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Amid COVID-19 surge, J&K health workers test positive

Coronavirus cases topped 3,000 per day in J&K on Saturday, but the bigger worry for the Union Territory (UT) administration is the growing number of healthcare workers, especially doctors, getting affected at an early stage of the rising curve.

At least 48 doctors and paramedics tested positive for the virus in just one day in the Valley, said Dr. Salim Khan, Professor and HOD Community Medicine, Government College Srinagar and also the nodal officer for COVID-19.

A total of 259 doctors contracted the virus this month so far, reflecting a higher positivity rate among the doctors compared to the first two waves of the pandemic even as the curve is at its initial stage.

“The transmission of circulating Omicron strain is rapid and involves all close contacts. As doctors and paramedics come in close proximity with patients, they are at higher risk of contracting the disease, especially in OPD and emergency settings,” Dr. Khan told The Hindu.

On the rapid spike in cases, Dr. Khan said, “Being mild in symptoms, the affected people don’t isolate themselves nor follow COVID appropriate behaviour and SOPs. They are spreading infection within families and communities.”

J&K registered 3,251 fresh cases on Saturday, with Jammu recording highest 685 followed by Srinagar at 587 cases. J&K, at present, has 12,860 positive cases and the numbers are likely to swell in coming days given the trajectory of this week.

The J&K government Saturday announced “ complete restrictions on non-essential movements during weekends in the entire Union Territory”.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kashmir, expressed its unhappiness over the lockdown.

“The spontaneous lockdown has caused a lot of inconvenience to the general public, students, traders, shopkeepers, and tourists who are stranded at many places. We don’t oppose it but the announcement should have been made in advance so that people and traders wouldn’t have left homes early and got stranded in the middle of the day,” CCIK president Tariq Rashid Ghani said.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 9:00:00 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/amid-covid-19-surge-jk-health-workers-test-positive/article38276224.ece