, ventilators and all other necessary equipment,' Kansal said.
For the past three to four weeks, the administration is closely monitoring and reviewing this 'extraordinary' situation and taking necessary preventive measures accordingly, the spokesperson said.
'Like in the rest of the country, J&K has also seen a spurt in the cases of coronavirus for the past week or so. The total number of positive cases in J&K has risen to 28 -- 25 active cases of which 21 are in Kashmir and four in Jammu division,' he said.
Kansal said the teams are consistently and aggressively trying to trace every single contact of the positive cases and are taking samples for tests.
'Tracing out every single contact of the positive cases is critical in breaking this chain transmission. Of the 28 cases, 11 in Kashmir could be traced to a single religious congregation and another six to another single group which had travelled to Saudi Arabia,' he said.
'We are getting reports that among these positive cases one had suppressed his travel history to Dubai. This is not the only case where the suppression of travel history has taken place,' he said.
Kansal appealed to the people to disclose their travel history voluntarily and also report any symptoms of the coronavirus at medical facilities.
'Any kind of hiding travel history, especially overseas, can extremely be dangerous first for the family, neighbourhood and finally, for the community as a whole," he said highlighting the need for self-declaration and self-reporting.
Referring to the problems being faced by the people due to the prolonged lockdown, Kansal said the administrative council held an emergency meeting and approved a number of steps like immediate release of Rs 1,000 for workers registered with the building and other construction workers welfare board for purchase of ration.
Steps like one-month advance ration for the midday meal scheme, release of two instalments of old age, disability and family benefit pensions to each of the 7.7 lakh pensioners and additional coverage of all remaining 1.7 lakh cases have been also taken, he said. 'In order to support the destitute, slum dwellers and migrant labour, ration packets containing essential edibles are being prepared and supplied through district administrations and urban local bodies.
'In addition, Rs 50 crore was released to deputy commissioners to supplement the ongoing COVID efforts by pumping in additional money,' Kansal said. He said the administration is fully conscious of the needs of various segments of society, particularly those who are poor and destitute and making every attempt to reach out to them.
The administration is also geared up to implement all welfare measures announced by the prime minister like distribution of ration, both free and normal ration, Kansal said.