The authorities in Jammu Kashmir have taken samples of at least 115 residents who recently arrived from China and were suspected of being infected by Coronavirus while none of them has tested positive so far.
Nodal Officer for Coronavirus (2019 nCov) for J&K, Dr Shafqat Khan said over the past month, 115 J&K residents, who have travel history from China, had been suspected for the novel virus so far.
“They were under observation at their respective homes. Till date, of the 115 cases, the samples of 20 people were taken for testing,” he told Rising Kashmir.
Khan said of the 20 samples taken for testing, 13 had been declared negative.
He said seven samples had been dismissed in shipping due to technical reasons.
“No one from Jammu Kashmir has been infected with Coronavirus strain so far,” he said adding there was no need to panic.
Amid Coronavirus fear that spread to other parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Europe, authorities in J&K continue to screen people.
A senior health official in the Health and Medical Education department said at airports people who have travel history from China as well as those who have the Coronavirus symptoms were being screened as a precautionary measure.
About the extension in screening following spread of the virus outside China, Khan said the directions in that regard would come from the Government of India.
“We are very serious about the issue of Coronavirus and all those arriving from China, Nepal and other countries are being monitored,” he said.
The nodal Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) which coordinate the shipment of suspected samples for Coronavirus testing from J&K is at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura.
Before few days, J&K administration was informed by the Indian Council of Medical Research that the Coronavirus samples would be sent to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi for testing.
Earlier, the authorities had been sending the samples of suspected cases for testing to National Institute of Virology, Pune.
In the first week of February, over 22 people arrived in Jammu Kashmir from Coronavirus-hit China with officials saying “they are also safe so far”.
A total of 2663 people have died of the novel virus so far.
It is putting tens of millions of people under lockdown in China’s Hubei province, where the virus originated last year.
The World Health Organisation that declared the novel virus outbreak a global health emergency on January 31 has said the Coronavirus outbreak has not reached the level of a pandemic but warns countries to step up preparations to deal with such a scenario.