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Kashmir Valley doctor, face of battle against COVID-19, tests positive

A doctor who emerged as the face of the battle against COVID-19 in Kashmir tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

The test results of two deceased persons in north Kashmir also came out positive, taking the toll to 33 in Jammu & Kashmir. Ladakh also registered its first death due to COVID-19.

Dr. Naveed Shah, Professor and Head, Chest Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, said: “I have tested positive [for the coronavirus] and followed the protocol. I have been admitted [to the hospital]. I am in quarantine and working from here. I will be available for all possible deliverable services.”

Dr. Shah’s Chest Medicine Department is the main health facility treating COVID-19 patients here. The doctor, who had stopped going home and often worked beyond his normal hours, became popular for this efforts to educate people about COVID-19 on social media platforms and TV programmes.

“I request the administration to prepare a scientific standard operating procedure for duties, and testing of all frontline workers to safeguard all,” he said.

Hundreds of netizens wished Dr. Shah well. He is asymptomatic so far.

Panic in Jammu Secretariat

Attendance of employees dropped significantly at the Jammu Secretariat after an IAS officer tested positive and over 50 officers, including over a dozen IAS officers, were quarantined for their contact history with the patient.

“The presence of employees is less in comparison to normal days. The employees are in distress,” said Rauf Ahmed Bhat, president of the Civil Secretariat Non-Gazetted Employees Union.

Over half a dozen heads of departments, including those of Housing and Information, are reportedly absent due to quarantine regulations. Sources said even the Chief Secretary and his office have been unable to function in the due course in view of the pandemic.

The J&K administration is not revealing the names of officers who have tested positive, nor the numbers among them to have tested positive. Officials said four senior officers had tested negative so far.

2 deaths in valley, one in Ladakh

Two deceased people were among 117 who tested positive for the coronavirus infection in J&K on Tuesday.

“40 persons from Jammu and 77 persons from Kashmir have tested positive. Two deaths were also reported. Seven people also recovered in the past 24 hours,” a government spokesperson said.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in J&K has touched 2,718.

In the Union Territory of Ladakh, the sample of three-time Congress MP and a former Union Minister P. Namgyal from Ladakh, was returned positive.

Mr. Namgyal, who died on Monday, had returned from Delhi nearly a fortnight ago. “His swab sample came out to be positive today,” Ladakh Commissioner Secretary Rigzin Sampheal said.

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