Doda becomes first district in J&K with no active COVID-19 case

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Bhaderwah (J&K), Jan 30 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir's Doda has become the first coronavirus-free district in the Union Territory after the last three active cases turned negative and subsequently discharged from hospital, officials said on Saturday.

The hilly district had not registered any new COVID-19 cases over the past fortnight, bringing a ray of hope among the residents especially those linked with tourism for revival of normal activities.

Doda has recorded a total of 3,428 positive cases, of whom 64 died of the infection. Jammu and Kashmir had recorded a total of 1,933 COVID-related deaths till Friday evening, while 1,21,617 of the total 1,24,373 cases recovered.

“With the recovery of the last three positive cases on Friday evening, there is no active case left in our district,” Block Medical Officer (BMO), Bhaderwah, Shakeel Ahmad Sumbria told PTI.

He said for the last couple of weeks, no positive case has been reported from the entire district and the credit for this goes entirely to the residents of the district who have been following the SOPs religiously.

“This is a very good sign for us but it does not mean that we are permanently disease free. To maintain this status (COVID-free district), we have to keep following SOPs and do vaccination without fail,' he said.

The business community, especially those associated with tourism, expressed their happiness over the development and hoped that this feat can become a turning point for the early revival of tourism related activities in the district which has suffered maximum due to the pandemic.

'Tourism is still a growing industry in Bhadarwah and other parts of Doda district. Due to the pandemic, trade came to a standstill but our district becoming coronavirus free is definitely a blessing in disguise for us and hopefully, we will be able to attract tourist again to this beautiful valley,” Imtiaz-Ur-Rehman, leading eco-tourism promoter of Chenab region, said.

He said Bhadarwah Development Authority should play a proactive role in the revival of tourism in the valley.

Rashid Choudhary, a local youth leader from Bhaderwah, said it is a very positive sign that Doda has become the first district in the entire UT to be free from coronavirus cases.

“It became possible because of the joint efforts of the residents and the district administration which implemented all SOPs in letter and spirit,' he said, cautioning people not to get carried away by the scenario and keep taking precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

Besides Doda, five other districts in Jammu region have single digit positive cases. Kishtwar district has one positive case, Ramban (two), Kathua (three) and Rajouri and Reasi (five each). PTI CORR TAS HDA