With Onset Of Winter, Corona Virus Cases Show A Surge

by Hirra Azmat

SRINAGAR: With the onset of winter, the spread of coronavirus cases show a surge in the Kashmir valley.

An inside view of an SMHS hospital ward dedicated to Covid-19 care in Kashmir. Watch the oxygen cylinders, now the basic requirement. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

According to the official figures, Jammu and Kashmir have recorded around 5935 active cases till November 4. Of which, 4320 cases are from Kashmir.

Nodal Officer Government Medical College, Srinagar Dr Salim Khan warned that there is a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the valley.

“Over a couple of weeks, the graph of COVID case detection, admission of COVID cases and COVID related deaths have again gone up,” he wrote on Facebook.

Dr Khan pointed out that the complacency among the general population and resultant widespread of COVID-19 Infection as is evident from the Sero survey in Kashmir.

“The survey points towards that chances of transmission of infection to vulnerable populations especially elderly and persons with co-morbidities is still high,” he said.

Dr Khan stressed on following SOPs religiously, wear masks, maintain social distancing. “Kindly protect the vulnerable population in your homes and the community.”

An official at SMHS Hospital said that currently all the seven wards have been occupied with the Covid-19 patients.

On average, the hospital admits around 40 patients (falling in the middle age group) with bi-lateral pneumonia. Out of which 60 -70 per cent test Covid positive.

“In the last month, there were many vacant beds as the Covid cases had dropped off. Presently, even though many patients with bilateral pneumonia prefer to maintain oxygen supply at home, there is still a high inflow of patient admission.  As a result, all the beds are occupied,” he said, wishing to be named.

President Doctors of Association Dr Suhail Naik attributed multiple reasons for the increasing trend in Covid cases getting admitted in hospitals.

“First and foremost being the people don’t adhere to precautionary measures and have resumed the normal pre-Covid life. Secondly, people have completed the harvesting and moved indoors due to the cold climate. During the harvesting season, people were dispersed over large areas in their fields and consequently, the spread of the virus was not high,” he said.

He said that further due to cold weather the respiratory “innate immunity” is compromised and people become susceptible to respiratory viral infections including Covid 19.

“People have to understand that the virus is there with the potential to kill anyone irrespective of age and or comorbidities. They are advised to follow precautionary measures religiously, avoid overcrowding and keep living rooms well ventilated. Further high-risk people must go for a flu shot in order to keep influenza illness under control,” Dr Naik said.

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