Coronavirus: Two Days After His Death, Bandipora Man’s 11 Relatives Test Positive

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by Tahir Bhat

SRINAGAR: Two days after the death of the 65-year-old man due to Coronavirus in Gund-Jehangeer, a village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, the scene in the village was scary.

With the confirmation from a government spokesman, Rohit Kansal, Jammu and Kashmir recorded its second-highest single-day rise in the number of persons testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. “24 more positive in Kashmir. Total of 184. 32 in Jammu, 152 in Kashmir. All are contacts. A result of aggressive testing,” he tweeted. Among the 24 samples returned positive in the last 24 hours, 21 were confirmed at SKIMS Soura and three at Chest Disease Hospital labs.

Third victim of the Coronavirus was laid to rest during late hours on April 7, 2020 at his ancestral graveyard. Adequate protection was taken care of.

Moments later, as the news spread,  panic surrounded Gund-Jehangeer, the native village of the third victim of Coronavirus in Kashmir where it was confirmed that the village has tested 12 more positive, taking the total number of active cases in the district to 36. Among the new positive cases, 11 belong to Gund- Jehangeer, the native village of the deceased man and one belongs to the Naidkhai area of Hajin tehsil.

As per the sources in the area, the 11 among 12 fresh cases from Bandipora are close relatives of the deceased man, including his wife, two daughters—one of the 19-year-old while other is 14-year-old, granddaughter, a 14-year-old girl who is a resident of Amargarh Sopore in neighbouring Baramulla district. The other contacts include the deceased’s brother, two sisters-in-law, and nephews.

Regarding the Tangmarg teacher’s contact, sources said, they include his in-laws: a family of five—48-year-old male, his wife (40), son (12) and two daughters—one aged 14 years and other 20 years—besides 3 others one of them a widow (75) and her son (23) besides a 29-year-old woman, all resident of Sullanda Tangmarg.

The four other cases which surfaced on Thursday include that of a 22-year-old from Muqam-e-Shahwali in Kupwara district who had returned from New Delhi on March 20. He was quarantined only two days ago, the sources said.

Deputy Commissioner Kupwara said that the youth has a history of travel to Delhi and has been shifted to COVID Hospital Kupwara along with immediate contacts.

“The patient is asymptomatic and is doing fine,” he said.

The three other cases include that of a woman from Tengpora Srinagar whose sample was taken at SMHS and tested at CD hospital lab while two others are residents of south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Kulgam districts respectively.

Virus of Stigma

Regarding Kulgam’s case, they said he is a 24-year-old resident of the Sopot area and he happened to be one of the contacts of the first COVID-19 victim, the 67-year-old man from Hyderpora Srinagar.

Deputy Commissioner Kulgam Showkat Aijaz Bhat said that his test sample was taken on April 6 after remaining in quarantine for more than a fortnight. The last case is a 70-year-old from Wangund Anantnag.

In an appeal to people, principal government medical college Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid urged to cooperate with medical professionals. While referring to the ruckus created by the family of deceased Bandipora man in SMHS, she late Thursday tweeted, “I request people to cooperate with doctors in this time of crisis. This is with reference to the unfortunate death of a patient admitted in SMHS, whose attendants alleged that the doctors wrongly reported him as Covid-19 positive and created ruckus in the hospital.”

Highlighting the importance to trust the judgment of treating physicians, she wrote, “had we released the body without proper testing we would have created a public health hazard. As his close contacts have tested positive today. The hospital had good reason to act in caution. Please trust the judgment of doctors, especially treating physicians.”

A Viral Vocabulary

With the surge in the new cases, the total tally of infected persons in the entire Union Territory reached 184, 152 in Kashmir and 32 in Jammu. However, six patients in Jammu and Kashmir have been discharged, four others, one from Udhampur and three from the Valley have died of the disease.

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