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Kashmir witnessing community transmission, expect spike in COVID cases: Director SKIMS

File Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: Amid huge surge in Covid-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir – over 400 of them reported on Saturday alone – doctors say that the valley is witnessing a community transmission of the virus now.

Dr AG Ahanger, Director SK Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) in Soura here, Sunday said that “community spread is a reality in Kashmir and people have to accept it.”

Speaking to a local news agency KINS, Dr Ahanger said that community transmission of the virus “is a reality and we have to accept it and learn to live with it.”

Asked whether the community transmission is going to affect more people in the days ahead, he said: “Obviously more people will get exposed to the virus due to the community spread.”

“What we need to do is to take preventive measures already put out in public domain by the government and health experts of Kashmir,” he said.

The director of Kashmir’s largest tertiary care hospital said that people “shouldn’t panic and instead get ready to fight the pandemic.”

“We have to take precautions to minimize the effect of community spread. Guidelines already in public domain need to be followed in spirit,” he said and reiterated that “we have to learn to live with the virus and at the same time play our bit to minimize its spread.”

To a query whether relaxations in lockdown will result in more positive cases, Dr Ahanger said the number of cases will rise but at the same time “precautions need to be followed rigorously.”

“Those who have herd immunity will be able to fight the pandemic once they get affected. People with weak immunity can’t fight the virus and will suffer. So it’s time to boost your immunity by taking proper died,” he said.

On the recovery rate of the patients in Kashmir, he said that it can accurately be analysed once the entire population is tested for the virus.

Asked about doctors too getting infected, Dr Ahanger said that if “somebody doesn’t take precautions and they would obviously fall prey to the virus.”

“Once preventive measures are taken properly and the gear is used, I don’t think there is any scope of getting infected,” he said.

He, however, added that doctors getting infected with the Covid-19 is a “professional hazard.”

Pertinently, Covid-19 has witnessed a massive spike in J&K. The number of positive cases have shot beyond 3500 with 40 people dying of the infection in J&K so far.

What has added more to the worry is a large number of pregnant women contracting the virus. (KINS inputs)