‘Lockdown, aggressive testing, other measures helped to reduce number of cases’
Bandipora, July 30: Once hotspot for the novel coronavirus cases, the Bandipora district in northern Kashmir is now listed at number nine in the list of deadly COVID-19 cases in the Valley where only 711 cases have been detected so far while 464 among them have recovered and discharged from the hospitals.
The district once topped the list of Coronavirus cases in the Valley as more and more people were getting infected with the virus there.
However, the prompt action and necessary steps taken by the administration including the aggressive testing and other things have helped them to prevent the virus from spreading.
Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Nodal Officer for COVID-19 in Bandipora, Mehraj Wani appreciated the efforts of Corona warriors and said that they still have to fight the pandemic until the virus is defeated completely.
The administration had constituted 33 teams comprising a doctor, paramedical staff, Asha Workers and others who were going from village to village to treat non-COVID patients while those having symptoms were being taken to the hospital.
“It is very important for people to stay indoors and maintain social distancing in case they come out from their homes,” he said.
To prevent the deadly virus from spreading further, Wani said several measures were taken by the authorities including lockdown, random testing and created awareness among the people.
“Bandipora was the first district where lockdown was imposed to prevent the COVID cases after cases from Gund-Jahangeer started increasing,” he said, adding that all other precautions including creating much awareness among the masses that helped in bringing the number of cases down in the district.
The Nodal Officer further stated that the first death in the district was reported on April 07, 2020. The patient was having no travel history or contact with a positive case, he said, adding that the patient died just a day after he was admitted at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital, which created fear in the administration and following which the process to prevent cases was taken.
“After the patient’s death, all his family members were tested while the entire village was designated as a red zone and mass testing was also conducted randomly in the village,” he said.
After spurt in cases, he said that the strict lockdown was imposed while the public movement, vehicular movement as well as the assembly of people was also restricted.
He added that a large number of people from Hajin and Gund-Jahangeer villages and its surrounding areas were kept under quarantine after the spike in the number of COVID cases. “The residents of these areas were being provided essential supplies at their home as no one was being allowed to come out from red zone areas to prevent the virus from spreading,” he said, adding that the people also followed the guidelines in spirit that helped the administration to control the COVID from spreading.
“As the wearing of masks was made mandatory, about four lakh masks were also distributed among the people across the district,” he said.
After many patients recovered and fresh cases started decreasing, the district was categorized as orange zone by the government. “Therefore, the strict lockdown, adherence to the guidelines and aggressive testing helped the district to prevent the virus from spreading further,” he added.
“We are continuously making tireless efforts to ensure SOPs are followed in spirit and to some extent we have been successful in it,” he said.
Block Medical Officer (BMO) Bandipora, Dr. Masrat Wani told KNO that there is no need to panic, but people should come out of their homes only when there is any emergency.
“The health guidelines should be properly followed when people are out of their homes,” Wani said. “In absence of proper vaccine, following guidelines is the only option to combat the virus,” Dr Masrat Wani said.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Bandipora, Dr. Bashir Ahamad while talking to KNO said, COVID has to be defeated by one and all. “It is the high time for Civil Society groups, Mohallah committees, Masjid and Gurudwara committees to come forward and play their pivotal role in educating people to break the chain of the virus,” he said.
The CMO praised the general public for showing exemplary patience and cooperation with the authorities.
Pertinently, Bandipora district has witnessed 711 cases while 464 among them have recovered while ten patients have died due to the virus so far. The district has only 247 active positive cases at present—(KNO)