J&K: 15 cured COVID-19 patients discharged; ICMR’s Rapid Antibody Test Kits to be used to check community spread

In a major development and good news from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 15 positive COVID-19 patients have recovered and were discharged yesterday which include 07 from GMC Baramulla, 06 from SKIMS Soura, and 02 from Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar. Moreover, 18 new positive cases of COVID-19, all from Kashmir division, have been reported yesterday thus taking the total number of positive cases in J&K to 368. No new positive cases of COVID-19 has been reported from Jammu division.

AIR Correspondent reports that out of 368 positive cases, 292 are Active Positive, 71 have recovered and 05 have died. Now the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Jammu division are 55 whereas the toll of positive cases of COVID-19 in Kashmir division has gone up to 313.

Furthermore, only essential services and others relaxed in revised guidelines of Centre are being allowed and lockdown is being ensured strictly across the UT of J&K. Healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, allied & healthcare professionals, are rendering their services tirelessly. Similarly, sanitary workers and police personnel are also doing selfless service and playing critical roles in addressing the challenge of COVID-19.

As many as 1211 residents of UT of J&K, who were stranded in Pathankot district of Punjab due to imposition of lockdown and have completed 21 days of quarantine at different quarantine centers have been handed over to Kathua district administration yesterday at Lakhanpur amid proper arrangements.

AIR Correspondent reports that a team of doctors and paramedical staff recorded their temperature and asked them to fill a self reporting form at Lakhanpur indicating their personal information, travel history and whether they were showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Kathua District Administration has arranged a fleet of SRTC buses to send these people to their respective districts. 350 people belong to Kashmir division while, rest of them belong to different districts of Jammu Division. District wise segregation of travelers was also done and different buses for different districts will be sent directly from Lakhanpur. DC Kathua, O. P. Baghat along with SSP, Shailendra Mishra also inspected other arrangements put in place at Lakhanpur to restrain coronavirus. Strict lock down guidelines was enforced at Lakhanpur to ensure no unchecked inward/outward movement except for essential and medical services, DDC divulged.

Meanwhile, to check community spread of COVID-19 and take remedial measures on fast track basis in identified red zones across J&K, government would use Rapid Antibody Test Kits received from Indian Council of Medical Research. AIR Correspondent reports, that this rapid antibody based blood test will conduct community and cluster screening to detect possible carriers of Novel Coronavirus besides help to know the impact of Virus in the identified red zones. In this regard, necessary training for health professionals will start today.

Professor, Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College Jammu, Dr. Shahsi, informed that measures are being implemented by Govt Medical College to contain the spread of this pandemic. The aim of rapid test is not diagnosis but with these tests we will come to know whether the Corona Virus has got established in a community in identified red zones, she said. Once a person tests positive after the antibody test, PCR test has to be done to confirm the result. While antibody test is based on blood samples, the PCR test is based on throat swab.

J&K Health department had limited resources in the initial stage but complete support and guidance from Center government has enabled to enhance the overall capacity building in terms of sample collection and testing. The aim of introducing newer technologies is to test more people in order to identify COVID positive patients and isolate them at the earliest. In the UT of J&K, all departments are working in a coordinated manner in the battle against Corona Virus.

The services of diagnostic have been extended at IIIM, CSIR, Jammu and have received lot of support from them in terms of human resources and related things.