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Healthcare infra starts to crumble as COVID cases surge in Kashmir

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Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Healthcare infrastructure in Kashmir is fast crumbling amid a surge in the COVID 19 cases across the valley.

To cater to the high patient load, SMHS hospital has designated several wards for COVID positive patients.


Nodal Officer Government Medical College, Dr Salim Khan said the designated COVID Hospitals in the valley are brimming with positive patients.

“The capacity of Chest Diseases Hospital is already exhausted. Besides, the inflow of patients in the designated isolation ward of SMHS Hospital has also increased beyond capacity. The same is the case with SKIMS and JLNM. Therefore, the hospital decided to augment the COVID facility at SMHS,” he said.

Photo KM/Umar Ganie

Dr Khan noted that COVID positive patients, who require a surgery or a surgical follow-up, will not be shifted to a COVID hospital henceforth.

“Also, the patients who are co-morbid and require medical intervention will be placed in these designated wards. This way, they will receive better care and the load on CD Hospital will lessen,” he said.

Pertinently, patients who tested COVID positive were shifted to CD Hospital immediately upon the confirmation, resulting in inconvenience to patients who needed to be treated for other illnesses.

According to a new official order, four wards shall be designated for COVID positive patients in a phased manner.

 “Ward no 01 and 03 will be designated for COVID patients from medicine and allied specialties. The duty roster of doctors and paramedical staff shall be maintained by the HOD medicine and Medical Superintendent SMHS respectively,” the order reads.

Photo KM/Umar Ganie

Similarly, ward number 02 and 04 have been designated for COVID patients from surgery and allied specialties. The duty roster of doctors and paramedical staff shall be maintained by the HOD surgery and Medical Superintendent respectively.

“That the patients requiring ventilator support shall be managed by HOD anaesthesiology and critical care medicine. ENT surgeries shall be done in Trauma theatre till further orders and OPDs shall be conducted in their designated OPD block in SMHS premises,” the order says.

Photo KM/Umar Ganie

According to the order, the isolation facility for COVID patients in drug de-addiction centre SMHS hospital, COVID facility in disaster, and paid rooms shall function as per routine.

There has been a steep rise in the number of symptomatic patients of COVID-19 in the past two weeks. Since the outbreak, over 149 persons have died after contracting the virus, a majority of them in Kashmir division.

A senior resident of SMHS Hospital said there is a 50 percent increase in the cases of pneumonia.

“We had never expected so many cases of pneumonia in the summer months but there is an unprecedented rise. Besides, the repeated tests are showing more positive results,” he said.

Medical Superintendent SMHS Dr Nazir Chowdhary said the measures were taken given the rise of positive patients in COVID Hospitals. “We have placed proper barricades and ensured the wards are separated so that there is no merging of patients,” Dr Nazir said.