Change in Covid-19 protocol: After sudden spike, J&K to discharge positive patients after 10 days

In a major change in existing COVID-19 protocol, Jammu and Kashmir government has announced that all coronavirus patients would be discharged after 10 days without the requirement of a test provided they have been asymptomatic for three days. The decision has been taken after a massive spike in Covid-19 cases in the recent weeks in the Union Territory (UT), especially in the Jammu region.  According to health department officials, the patient would be discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and if he has had no fever for three days.  “There would be no need for testing before discharge but he or she will be advised to isolate himself or herself at home and self-monitor his/her health for seven more days,” the officials said.  The earlier criteria for discharging patients were clearance of chest radiograph and two consecutive negative test results on RT-PCR.

There has been an increase of over 72 per cent in positive cases across Jammu and Kashmir since August 1. The fatalities have also increased by three times in the period.

In the last one month alone (from August 22 to September 21), the number of positive cases more than doubled (from 31,981 cases to 65,026) while as many as 416 deaths out of total 1,024 were reported for the period.

Following the sudden spike and complaints of infrastructural deficiencies, the Centre rushed a high-level medical team to Jammu after the district reported a rise in the number of new COVID cases—nearly 16,500—in just one month.

On Monday, J&K Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam while reviewing the COVID management in Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu and its associated Hospitals, announced that 150 CCTVs would be installed in GMC for better patient management and monitoring. This was done following growing complaints of complete chaos and mismanagement in the hospital.

He had ordered that Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) would launch a three-day cleanliness drive in GMC from Wednesday and no vehicle would be allowed to park on GMC premises besides separate space would be created for COVID testing and holding areas.