J&K Govt Says Covid-19 Testing Rose By 350 Percent


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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir administration said on Monday that the coronavirus testing rate has increased by 350 percent , making Union Territory number one in the country to test 10,000 people per million.

Addressing a news conference here today, Principal Secretary to Government, Power Development Department and Information, Rohit Kansal said that the testing capacity in the UT has gone up from just about 100 tests/day in March to 8000 tests/day today. He said that aggressive and sustained testing is the only effective weapon against the disease and the administration shall continue to pursue it effectively.

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,” he said.

The government spokesperson said that while J&K has been able to achieve a low growth rate and a doubling rate of over 3 weeks, this should not become a cause of complacency.

“What we now need is to understand that there are enough worrying factors in the situation. 15 deaths have been reported in last month alone. There is at least one district which has more than 200 active cases and at least one district with more than 150 active cases. There are at least 2 districts where the number of active cases per million are higher than 150. At least half of the districts have a doubling rate less than 14 days.  At least 2 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.

“A number of local, indigenous cases for which contact chains are not yet fully clear have also been reported which is a cause of concern,” he added.

The government spokesman also said that over 90,000 stranded persons have already returned to J&K in the last 4 weeks alone, they include 66024 persons by road, 25400 by 30 Shramik special and 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% 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,” he said

“By testing people at the entry point we are ensuring that positive cases are traced and isolated at the entry point itself, thereby avoiding any infections getting into the community,” he added.

Kansal said that the 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 added.