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Central team set to visit Kashmir this week as Covid cases spike in 3 districts

Niti Aayog member Dr V.K. Paul and NCDC chief Dr S.K. Singh will be in J&K on 27 August to take stock of the situation in Srinagar, Baramulla and Pulwama.

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New Delhi: After three Valley districts showed an unusual spike in cases over the last few days, a central team is due to visit Kashmir later this week to analyse the reasons for the increase and help the respective district administrations deal with the situation, ThePrint has learnt.

Niti Aayog member (health) Dr V.K. Paul and National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) chief Dr S.K. Singh will be in the state on 27 August to take stock of the situation, said officials in the health ministry.

The three districts that have shown an increase are Srinagar, Baramulla and Pulwama, according to sources in the health ministry. The sources said the numbers in these districts were flagged during review meetings after Lt Governor Manoj Sinha took charge earlier this month.

Jammu and Kashmir has reported a total of 32,647 Covid cases with 617 deaths so far. However, its case fatality rate (CFR) at 1.89 per cent is slightly higher than the national average of 1.85 per cent.

“A two-member central team is headed for the Valley. Three districts — Srinagar, Pulwama and Baramulla have been showing some spike lately. The death rates in these districts are also worrying. That is why the team is going to go there,” said a health ministry official.

The official added that the team is currently in Puducherry and will also go to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before heading to Srinagar.

“These are not states/UTs where the absolute numbers are very high so it is very easy for them to be ignored in the rush of numbers from states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. But it is important to act early so as to prevent the numbers from going very high,” the official explained.

Also read: Delhi sero survey finds highest Covid exposure in minors aged 5-17, govt looking for reasons

The numbers

Of the three districts where the Covid situation will be assessed, Srinagar with 1,353 and Baramulla with 576 active cases are among the five districts in the state with the highest Covid burden currently. Pulwama has 427 active cases.

So far, Srinagar has reported 8,075 cases, Pulwama 2,315 cases and Baramulla 2,640 cases. Srinagar has seen the highest number of deaths — 195 — which makes its CFR about 2.4 per cent. This is higher than the state average.

Baramulla has seen 96 Covid deaths and has a CFR of over 3 per cent. Pulwama with 43 deaths has a CFR of 1.85 per cent.

Jammu and Kashmir currently has a doubling time of over 36 days and a growth rate of 1.97 per cent in Covid cases. The daily positivity rate, however, remains low — about 5 per cent — and the cumulative positivity till date is less than 4 per cent.

Also read: Positivity rate spikes to 10%, but India’s recovery rate at 75.27%, daily deaths dip to 836


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