Kashmir Indepth

In 10 days: Samples of 16,000 non-local labourers collected, results of 50% awaited, 130 test positive for COVID-19

No one enters Kashmir without screening, says Div Com

Suhail Khan

Srinagar, July 23 (KINS): Authorities have collected samples of over 16,000 non-local labourers for COVID-19 testing at Qazigund toll post of which 130 have been tested positive for coronavirus so far.

Block Medical Officer (BMO) Qazigund Dr Zahoor Ahmad said they have collected samples of over 16,000 non-local labourers in the last 10 days who arrived in Kashmir.

“Fifty percent results have come so far of which 130 non-local labourers have been found positive for coronavirus,” Dr Zahoor told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

He claimed that health officials were doing proper screening of all labourers who are arriving in Kashmir.

“The labourers are put in quarantine in respective districts,” he said.

He however said the order related to collection of samples of non-local labourers in their work districts has not been implemented yet. “So far, samples of all non-local labourers are collected at Qazigund toll post,” he added.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole claimed no one is entering Kashmir without COVID-19 testing. “All labourers are being tested and also kept in quarantine. Show us (government) one non-local labourer who entered Kashmir without collecting his sample for testing,” Pole told KINS.

As per the guidelines issued by the Jammu and Kashmir government, all the passengers coming to J&K by train, air or road are supposed to remain under institutional quarantine for 14 days after being tested for coronavirus.

These labourers arriving in Kashmir however do not undergo any institutional quarantine. They are directly transported to brick kilns.

An official of the Labour Department said the non-local labourers are being brought to resume work on brick kilns. “We provide details about these labourers to the government,” he added.(KINS)

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