A 55-year-old man from north Kashmir's Baramulla district died due to coronavirus -- J&K's second fatality to COVID-19 -- on Sunday at Srinagar's Chest Disease Hospital, officials said. The patient was kept in an isolation ward after testing positive for novel coronavirus on Saturday, March 28. He was initially admitted to the SMHS hospital and then shifted to the Chest Disease Hospital after doctors suspected he had coronavirus symptoms.
Rohit Kansal, the J&K government spokesperson, said the administration is closely monitoring and reviewing the situation and proactively taking various steps to combat COVID-19 pandemic. He appealed to the people to report travel history and cooperate with the government in breaking the chain of transmission.
He said like in the rest of the country, Jammu and Kashmir, too, has seen a spurt of cases in the last week or so. The number of cases in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 33.
“Our teams have been consistently and aggressively trying to trace out the contacts and test them. This will cause some inconvenience and this is where we need support and cooperation of the Public. He said that tracing contacts and testing them is of critical importance in breaking the chain of transmission.
“We have found that 11 of the positive cases in Kashmir division could be traced to a single religious congregation. Another 6 cases could be traced to another group which had travelled to Saudi Arabia.
"We are also receiving reports that one of the positive patients had concealed his travel history to Dubai. This is extremely dangerous for the family, the community and finally the entire UT,” he said and appealed the people not to hide travel history and self-report and cooperate with the government.
“While we have been aggressively tracing contacts, we have also been reviewing our capacities and facilities. We now have an administrative quarantine facility of over 35000 beds in Jammu (6500), Srinagar (10000) and individual districts (1000 each) spread over large locations” he added.
He said the government has identified and earmarked 11 hospitals, 8 in Kashmir and 3 in Jammu division as exclusive COVID hospitals and as a result, the government has earmarked 2400 treatment beds -1300 in Kashmir and 1100 in Jammu for the purpose.
“We are also preparing to upgrade capacity to include 1000 more quarantine beds. On the request of the medical fraternity, the health department has also made arrangements for hotels both in Jammu and Kashmir for the exclusive use of medical professionals engaged in treatment,” he added.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine