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COVID-19: Kashmir heading towards disaster if precautionary measures not taken: Experts

Raouf Dar

Srinagar July 11: Experts have sounded an alarm over rising cases of COVID-19,  saying Kashmir is heading towards disaster if precautionary measures are not taken.

There has been a steep rise in the COVID patients in Kashmir. 

Dr. Naveed Shah, Professor and Head Chest Diseases Hospital said the situation is alarming in Kashmir. 

“Earlier we would receive 80 percent asymptomatic patients or with mild symptoms. But presently out of 90 patients admitted at CD Hospital, 65 are on high flow oxygen and two are on ventilators,” he said.

He has cautioned people to take precautionary measures. “We are heading towards disaster if people don’t take precautionary measures. There is no treatment available for COVID. People should wear masks, maintain physical distancing and personal hygiene,” he said.

President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Dr Nasir ul Hassan said people must strictly follow the SOPs issued by experts.

“People are not taking this pandemic seriously which is costing them. We have never seen such kinds of horrific scenes in hospitals. There is no space as hospitals are full of patients. We have designated a portion of SMHS Hospital for Covid patients,” he told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

He said people are primarily responsible for the rise in COVID cases. “They are not following SOPs due to lack of awareness about this deadly virus. Authorities are also responsible for this situation who did not timely inform people and make aware about this virus. To prevent this virus from spreading, the only way out is to impose lockdown again for two weeks,” he added.

Experts have been saying that the best way to protect themselves from COVID-19 is by maintaining physical distance of at least 2 metre from others, frequently cleaning hands with an alcohol based hand sanitizer or washing them with soap and water and following good respiratory etiquette and hygiene.

Dr Salim Khan, HOD Community Medicine SMHS hospital in his Facebook post said, “The current spike of COVID positive cases with increasing number of moderate to severe cases and ever increasing deaths is in indication that we are moving towards catastrophic phase of no return with considerable quantum of severe morbidity for which our COVID hospitals capacity are getting overwhelmed at this incipient stage which may lead to considerable mortality within and outside hospitals. We need to move beyond rhetoric statistics of available beds as in the coming weeks, if not days, our health set up is going to get compromised. We have very limited resources in the government sector to cater to severe cases with no back up from the fragile private sector.”

He said all designated COVID hospitals are fully occupied with a majority of moderate to severe cases. “CD Hospital Srinagar has over 75% cases with moderate and severe conditions with 5-10% critical. A non-COVID SMHS Hospital has dedicated 4 wards for COVID cases. There’s an urgent need to revisit lockdown relaxation policy and strict re-enforcement of lockdown is essential if we have to salvage our limited health resources. Else, despite all efforts, no effort will be sufficient enough to prevent deaths of vulnerable population,” he added.(KINS)

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