COVID-19: J&K witnesses surge in deaths, medicos sound alert

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): A day after Jammu and Kashmir’s leading medicos pressed an alarm button stating that the deadly virus has changed its behavior and is now claiming more lives by targeting the lungs, three people have died in the Union Territory this morning, triggering a fresh wave of fear.

On one hand, Covid-19 positive cases have shown a steep rise after Unlock-2, as the total number of cases has inched closer to 10,000.  In addition to this, since past two weeks the death rate has also shown a sudden increase.

On Friday, leading doctors in Kashmir had sounded an alarm and advocated that the government should enforce lockdown again for at least two weeks to contain the spread of virus in the UT, especially Kashmir. The change in virus behavior as per the doctors is that people dying now complain of bilateral pneumonia and breathlessness which earlier wasn’t the case.

Earlier elderly patients were dying of the virus, now young people too are falling prey to it in the UT.

A 24-year-old woman from Hakura village of Anantnag district of South Kashmir and a 77-year-old man from Hyderpora, Srinagar, died at two separate hospitals today.
Nazir Choudhary, medical superintendent at SMHS hospital Srinagar, said that the woman from Anantnag who was admitted on July 3 was very sick and was suffering from hypertension and other ailments.  “She died at SMHS on Friday late night.”

Choudhary said that the patient was referred from LD maternity hospital after she had a caesarean delivery and the patient died due to brain hemorrhage while her baby is fine. “She was Covid positive,” he added.

Farooq Jan, medical superintendent at SKIMS Soura, said that the elderly man from Hyderpora, Srinagar was very sick and was on a ventilator in the hospital. “He had tested positive and breathed his last at around 7.45 am today,” he said, adding that the patient had bilateral pneumonia with other ailments.

The third patient died at CD hospital Srinagar. Aged 45-years, a resident of Trehgam area of Kupwara district, the patient also had bilateral pneumonia and was referred to CD from SMHS on July 4 after testing positive for coronavirus.

With three fresh deaths, the total number of people who have died due to the deadly contagion in Jammu and Kashmir has mounted to 163 which includes 15 from Jammu and 148 from Kashmir.

Talking to NVI, Kashmir’s leading flu expert, Nisar-ul-Hassan, said that the virus has seemingly mutated and for that the government must conduct genetic test.

“Day before yesterday, 30 patients with acute bilateral pneumonia arrived at SMHS hospital. All of them were primary suspects for Covid. This is for the first time I have seen such a medical emergency. This means situation is alarming,” Hassan said, adding that the behavior of virus is not the same as it was before.

“People of all ages are now falling prey to it which wasn’t the case earlier. Death rate too has increased. Each day, four to five patients including young and old die of Covid. Cases have gone up to 10,000 which is alarming for sure,” he said.

Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent at SKIMS, said that the condition has changed in Kashmir as more  people, even the young ones, are becoming victims of COVID-19.

“We have many patients in the hospital who are on oxygen support. Anyone can become a victim of COVID-19 if precautions aren’t followed in letter and spirit,” said Jan.

He added, “At SKIMS, we have mostly elderly patients but young people too have started coming with severe illness. Surge in the number of positive cases can affect our services in the coming days.”