Six Deaths After, SKIMS, SMHS Sleep Over Swine Flu

KL Report

SRINAGAR

With two deaths reported today taking the H1N1 (Swine Flu) toll to four in last many days, SKIMS authorities are neither briefing the governor administration properly nor taking adequate precautions, highly informed sources revealed to Kashmir Life. The crisis could gradually get out of hand and become an epidemic.

Informed sources said the SKIMS administration is downplaying the crisis to prevent a panic. Sources said more than 300 people were scanned for the disease since late last year. By now seventy plus have tested positive and it includes patients who were on medicine.

Sources identified the dead male as Irfan Rashid of Habbak and the female as Qureshi Madina. While Rashid died in surgical ICU, Madina breathed her last in the medical ICU at SKIMS.

Dr Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent SKIMS said they have only 30 positive cases since October 2014. “One of the patients of around 40 years of age was admitted late last evening and died this morning,” the doctor said. “He was a resident of Habbak and his report being H1N1 positive came after he breathed his last.” He denied that there have been four Swine Flu deaths so far.

Sources told Kashmir Life that apart from Habak man, a woman also died of Swine Flu today. She was admitted in medical ICU and her report was also H1N1 positive. It excludes an 11-year-old girl who died in Ward 7A, almost a week back and an adult woman who died a few days prior to that.

While the issue is gradually snowballing into a mess, SKIMS authorities are not taking adequate prevention. The lab supposed to take care of the sampling lacks the basics for tests. The tests are supposed to be carried out in controlled situation so that the infection does not spread but the lab is open and even healthy and diseased persons are permitted to enter it. There are more than 10 people working in the lab, sources maintained.

“Medical staff involved in treatment of H1N1 is not provided with personal protection equipment (PPE) which includes N 95 masks, goggles, gowns, caps, gloves and shoe covers thus putting them at risk of contracting the deadly virus,” Dr Nissar ul Hassan was quoted by local news agencies saying. “Doctors have to wear PPE while taking samples from suspects or when involved in treatment of H1N1 patients to ensure their safety. The deadly H1N1 virus is transmitted airborne and spreads by droplet infection so unprotected medical staff have every chance to catch the disease.”

Besides, health care workers in close contact with H1N1 patients are recommended to receive chemoprophylaxis till 10 days of last exposure to a maximum of 06 weeks and after that a new team has to be in place.

A senior doctor associated with the administration in SKIMS said the director SKIMS is addressing a press conference on Wednesday and will offer his version of all the stories on the issue.

Efforts to reach Director Health failed as he initially did not pick the phone, as usual. Later, the phone was switched off.

Meanwhile, the Swine Flu was also reported from SMHS Hospital which lacks a testing facility. “Two confirmed patients of SWINE FLU confirmed dead in SMHS ICU and one patient confirmed case of swine flu admitted in SMHS recovering,” a doctor wrote on his FB wall. “In SKIMS also more than 30 patients of H1N1 are admitted and one pregnant lady confirmed dead.”

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