Kashmir halts sample collection as 5,000 test kits diverted to Jammu

Srinagar, April 17 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) has stopped taking samples from the persons potentially infected from coronavirus in the Kashmir Valley, putting the people at the risk of getting affected by the deadly disease.

The DHS halted sample collection in protest after a senior health official bypassed directives and diverted a Srinagar-bound consignment of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) allotted five boxes, carrying 5,000 test kits, to Jammu.

Reports said that the alarm was raised by top health officials in Srinagar besides officials in charge of the COVID-19 crisis in the Divisional Commissioner’s office when a cargo plane arrived in Srinagar on Tuesday and failed to deliver the 5,000 testing kits desperately required in the Valley.

As per reports, Jitendra Mehta of the National Health Mission diverted the testing kits to Jammu. “It’s being looked into if it was a goof-up or a deliberate attempt,” an official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The bungling in the supply of kits forced the DHS, Kashmir, to stop lifting swabs from suspected COVID-19 cases in the Valley. There is a backlog of some 1,300 samples – about 750 in the Soura hospital and about 550 in the Chest Disease Hospital – which are waiting to be tested.

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