By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar, March 13 (IANS) With one more person testing positive for coronavirus in Jammu city, the number of patients infected with the dreaded virus rose to five in J&K and Ladakh union territories.
Officials said one person who was in contact with a coronavirus infected person in Jammu has been tested positive on Friday.
So far, two persons have tested positive for the dreaded virus in J&K while three persons have tested positive in Ladakh region.
A 76-year old woman who returned on March 12 after performing the ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has been kept in isolation in Anantnag district while her swap has been sent for testing.
Local doctors suspect the woman has entered the Valley without any screening either in Delhi or at Srinagar airports.
Authorities have already closed educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities in addition to all the coaching centres in J&K and Ladakh.
Health authorities have issued advisories asking people not to undertake unnecessary travel and avoid large gatherings.
All cinema halls and malls have also been ordered to be closed to avoid the risk of catching the virus in such places.
In a swift action on Friday UT administration placed Dr. Shafqat Khan, the nodal officer for virus control under suspension for dereliction of duty.
Isolation wards and testing equipment have been put in place in two super specialty hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu cities and the government medical colleges.
There is a serious shortage of hand sanitizers and masks in Srinagar and Jammu while authorities have ordered more stocks of these to be used by paramedic staff and the doctors involved in control and management of coronavirus.