Couple, infant, 4 security men among 55 more positives in Jammu

JAMMU, May 31:

 Days after wife and son of an Advisor tested Corona positive, a senior IAS officer tested positive for COVID-19 tonight after which several top bureaucrats who had attended a meeting with the positive officer were sent into quarantine and will be sampled.

Top officials confirmed to the Excelsior that senior IAS officer, who is in the Commissioner/Secretary rank and had returned to Jammu from Srinagar yesterday, tested positive for Coronavirus tonight. He had been sampled last evening after returning from Srinagar.

He has become the first IAS officer to test positive for COVID in Jammu and Kashmir. Few days back, wife and son of an Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor who had returned from New Delhi had tested Corona positive.

It, however, couldn’t be ascertained immediately as to which Government facility the IAS officer was shifted for treatment of the virus.

As the officer who tested positive had attended high-level meeting of the officers and doctors, several top bureaucrats including five very senior officers who are in forefront in COVID fighting efforts, have been sent on quarantine and will be sampled in next couple of days. Those who are being quarantined included a top ranking bureaucrat, a Financial Commissioner, a Principal Secretary, a senior bureaucrat in the Disaster Management Authority and another official in the Health and Medical Education Department.

Apart from the top bureaucrats, very senior Health officials including the Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu Principal, Director National Health Mission (NHM), Director Health Services Jammu, Director Medical Supplies Corporation, Microbiologist, Epidemiologist and others are also being sent on quarantine as they too had attended meeting with the top bureaucrat who has tested positive, sources said.

Meanwhile, in a fresh surge in Coronavirus cases in Jammu region, 55 persons including two police personnel posted at Kathua police station, four security personnel-two from Army, one each from BSF and CRPF, a couple, two brothers and a two-year old child, today tested positive for COVID-19 in Jammu region while16 patients were treated and discharged.

Kathua police station was immediately locked and entire staff was sent on quarantine and sampled for the virus while police authorities designated Women Police Station of the district as temporary alternate for Kathua PS. Few days back, an Indian Reserve Police (IRP) constable deployed at Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir, had tested Corona positive following which samples of number of police personnel deployed on National Highway on naka duty were taken for testing.

Today’s 55 positives included 16 from Ramban, 13 Udhampur, eight Samba, five each in Doda and Kathua, four in Jammu, three in Rajouri and one in Reasi district.

An Assistant Sub Inspector of Doda and a Head Constable from Chhan Datyal in Chadwal, both posted at Kathua police station today reported positive for Coronavirus after which they were shifted to police facility for such patients while the police station was locked.

District Magistrate Kathua OP Bhagat said all police personnel were isolated, quarantined and sampled for the virus.

Police said the Kathua Police Station has been locked and declared out of bounds for all people. The Women Police Station in Kathua has been designated for receiving complaints on behalf of Kathua police station.

Kathua has become first police station in the Jammu region to be locked for the virus. Apart from two police personnel who tested Corona positive in Kathua police station, a constable deployed at Lakhanpur in the same district and over one and a half dozen security personnel from Army, CRPF and BSF have also reported positive for the virus in Jammu region.

It may be mentioned here that thousands of stranded persons of Jammu and Kashmir have returned to the Union Territory from different parts of the country from Lakhanpur, the gateway to J&K, in Kathua district and police personnel had been deployed to maintain social distancing of the returnees and other such duties to regulate their movement.

Three other persons from Kathua district, all of whom had travel history and were under quarantine at different centres, also tested positive today, Bhagat said.

He added that 773 stranded persons of Jammu and Kashmir today returned via Lakhanpur from different States including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, New Delhi etc.

A 30-year-old Army jawan of 17 Rashtriya Rifles deployed in Doda with travel history of Uttar Pradesh, a 34-year old Army soldier from Pallanwalla in Jammu district, a CRPF personnel from Vijaypur in Samba district, who had returned home on leave from Chhattisgarh and a BSF jawan of 193 battalion putting up at Supply Morh Udhampur today tested positive for COVID-19. With this, nearly two dozen security personnel have tested positive for Coronavirus in Jammu region. Four Army jawans were tested positive only yesterday.

Three other persons who have tested Corona positive in Jammu district included a 32-year-old youth from Channi Himmat, a 38-year-old woman from Digiana, who was contact of an already positive patient and a 17-year-old girl from Sunjwan.

Apart from an Army soldier, a two-year-old child hailing from village Pranoo in Doda district has tested positive for Coronavirus. Her mother had returned from Gurdaspur in Punjab. A 19-year old girl from Mandi, Thathri with travel history of Ludhiana, a 21-year-old youth from Kumail Assar who had returned from Jammu and a 22-year-old girl from Kaljugasar in Gandoh with travel history of Samba have also test positive for the virus in Doda district.

Additional SP Doda Raj Singh Gouria-led police teams have shifted the patients to different hospitals. As the infant and a youth were in home quarantine, their villages are being declared as Containment Zones.

Thirteen persons today tested positive for COVID-19 in Udhampur district including a BSF jawan and a couple from Barian.

District Magistrate Udhampur Dr Piyush Singla said all of them were returnees from different States of the country from trains and buses and were under administrative quarantine. They have been sent to dedicated COVID hospitals, he added.

Other positive cases of Udhampur district hailed from Chari, Panchairi, Satyalata (Ramnagar), Chenani, Chanunta (Ramnagar), Bhugtrian (Ramnagar), Gole Mela and Sunetar (Ramnagar).

Sixteen persons from Ramban district have reported positive for Coronavirus today and all of them had travel history of different States and some others were contacts of already positive persons, sources said. All of them have been hospitalized.

Lt Col Inam Danish Khan, Classified Specialist (Microbiology), Command Hospital Udhampur said 30 persons have tested positive in the Laboratory including 11 from Udhampur, 16 from Ramban, two of Doda and one from Reasi.

Lt Col Khan said the Command Hospital has conducted a total of 22865 tests so far and, out of them, 267 have tested positive.

Eight persons have tested positive in Samba district including a CRPF personnel.

Other positives of Samba district included two brothers aged 35 and 40 years, residents of village Gurwal who were working in Mumbai and had returned on May 15. Other positive cases had travel history and were under administrative quarantine.

SSP Samba Shakti Pathak said all positive for COVID-19 have been taken out of the quarantine centres and admitted in COVID hospitals. All of them were asymptomatic. Their contact tracing is on, he added.

In Reasi district, a resident from village Chinkah who was working as a driver in Uttarakhand and had returned few days back today tested positive for the virus.

Three persons this evening tested Corona positive in Rajouri district. All of them hailed from Thanna Mandi. Two of them had been sent home after quarantine while other was still at a quarantine centre.

Meanwhile, wife of a Sub Inspector of Police who happened to be sister of a Block Medical Officer (BMO) today tested negative after delivery in Poonch district. Just three days back, she had tested Corona positive.

Thirteen Corona patients were today treated and discharged from Chest Diseases Hospital, Bakshi Nagar, Medical Superintendent Dr Rajeshwar Sharma said. Three persons were discharged from other hospitals today taking total recoveries to 16 including 12 from Ramban district, three from Udhampur and one from Samba.

According to an official bulletin, Jammu region now has total 488 cases, 368 of whom were active. There have been 117 recoveries and three deaths.

Meanwhile, Rajouri police today arrested a man of Bhanghai, Thanna Mandi for jumping administrative quarantine. He has been brought back and a FIR registered against him.