Security personnel and passengers wear masks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus at Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal, Friday I
File image of security personnel and passengers wearing masks to mitigate the spread of coronavirus | PTI
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Srinagar: Test results of two suspected coronavirus patients admitted at the Government Medical College (GMC) in Jammu have found “high viral load cases”. The two patients, government officials said, had a high probability of testing positive for COVID-19 virus.

The revelation was made by the Jammu and Kashmir government early Saturday morning.

The two patients, a male and a female, had fled a couple of days ago from the hospital, where they were being kept in an isolation ward.

Authorities in Jammu are likely to screen all the individuals the two patients came in contact with during their time outside the hospital.

While the male patient, from Jammu’s Satwari region, had recently traveled to South Korea, the female patient had recently visited Iran, a senior government official said.

“We have received the test reports of the two patients and both are high viral load cases. They have a high probability of testing positive for coronavirus. At the moment, both suspected cases are kept in isolation at the Government Medical College in Jammu. Their condition as of now is stable,” said the official.

In a tweet sent out by the official handle of J&K government’s Department of Information and Public Relations, authorities wrote, “Both cases had left hospital against medical advice and had to be brought back. Appeal to the public to cooperate fully wherever quarantine is advised”.

A senior government official said, “One of the patients had complained of feeling uneasy and impatient at the isolation ward. The relatives of the patient argued with the security guards at the hospital and fled. Watching the commotion the other patient fled too.”

Also read: Indian exports could take a hit as world food prices dip in February due to coronavirus

Decision to hold Winter Games in Gulmarg receives flak

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have been gearing up for the lethal virus. On Saturday, authorities announced that all primary schools in Jammu and Samba districts will be closed until 31 March. Furthermore, all biometric attendance in Jammu and Kashmir has been suspended as a preventive measure.

Earlier this week, the J&K government had also issued an advisory asking people, social and political organisations to avoid mass gatherings. The threat of the coronavirus in Jammu and Samba is likely to amplify the government’s appeal.

In Kashmir, though, while precautionary measures are being taken and designated wards to fight the virus have been established, the government has gone ahead with its plan to hold the first-ever Winter Games in Gulmarg, supposed to be attended by over 800 people.

The decision has received flak from various quarters.

G. N. Var, who heads the Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir, strongly opposed the decision saying, “Everybody knows that the virus grows wildly in cold temperatures and God forbid if somebody with coronavirus enters Kashmir, it will be a disaster in the making.”

Also read: Stop buying face masks: The right medical advice we all need on coronavirus


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