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Coronavirus scare:Of leaked letter, rumors and fear

February 21, 2020

SRINAGAR:  A leaked letter of Medical Superintendent of Leh’s SNM Hospital sent the Ladakh Union Territory (UT) administration into a tizzy as fears of Coronavirus gripped the people across Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Sensing trouble, Ladakh UT administration went into a proactive mode to dispel the rumors and reassure people that it was a blooper and there is nothing to worry.

Tensions rose when a signed letter of Medical Superintendent of Leh’s SNM Hospital became viral on the social media on Thursday evening.   

“This is to bring to your notice that as reported by the Radiologist (CT scan) and consultant physician of this hospital, we have isolated two patients. One of them is in ICU isolation and other is in general isolation. Therefore you are requested to direct the district health officer to send the sample for further laboratory investigation. Sir, it is further submitted that the patient from Phyang,  who expired, had similar symptoms”, reads the letter of Medical Superintendent, SNM Hospital, Leh, to Chief Medical Officer Leh to Chief Medical Officer, Leh on February 18.

Chief Medical Officer, Leh Dr Motup Dorje was quick to dismiss the report saying that all the samples tested for Novel Coronavirrus have turned out to be negative.

“The patient does not have any history of travel to a country with Cov-19 cases or coming in contact with such a case. So it does not fulfill the criteria for Coronavirus suspect or a case as per WHO/MOHFW guidelines. Nevertheless we have sent the sample of this patient to NIV Pune for confirmation. So far three samples which have sent have come negative. There is no reason for panic at all”, said Dr Motup.

Later taking to The Kashmir Monitor, Dr Motup said the patient died of Pneumonia and he did not have history of leaving his district or coming in contact with any person from the Coronavirus hit countries.

“Regarding patient who died, he was suffering from Pneumonia. It was 15-20 days back. He did not have any history of traveling outside Ladakh or coming in contact with Corna case. He died of pneumonia. Basically the Medical Superintendent could not write properly and that is why there was confusion”, he said.

Dr Motup noted that they are screening every person who arrives at the Leh airport. “We have sent three samples for testing and all have come negative”, he said.

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