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‘Covid numbers worrying in Kashmir’: Docs call for strict SOPs to avoid surge

File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Covid 19 cases have shown a “marginal increase” in Jammu and Kashmir for the last three weeks.

Positivity rate in Kashmir,which had seen a gradual decline for the last three months, have again started increasing.

Dr Naved Nazir Shah, Head Chest Disease Hospital, Srinagar, said Covid statistics in the last twenty days have been worrying.

“As compared to the rest of the states, and UTs, there has been a marginal increase in J&K. If the precautions are not taken, we fear the numbers will increase considerably. The herd immunity can be one of the reasons for less patient load. But we never know for how long it will last. It is possible that herd immunity cannot protect us if the mutant strains enter the valley,” Dr Naveed said.

Nodal Officer Government Medical College, Srinagar Dr Salim Khan said the hospital admissions of Covid cases has gone up for the last three weeks. “Even the positivity rate among the travelers has gone up. All these things indicate that we may see a rise in cases over the next few days or weeks. Sticking religiously to Covid protocols is the need of the hour,” he said.

A senior doctor at SMHS Hospital, Srinagar said the number of severely sick cases who require in-patient admission have certainly decreased since mid-December.

“They have decreased by more than 60 per cent. Earlier, there were seven Covid-19 designated wards at the hospital. There is only one designated ward now with a bed strength of 40,” he said.

The doctor said there are multiple reasons behind it. “Firstly, a lot of people avoided going outdoors in the extreme temperatures of this winter. Especially, in case of elderly people. The cold acted as a natural deterrent. The second possible reason is that already a large chunk of the population got infected in the last one year. It points towards herd immunity within the community,” he said.

He, however, said the number of Covid positive cases is showing an increase over the last few weeks. “It is reflected in the laxity among people due to which they are discarding the masks, and other protocols. Also in every fresh list of cases, we are noticing a large number of positive cases coming from travelers both local and non-locals,” the doctor said.

The marginal increase in Jammu and Kashmir has come at a time when 10 states are witnessing a renewed surge in positivity rate prompting the administration to impose fresh lockdown

On March 16, Maharashtra accounted for 61 percent of all fresh cases in the country in the last one week. Surprisingly, the same trend was observed in 10 states and UTs. There is a significant rise in infections during the week (March 8-14) indicating a wide resurgence of the pandemic in the country.