Travelers, tourists account for 21% COVID-19 infections in J-K

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The travelers and tourists who arrived in Jammu and Kashmir during the three weeks of April so far account for 21 percent of the total infections recorded in the region during this time, according to the official data.

The official data released on a daily basis shows that 3628 travelers and tourists tested positive for the viral infection in the month of April so far in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 17248 infections during the 19 days of April so far, of which 3628, or 20.8 percent, were those who had traveled to the region.

The second wave of pandemic hit the Kashmir region in the last half of March and has since led to a dramatic rise in the cases which are quickly overwhelming the region’s modest healthcare facilities.

While there was a slow rise in the number of infected travelers during the first week, the numbers had risen drastically by the third week as 383 travelers had tested positive on 12 April, 447 on 13 April and 248 on 14 April.

J-K reported 1,516 fresh Covid-19 cases yesterday among them 231 are travelers of which 31 arrived in Srinagar.

The second wave of the pandemic and the surge in the cases in Jammu and Kashmir has coincided with the opening of the tourist season as the administration decided to open gardens and parks and hosted musical events for several thousand tourists arriving in the region on a daily basis.

In the first week of April, a huge number of tourists assembled at the famous Tulip Garden, following the six-day long festival organised by the administration of J-K.

The number of active-positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir have also risen to 12164.

Medical experts in the region are also concerned that mutated strains of the virus, which have been detected in 18 states, including Maharashtra, may have infiltrated into J-K through travelers, though the government says there is no such confirmed case.

On Saturday, Kashmir’s iconic Ahdoo’s Hotel was shut after several of its staffers and the owner tested positive for the virus. The manager of the hotel said that they had several guests recently about whom they were later informed to have tested positive for the COVID19 infection at Srinagar Airport.

Two tourists – one from Maharashtra and the another was from Gujrat – have died of COVID-19 at the Chest Disease hospital of Srinagar in the past month. Both had tested negative on arrival at Srinagar airport, where each traveler undergoes Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

Note: The story has been corrected on 7 May 2021 after a reader pointed out a miscalculation of the data.

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