Srinagar: Kashmir reported 14 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the UT tally to 106 and forcing authorities to ramp up testing in areas declared as red and buffer zones in an attempt to control the scale of the pandemic.
“14 new cases in Kashmir Division. Total positive cases in J&K now 106. Active cases in Kashmir 82 and Jammu 18,” Principal Secretary and government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said.
The cases include four persons from north Kashmir’s border town of Uri, a 24-year-old youth from Bandipora with travel history to Bhopal and a woman from Sheer Check, Pakherpora, in Budgam district.
J&K has seen two Covid deaths so far. The UT saw a major spike in infections on Saturday as 17 people tested positive for the virus. The administration has declared several dozen villages red and buffer zones after they reported multiple cases of infections.
“We had a slow start for Covid testing and that is why positive cases were less. Now, we have started random testing in red zones and we fear the number will rise drastically,” Kansal said.
Official records stated that the Health Services Kashmir (HSK) took 120 samples for testing on Saturday against the routine 50 samples.
“Today, our sample collection will go up to 150,” he said. “We have doubled the sample collection for testing. Unless we carry out wide-spread testing, we won’t be able to fight this deadly disease,” the spokesman said.
The HSK has trained 52 laboratory technicians for collection of samples in red and buffer zones. “This will ease out the burden on sample collection at centralised labs and enhance the number of test results per day,” the HSK said in a statement.
At least 33,503 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance, which include 10,981 in home quarantine, 619 in hospital quarantine, 100 in hospital isolation and 16,237 under home surveillance. Besides, 5,566 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.
Kansal said 1,551 samples have been sent for testing of which 1,429 have tested negative and reports of 16 are awaited. (TNS)