Scores of policemen were quarantined in Kashmir on Thursday, after a policeman and the son of a sub-inspector tested positive for the novel coronavirus in central and north Kashmir. Meanwhile, 14 new positive cases pushed up the total number of cases in J&K to 314.
An official said the constable, posted with the India Reserve Police (IRP) 3rd Battalion at Bemina, Srinagar, had tested positive. Preliminary reports suggest that the policeman, who is from Budgam’s Rathsuna, may have contracted the virus after coming in contact with a member of the Tablighi Jamaat in a Srinagar mosque.
“The contact tracing has been started,” said an official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Many policemen will be quarantined,” the official added.
Several policemen were quarantined in north Kashmir’s Kupwara after the son of a sub-inspector tested positive on Wednesday.
“The family has been quarantined in sub-district hospital Kupwara,” an official said. “The sample of the sub-inspector has already been sent for a test. As a precautionary measure, the contacts of the sub-inspector in the police have been advised to stay in isolation,” the official added.
Meanwhile, the J&K government spokesman said the total number of COVID-19 cases had touched 314.
“Fourteen new positive cases of coronavirus, all from Kashmir division, were reported on Thursday,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, two more COVID-19 patients recovered and were discharged from a Srinagar hospital.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole, said J&K would be among the few States/Union Territories to initiate rapid antibody testing in the red zones soon.
The Divisional Commissioner said rapid antibody testing would be conducted on the spot in red zone areas. “The test will give results instantly whether the person is exposed to the coronavirus or not,” he said.
He said all 80 red zones identified in the Kashmir division “would remain red zones up to 42 days”. “Unless, no new positive case of COVID-19 is detected. If any new case is detected in these areas, then from that date the area will again remain a red zone for another 42 days,” he said.
He said people would be asked to download the Arogya Setu app on their mobile phones for information, education and communication purposes.