A junior doctor who works at Government Medical College (Baramulla) tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday at Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Srinagar. He becomes the first doctor in the valley who has tested positive for COVID 19 pandemic. The doctor is among 11 patients tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the institute on Tuesday.
Around 18 contacts of the doctor have been put under quarantine at GMC Baramulla. "The doctor has also been kept under isolation at GMC," an official said. As per official figures, nearly 500 samples of suspected cases are under process at the tertiary care institute. Meanwhile, to decrease the burden on the existing two COVID-19 testing labs, the government is set to start a third testing lab at SKIMS Medical College and hospital at JVC Bemina. Jammu and Kashmir, Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dulloo said that testing would be strengthened further as part of the measures to curb the spread of COVID 19.
"We are planning to start a third testing lab at SKIMS Bemina and have brought machines for that. There was some delay in the procurement of the material but will now start soon," he said. Dulloo said the current testing labs at SKIMS Srinagar and Government Medical College Srinagar had expended test capacity. "We had a target of 1000 tests a day. SKIMS Soura lab is doing 400 tests a day and GMC Srinagar lab is processing more than 300 samples," he said.
The two labs at SKIMS Sour and GMC Srinagar were established on March 10, 2020. Before that, the samples from J&K were taken to AIIMS, New Delhi for testing. Meanwhile, Director Health Services told that the COVID-19 nominated hospitals of Kashmir are functioning normally besides the Sub-District Hospitals, Public Health Centers and other peripheral dispensaries are functioning smoothly on a daily basis. The field sampling has been increased in the valley and additional staff has been trained for conducting rapid tests besides 375 laboratory technicians of various hospitals that have been trained for COVID-19 testing.