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COVID-19 claims second life in J-K, five more test positive in valley


Press Trust of India Srinagar/Jammu
A 65-year-old coronavirus patient died while five people tested positive in Kashmir on Sunday, taking the number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir to 38, even as the administration roped in private hospitals and nursing homes to create additional isolation facilities in the Union Territory.
The man, a resident of Tangmarg area in Baramulla district, was undergoing treatment for some ailment at SMHS Hospital, where he tested positive for the disease on Saturday.
The officials said he was shifted to the Chest Diseases Hospital but died early Sunday morning.
"Sad start to the day. Unfortunate demise of a coronavirus patient in Srinagar this morning," government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said in a tweet.
With this, the death toll due to the pandemic in the union territory has risen to two. Another 65-year-old man died of coronavirus on Thursday.
Of the fresh five cases in the Union Territory, Srinagar and Budgam reported two each, while Baramulla one.
The administration is roping in private hospitals and nursing homes to ramp up the isolation facilities across the Union Territory in case the number of COVID-19 patients increases, Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo, said.
All the private hospitals and nursing homes are cooperating and have agreed to provide space for handling such patients, he said.
He visited Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences, Jammu, and assessed the isolation beds that have been spared by the hospital administration.
The financial commissioner said the government will start treating COVID-19 patients at private hospitals and nursing homes in case the need arises.
According to a media bulletin issued on Sunday evening, of the 588 samples tested so far, 542 were negative, 38 positive, while reports of eight people were awaited.
The number of active cases stands at 34 as two patients have recovered and two died.
The administration said till date 6,465 number of travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been put under surveillance-- 3,260 in home quarantine, 307 in hospital quarantine and 2,163 in home surveillance, while 735 have completed their 28 days surveillance period.
It advised people to stay calm and not panic as government has undertaken aggressive contact tracing and testing campaign to detect COVID-19 positive cases.
Kansal warned those hiding their travel history, and said "this is criminal".
"Contact tracing teams reporting that despite so many appeals people still hiding travel histories. Couple which tested positive in Srinagar yesterday hid international travel history. This is criminal. Please note- an entire society is being put at risk," he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Congress has urged the administration to take urgent steps to streamline the arrangements for the students, labourers and others who were left stranded here due to the ongoing lockdown.
"The UT administration needs to take immediate steps to streamline the process of food, shelter and Medicare to the people who are belonging to different districts and presently stranded in Jammu," JKPCC president G A Mir and other senior leaders said in a joint statement here.

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First Published: Mar 29 2020 | 10:46 PM IST

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