Anantnag: Fifty-two students including 38 from a private school in Kulgam district and 14 from a government school in Anantnag district on Wednesday tested positive along with at least six tourists and a teacher from the school in Kulgam.
Both the schools have been closed for a week by the authorities while Covid testing has been intensified.
The private school, Hanfia Noorani Public School, is located in Khulll Ahmedabad area of DH Pora in Kulgam district. Most of the students at the school are local residents.
A senior official in Kulgam district administration confirmed the incident while talking to Kashmir Reader. He said that two of the students at the school tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
“They were tested following some symptoms,” the official said, adding that the school was closed and samples were taken from all the students and teachers of the school for further testing.
“Today, he said, 36 other students and one of the teacher’s tested positive. “The whole village has been declared as a containment zone. We will intensify testing in the area tomorrow onwards,” the official said.
He said that many people in the village remain out of Kashmir during winters for work and they have started returning. “While COVID-19 was at peak in Kashmir we had data on who entered the district and from where. We have, unfortunately, been complacent in the last couple of months and have allowed travellers to enter without any scrutiny,” he said.
The official said that almost every home in the area has a member, who has arrived recently from outside. “There was an emergency meeting of the officials this evening and the way forward has been discussed in detail,” he said.
The Chief Education Officer (CEO) Kulgam, Muhammad Ashraf Rather, also confirmed the number of students infected. “We have ordered closure of the school for a week. Further decision will be taken according to the situation,” he said.
In Anantnag district, 14 students from Government High School Kathsoo in zone Srigufwara (Sallar zone) tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, Block Medical Officer (BMO) Sallar Dr Arshid Hussain Tak confirmed to Kashmir Reader.
“The school has been closed and further samples have been taken for testing,” Tak said. He added that some tourists also came for testing and were tested positive along with their Kashmiri driver.
“Six tourists and the driver have been tested positive,” Tak said.
Sources in Pahalgam, meanwhile, said that a huge rush of tourists was seen in the area but no one was even wearing a mask or following any prescribed SOP. “The government needs to be vigilant at least for the safety of the tourists as well as the locals,” sources said.