J&K has seen a 10-fold increase in COVID-19 infections in the past three weeks
Senior doctors in the Valley made a frantic appeal to the people on Monday to observe “a self-imposed civil curfew”, as J&K witnessed a 10-fold increase in COVID-19 infections in the past three weeks.
“People’s movement needs to be restricted and gatherings avoided. There is also a need to make announcements from masjid [mosque] pulpits not to visit religious places without masks. COVID-19 virus is now transmitting fast,” said Muhammad Salim Khan, a nodal officer for COVID-19 at Kashmir’s premier government-run Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital, Srinagar.
The appeal comes as the government-run main COVID19 hospital, the Chest Diseases Hospital, with around 100 bed capacity, witnessed 90 per cent bed occupancy on Monday by “severely infected patients”.
Naveed Nazir, Head of Department at the Chest Diseases Hospital, warned that the situation could go out of control “if people do not take all precautions to prevent the spread of the virus”.
He said additional 50 beds were being set up and the oxygen supply augmented “to meet the demand of the rising numbers of infected people in the hospital”.
J&K on Monday saw 1516 positive cases, the highest this year. It is a quantum jump from under 100 cases per day reported just a month ago. “While 768 cases were reported from the Jammu division, 748 were from the Kashmir division. Six people died of the infection,” a government spokesman said.
According to official figures, a total of 2063 people have died so far in J&K due to the pandemic.
“It’s a challenging situation before all of us. Two aspects are important… people must adhere in letter and spirit to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and two, vaccination,” said Atal Dulloo, J&K Health and Medical Education Commissioner. “Those above 45 years, especially government employees, should immediately vaccinate themselves. There is evidence that those who vaccinate either do not contract the COVID-19 or if they do get infected, then the severity is far less.”
He admitted that “a number of healthcare workers have not vaccinated so far”. According to an official figure, 1.39 lakh healthcare workers have received vaccines so far in the Union Territory (UT).
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