This decision was taken in a meeting which was held as part of the preventive plan keeping in mind reported spike in COVID-19 cases outside J&K. An official handout states that the in-charge Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, directed government officials to ensure that enough measures are put in place to avoid spread in the Kashmir division.
He also issued directions for enhancing the preventive measures at the Srinagar airport. He instructed the Srinagar and Budgam district administrations to set up more coronavirus testing facilities and to ensure that test results are available easily.
Dr Shahid said that all arriving travellers will have to take the Covid-19 test and only after that they’ll be allowed to leave the airport. The handout states that these instructions have been issued in response to a recent trend within Kashmir which shows a greater number of infections in travellers than local cases of COVID-19 infections.
Dr Samir Mattoo, the Director of Health Services Kashmir, said during the meeting that the situation surrounding COVID-19 in the region is hopeful and the transmission rate of the virus is also quite low. In order to maintain this, he said that strictness must be maintained at the airport.
The handout also said that those travellers whose reports show that those people are infected would be isolated in order to prevent transmission and spread of the virus infection amongst the local population. Relevant procedure according to the COVID-19 SOP manual will be followed in this positive cases.
However, to the relief of passengers, those who have 48-hour-old RT-PCR negative reports from their departing cities will not have to test themselves at the Srinagar airport and that report will be sufficient.
This meeting was attended by Additional District Magistrate Srinagar and Nodal Officer COVID-19 Mitigation Operations Srinagar Masarat Hashim, State Surveillance Officer IDPS and Nodal Officer COVID-19 Control Room Kashmir Division Dr Talat Jabeen, Assistant Commissioner Revenue Budgam Raeis Bhat, Chief Medical Officer Srinagar Dr Jehangir Bakshi and HOD Social & Preventive Medicine GMC Srinagar Dr Salim Khan.
Other than them, in-charge COVID-19 Testing at Srinagar airport, Epidemiologists Srinagar and Budgam and officials representing SKIMS Soura, SKIMS MC&H Bemina and GMC Srinagar were also present in the meeting.