In little over 100 days after the first covid-19 case was reported, Jammu and Kashmir has passed grim milestone of 6000 cases. In fact, more 3000 cases were added after June 4, taking the tally of the infected people to 6088 as on June 22. A comparison of the official data as on June 4 and June 22 shows that Srinagar had 344 cases and now it has 695 cases, highest in terms of the number of infected as well as having active positive cases. In terms of travelers, Srinagar had 186 cases as on June 4 and the number stood on June 22 at 229, the addition of 43 imported infected cases. There are five districts having more than six hundreds cases hitherto and of them Shopian (636) and Anantnag (608) have less than 50 imported cases with 23 and 37 respectively. The other district having the least imported cases is Baramulla—66 travelers. All this leads the conclusion that local transmission remains a great factor in the spread of the virus.
Recently, there has been an introduction of rapid tests. The government has also started to carry random tests in Red Zones. A case in point includes Budgam’s two containment zones— Chraripora and Warhama where seven positive cases were confirmed as a result of random tests even as 13 others confirmed from central Kashmir district on Monday last were contacts of previous covid-19 patients. Aggressing testing remains the key to contain the disease. Some developed countries saw a huge spike in cases when they begin with large scale testing. Down the line, the situation is much impressive than the countries which were slow with the tests to start with. In the Indian contest, Maharashtra adopted the correct approach of enhanced testing, unmindful of the large number of cases getting reported each day. The state has already achieved a remarkable feat due to aggressive testing in Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia. There has been a sharp decline in infections as local government through aggressive testing has been able to reduce the growth rate in the densely populated slum to 4.3% in May to around 1% in June.
It is now clear that lower testing means poor containment. On the other hand, the true containment will remain difficult unless there is door-to-door surveillance and large-scale testing in the areas which have already been recognized as potentially dangerous in the context of covid-19 spread. Going by the cases reported in Shopian, Anantnag and Srinagar among the districts, finding numbers will only contain the disease.