One of the four advisors to the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu will be screened for novel coronavirus, after the former’s wife and son tested positive for COVID-19 on their arrival in Jammu from New Delhi on Sunday, 24 May.
Sources in the Union Territory administration revealed to The Quint that the wife and a son of an advisor to LG, in charge Health and Medical Education, had reached Jammu from New Delhi on Saturday 23 May and stayed at a government guesthouse for a night.
As per the protocol, their nasopharyngeal swabs were collected and tested on Sunday. Both tested positive for COVID-19.
They were immediately ferried to Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Super Specialty Hospital in Katra and held in administrative quarantine, even as neither of them were symptomatic of any medical problem.
Sources said that the advisor was also isolated and rushed to the same quarantine facility, even as he claimed that he had not come in physical contact with his family members.
His swabs would be collected and tested for coronavirus on Tuesday 26 May, three days after his wife and son tested positive. They would be investigated subsequently as per the protocol.
A former Director-General of Central Reserve Police Force, the advisor to LG is the senior-most functionary of the UT Government, who would be tested for COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir. Contact tracing of his wife and son is already underway.
Anybody, including the drivers and security personnel and staff of the Hospitality & Protocol Department, known to have met with the duo at the guesthouse, would also be screened.
Sources said that the advisor’s wife and son were among 52 persons— 30 from Kashmir and 22 from Jammu — including a Major, a BSF jawan and a police constable deployed at Lakhanpur on the J&K-Punjab border, who tested positive for coronavirus in J&K on Sunday.
As compared to Kashmir, the number of COVID-19 positive cases in Jammu had remained remarkably low in the first two months.
However, in the last couple of weeks, it has significantly increased as many of the travellers returning by trains, buses, and private vehicles from Punjab, Chandigarh, New Delhi, and other places across the country, have tested positive.
Around 90,000 J&K residents, stranded outside due to the lockdown, have been brought back by the UT government by 28 COVID-special trains and four flights besides scores of buses.
In all, 1621 persons within J&K have tested positive for COVID-19. Of them, 1,360 were from Kashmir and 261 from Jammu. Of them, 809 have recovered and 22 have died.
Death of an Income Tax lawyer from Trikuta Nagar, who died of multiple comorbidities at ASCOMS Hospital on Sunday, has taken the J&K COVID-19 toll to 22. Nineteen deaths have been reported from Kashmir. At the close of Sunday, 24 May, the total number of active positive cases in J&K was 790—607 in Kashmir and 183 in Jammu.
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