J-K govt braces for coronavirus, shuts down schools in Jammu and Samba till March 31
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday ordered all primary schools in Jammu and Samba districts to shut down till March 31 with immediate effect as the union territory braced itself for likely coronavirus infections.
“All primary schools in Jammu and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir to be closed till March 31 with immediate effect. All biometric attendance in Jammu and Kashmir to be suspended immediately till March 31,” the government said in a statement.
The government’s announcement came amid concerns in Jammu where two persons are currently undergoing tests for suspected coronavirus at the Government Medical College and Hospital in the city.
Both have been kept in isolation wards. The two men who had travelled to Iran and South Korea, had fled from the hospital on Wednesday night alleging that there were inadequate facilities in the isolation wards but were brought back on Thursday.
Dr Shafqat Khan, the nodal officer for corona virus prevention in Jammu and Kashmir, said, “They have high viral load and they may test positive. The final report is awaited at 1 pm and without final confirmation, we can’t say that they are positive cases for Covid-19 because it could create panic.”
The samples of the two men were sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in New Delhi.
The government has also appealed to the public to cooperate fully wherever quarantine is advised.
The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has also gone on a state alert and preventative measures against coronavirus have been put in place for the safety of pilgrims visiting the shrine. The authorities have placed flags with awareness messages along the pilgrimage track.
“Announcements are being made through public address systems at the base camp in Katra town, the yatra tracks and at the shrine area that anyone with symptons of coronovirus like should immediately contact the medical officers at several dispensaries managed by the Board. We also sharing the helping numbers issued by the J&K government. We have made arrangements at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Super Speciality Hospital and isolation ward has been created in the hospital,” said Ramesh Kumar, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Board.
In Kashmir, five persons with a recent history of travelling to coronavirus-affected countries were housed in isolation wards in Srinagar’s SKIMS hospital after they showed symptoms of the disease. Four have tested negative. The report of the fifth person is awaited..