SRINAGAR: Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory, has been under a virtual curfew since Thursday as an old woman from the Khanyar locality of downtown Srinagar, who returned on 16 March from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, tested positive for coronavirus.

On Friday afternoon, doctors and officials in Srinagar said that the woman’s husband and daughter-in-law tested negative, while tests of many other suspected cases are still awaited. The government has ordered two investigations in the recent past to know why the earlier instructions for precaution were not adhered to in Kashmir valley. Media reports have suggested that the woman who has tested positive was allowed to move out of the airport without any tests as she was a close relative of a senior officer of Jammu and Kashmir police. Similarly, authorities have also ordered a probe as four foreign tourists could make it to Srinagar city even after authorities imposed a ban on arrival of foreign tourists to Kashmir.

A senior police officer told this reporter that the tourists, two of them hailing from Italy, were sent back, but a probe has been ordered on how they reached Srinagar without being stopped at any place.

Nodal Officer for coronavirus at SKIMS, Dr Ghulam Hasan Itoo, told media that they have collected samples of all the persons who had primary contact with the patient who tested positive. While talking to this reporter, he said that the old woman of Khanyar was in an isolation ward and her condition was stable. Authorities in Srinagar held a series of high-level meetings attended by health department officials to take pro-active and strict measures to ensure that coronavirus does not spread here. Police and civil authorities, with the help of paramilitary forces, were seen enforcing restrictions in Srinagar city on Friday. This reporter could see on ground concertina wires and other barricades have been erected across many streets. Meanwhile, 45 students who arrived on Srinagar airport on Friday from Bangladesh were quarantine by authorities where they will be kept in isolation for 14 days. Students evacuated from Iran, many from Jammu and Kashmir, have been shifted to a quarantine facility in Jaisalmer.

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