SRINAGAR: With Kashmir being unlocked gradually, the Covid-19 crisis is exhibiting a spike. Doctors managing the patient load said the real sickness – not mere infection – is touching a new high.
“I cannot say if it is the peak,” Dr Farooq Jan of the SKIMS said. “But the fact is that we have 79 seriously sick patients and almost 60 of them are on oxygen.”
Dr Jan said they had more patients admitted for Covid-19 earlier but the situation of patients was hugely better. “Now we have more sick patients coming who need induced breathing,” he said.
SKIMS went in a sort of panic last night as the management got busy in managing space outside the designated area. It triggered a fear amongst the medical staff also.
“We keep our fingers crossed,” pulmonologist Dr Javed Malik said from SKIMS’s medical college in Bemina. “We have slightly more than the normal Covid-19 patient load and the requirement of Oxygen has also marginally increased.”
The spike of moderate to severe COVID cases with increased mortality makes it indispensable to plan for next Lockdown urgently in Kashmir, esp Srinagar @listenshahid
— Muhammad Salim Khan (@DrSalimKhan) July 9, 2020
However, the situation at the Chest Disease Hospital is termed bad because of mass admissions for Covid-19. “We have a flood of patients and ICU is full,” one doctor from the hospital who is not authorised to speak on the record said. “All the oxygen points are busy and more people require induced breathing.”
The doctor said that their staff is working overtime and are exhausted. He said the mortality is expected to go up.
Doctors that Kashmir Life talked to said the people must ensure face masking, social distancing and frequent use of hand sanitizers. “Herd immunity is there but it will take time to increase,” the doctor said. “Till then, society will have to ensure that the infections are reduced.” The doctor said he failed to understand why the officials are abruptly getting too liberal in permitting things that could have waited. “If religious places cannot be opened why the parks and gardens,” he asked.
“The cases are up so is the severity of the disease,” a senior doctor at the GMC Srinagar said. “Right now almost 50 per cent of the patients need oxygen which in indicator that severity of the disease has improved.”
Jammu and Kashmir has already lost 153 people to the pandemic. Currently, the number of people carrying the disease are about to reach 10,000.
A senior doctor at a Covid-19 hospital said the situation is grave. “Earlier, we used to get almost eight per cent Covid-19 positive patients with no symptoms at all,” the doctor said. “Now we are getting mostly patients who require help in breathing that means the sickness has spread.”
The doctor said that the people are not taking the advisories seriously. “From Jammu and Kashmir Bank headquarter, we got more than 25 patients if people like bankers are not taking the advisories seriously what we can talk about the commoners?” People are avoiding face masking, avoid social distancing and get into crowded places. Even transporters have stopped stickling to the guidelines on certain routes despite charging hefty fairs.
“The unlocking was done for economic reasons and business can be transacted without compromising the basic guidelines,” one doctor said. “The society has stopped talking about the pandemic in past tense, which is a huge exaggeration.”
There are groups of patients coming from various institutions including Raj Bhawan which is the epicentre of governance.
Doctors do not rule out the possibility of the existing health infrastructure getting crumbled under additional load in coming days. It can add up to the losses, they said.