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Jan 29 : Following the recent outbreak of the novel (new) coronavirus in china which has infected almost 6000 people and claimed at least 132 lives so far, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday has urged health authorities in Kashmir to prepare for the potential spread of the virus in the valley.

“In today’s connected world, an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued to wire service. “We have to prepare in advance to deal with the virus,” he said adding “advance planning and preparedness are critical to help mitigate the impact of any eventuality.”

Dr Nisar said the virus is on the move with reported cases in at least five other countries. We have to expect that we will get cases in Kashmir too. We should be prepared for surveillance, early detection, infection prevention and control, logistics and in particular hospital preparedness in terms of isolation and ventilation management of severe cases.“The best way to prevent the virus is to stop it from coming in as once the virus enters the community it is difficult to control it,” he said.

“Passengers at Srinagar international airport and Lower MundaQazigund should undergo thermal screening and screening for any other symptom of the illness,” he added.

Dr Nisar said the new coronavirus is believed to have animal origin. Human-to- human transmission has been confirmed. “When the virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.