Father dead, 4 members Covid positive, 8 in quarantine: Nightmare for this Baramulla family refuses to end

Srinagar: Four of its members declared coronavirus positive, and eight others lodged in a quarantine centre: this Baramulla household is still undergoing “the hardest test of their lives” 10 days after it lost the head of the family to the virus.

The family’s two houses in an idyllic Tangmarg village remain locked as no one dares to visit them. The fear of contracting the virus haunts the neighbourhood, which, otherwise has offered all the help it could in these extraordinary times.

The 62-year-old shopkeeper struggled for life as two of his sons moved him from one hospital to another in Srinagar on March 28. He lost the battle at around 4 am next morning and by afternoon, his sons lowered him in the grave, wearing hospital gowns and masks.

Teacher by profession, the elder son of the deceased was the first one to test positive for the virus after his father passed away.

And now, the teacher’s wife, eight-year-old daughter, and 15-year-old nephew too have contracted the infection.

The four, at present, are being treated in isolation at GMC Baramulla where they were brought on the same day the elderly died.

The teacher’s mother, three of his daughters, his two brothers, sister-in-law and her female child­–all have been kept in quarantine at another government run facility in Baramulla.

“This is a terrible situation, a test for us, a very difficult one. May Allah keep everyone safe,” he told The Kashmir Monitor over the phone.

The good news though is that all of them are feeling well and have hardly any symptoms.

“We are all okay, we don’t feel any fever or other symptoms they talk of. In fact the doctors said my daughter doesn’t have to take any medicines,” he said.

His father, the teacher said, ran a small kirana store in the village and had zero contact with anyone who had a travel history or contact with any traveller.

“He died at around 4 am on Mar 29. We were given the body at around 1:30 pm. I was the one who lead his Jinaza prayers with my brothers, those who dug the grave, and the ambulance driver standing far behind me and apart from each other.

“We did not perform ghusl as my father’s body had been completely covered to ensure the virus didn’t transmit. I had asked a religious cleric who said it was okay if ghusal wasn’t performed,” the teacher said remembering his father’s demise.

The elderly was buried at his ancestral graveyard close to his home in Tangmarg. It is still a mystery how he contracted the virus.

The elderly’s was the 29th case of coronavirus detected in J&K. Today that number has shot up to 109 as more cases are detected each day.

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About the Author

A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

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