J&K reported the highest 438 cases in Jammu district followed by 320 cases in Srinagar, 250 in Kashmir’s northern district of Baramulla and 116 in Valley’s central district of Budgam
Jammu and Kashmir saw another major spike in Covid cases after recording 1,695 fresh infections on Wednesday, highest daily count in over seven months.
A death was also witnessed in Jammu division. The surge is 47% more than Tuesday’s 1,148 cases and 900% more than 169 cases on January 1. The last time the union territory had recorded such high daily cases was in the first week of June.
Of the total cases on Wednesday, 812 infections were reported in Jammu division while the Kashmir valley saw 883 people testing positive for the virus. The union territory reported the highest 438 cases in Jammu district followed by 320 cases in Srinagar, 250 in Kashmir’s northern district of Baramulla and 116 in Valley’s central district of Budgam.
Jammu district also has the highest number of active cases at 2,066 followed by Srinagar and Baramulla districts with 1,413 and 596 such cases, respectively.
The number of patients who were cured in the UT was 262 with the active cases reaching 6,242. The government’s daily health bulletin also said that 71,541 vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday.
The overall number of people who have recovered reached 3,37,412 while the recovery rate has dropped to 96.9%. Since the pandemic started, the total caseload of J&K has mounted to 3,48,201 and the death toll has increased to 4,547. Officials said that 65,348 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours in the UT. The Jammu district has the highest number of 1,165 fatalities followed by Srinagar with 885 deaths.
18 test positive at IIT Jammu
As many as 18 people, including students, staff, and faculty members, have tested positive for Covid, said IIT Jammu in an official release on Wednesday. RT-PRC test was conducted on 300 people last week on the campus.
Meanwhile, Amid surging Covid cases, Jammu and Kashmir clocked highest monthly infections in first 11 days of January than the past five months. From January 1 to 11, the UT recorded 5,216 infections, logging more cases than the total of any month since August 2021. Of these, 2,909 came from Jammu division and 2,307 from Kashmir.
The UT had witnessed 4,438 cases in December, 4,603 in November, 2,819 in October, 4,011 in September, 3,957 in August and 5,800 cases in July. Authorities have said 13 cases of highly infectious Omicron variant have also been found in J&K – five of them in Kashmir valley.
Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday advised people to take precautions like wearing masks and avoiding crowds to protect themselves from the new variant. DAK general secretary Dr Arshad Ali said vaccine remains the single best tool against Covid and its variants, including Omicron.
“Fully vaccinated people have significant protection against Omicron infection, serious illness and death,” he added. “Those who are unvaccinated should go and get it now. People who are eligible for boosters should take them as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, loved ones and the community,” the doctor said.
January also saw 18 people succumbing to the disease in the UT.
The monthly test positivity rate (TPR) – the percentage of tests turning positive out of the total conducted during the period – increased by 220% in the first 11 days of January to reach 0.84% as against 0.26% in December. In the past one week alone, the test positivity rate reached 1.18%.
J&K’s Covid task force met under the chairmanship of chief secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Wednesday in view of the surge in cases.
According to a government spokesperson, the task force was told that Jammu and Kashmir has administered 1.94 crore jabs to vaccinate 107% and 101% eligible population with the first and second dose, respectively. “The UT is further speeding up its vaccination drive in the 15-18 age group and has already achieved 32% coverage,” the spokesperson said.
Mehta emphasised that Omicron has a growth advantage over the Delta variant and as such requires ardent mitigation and containment measures from an early stage, preferably when the positivity rate breaks out the 10% benchmark.
He urged people to remain vigilant since it has a high rate of transmission and can infect a larger group of people over shorter periods. “It remains the social and moral responsibility of every citizen to be responsible for themselves and those around them. They must exercise due diligence against any symptom of infection in the interest of their family members as well as that of society at large,” Mehta said.