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COVID-19: Only 2 ventilators for 23 lakh people in north Kashmir

Ventilators 2667

Baramulla, Mar 24: Comprising of a population of over 23 lakhs the northern belt of Kashmir has only two ventilators in Kupwara while Baramulla and Bandipora have zero ventilators at all despite having a full-fledged government medical college in Baramulla the medical practitioners aren’t equipped with necessary equipment and gadgets amid the mounting fear of novel coronavirus with a huge dearth of medical staff in almost all the health centers.

Health department officials from all the three districts told Wire service—Kashmir news observer (KNO), that Kupwara has only two ventilators while Baramulla and Bandipora don’t have a single ventilator to combat the increasing threat of novel Coronavirus with dearth of medical staff especially doctors.


As per the census of 2011 Bandipora district in north Kashmir has a population of about four lakhs but has no ventilator to combat the mounting threat of COVID-19 in the district despite having huge population residing in offsite areas.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Bandipora Dr. Tajamul Islam told KNO that we don’t have any ventilator in the entire district but we have in past sent requisition to concerned deputy commissioner and director health services Kashmir (DHSK) but so far nothing has been done in this regard.

He said that “in past requisition was sent but  no ventilator was made available for Bandipora in the entire district, even if there is shortage  of doctors of anywhere we immediately appoint  a medical officer”.

Baramulla is one of the most densely populated district with around 10 lakhs of people as per the census, it has a government medical college (GMC) functioning for several years now with number of students enrolled for different various medical courses.

In Baramulla we have dearth of doctors always but these dyas the medical staff including doctors have started to overtime amid the ongoing quarantine period, even doctors don’t leave back but remain on duty whole night, Dr. Deeba told—KNO.

She said that “There is not a single ventilator at district hospital Baramulla  not  even at any other  sub district hospital, many of the times issue was raised with the higher ups but there was no proper response from them, there is a vehicle ventilator available with us  but that can be used only to shift   the patients during some medical emergency”.

Kupwara one of the most frontier district in Kashmir has a population of over 8.5 lakhs but has only two ventilators with a huge population of masses living in offsite areas even there are sectors those remain cut off from the main headquarter for almost six month harsh winter season including Keran, Karnah, Machil and Nowgam.

Kupwara alone is short of 120 doctors, and there are about 50 posts from National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) lying vacant also across the district, Chief Medical Officer Kupwara Dr. Ab Gani Dar said.

He said that “ we have only two ventilators in the entire district at District hospital Handwara while Kupwara headquarter has no ventilator at all there is one available with us but that’s for kids only and that’s a portable ventilator”.

The entire population of north Kashmir is gripped with the fear of Corona-virus that has engulfed the whole globe including union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, people in trying times are more concerned about the preparation of health department as how prepared they are in absence of sufficient number of doctors, paramedical staff and equipment especially arrangements and ventilators to combat the COVID-19—(KNO)