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Coronavirus: Two more tests positive in Ladakh, total cases 10

by PTI

Two more persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh, taking the number of such patients in the Union Territory to 10, a senior government official said on Friday.

Commissioner Secretary (Health) Rigzin Samphel said both the latest cases were from Choshot village of Leh, which was already notified as a containment area by the district administration.

“After the reports of the two patients came positive, they were immediately shifted to an isolation ward in a hospital here by health officials,” Samphel told reporters here.

He said the test reports of 55 more patients, including 11 taken on Friday, were sent to a laboratory in Delhi.

Officials said the condition of all the coronavirus patients in the Union Territory was stable.

Responding to a question on the government’s decision to shut a bank branch in Leh, Samphel said it was part of the preventive steps being taken to control the spread of coronavirus.

“A family member of a health department official (who had tested positive for coronavirus earlier) is working in a local branch of the State Bank of India. Though an earlier sample of the bank employee was found negative, we are sending his fresh sample for testing again as the latest cases are also from the same family,” he said.

Once the test report came, the bank will reopen, Samphel said.

Earlier, a total of eight patients, including an Army jawan, had tested positive for coronavirus in Ladakh, forcing the authorities to impose prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), banning the assembly of five or more persons.

All educational institutions, hotels, restaurants, bars, food courts and community kitchens were closed down in the region till March 31 while a notification against organising conferences, workshops, rallies, gatherings, sit-in-protests, labour gatherings at Balkhang Chowk, Skampari and Indoor-Stadium was issued, the officials said.

The authorities had also issued an advisory, restricting the entry of international tourists within the territorial jurisdiction of Leh district till April 30 and said if the need arose, similar steps might be initiated regarding domestic tourists as well.

The entry of labours from other states into Ladakh has also been banned till March 31.

As regards the concerns regarding non-availability of left-over food for stray dogs due to the closure of restaurants and food courts in both the districts, Samphel said the running campaign for stray dogs by the Animal Husbandry Department would be intensified and dog sanctuaries created.

Meanwhile, an official spokesperson said the Indian Air Force’s publicity programme and recruitment rally, which were planned in the Union Territory, were postponed till further orders.

“Fresh dates for the conduct of the Indian Air Force recruitment rally at Leh and the publicity campaign in the Ladakh region will be communicated as and when finalised and approved by the Central Airmen Selection Board (CASB), New Delhi,” he said.

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