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Tackling coronavirus: Healthcare system reaches tipping point in Kashmir


Srinagar: Coronavirus is posing a greater challenge to the overstrained healthcare system in Jammu and Kashmir.

Although no patient has tested positive for the coronavirus in the valley so far, people are on the edge given the rapid transmission of the virus globally.


In the past, Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed the outbreak of swine flu.

Data from the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reveals that in 2015, 495 persons were affected by H1N1 in Jammu and Kashmir. Of whom, 20 died due to the flu.

Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Saleem, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College said the knowledge of previous viral infections has not been put to use.

“We were already aware of the emergence of the new viral virus in China and its possible spread but ended up becoming a guest follower. Isn’t that our failure? Dr. Saleem asked.

Seconding him, another official at the Department of Community Medicine said the standard operating procedures (SOPS) for coronavirus were developed by GMC, Srinagar in February.

“However, the authorities didn’t pay any heed to them,” the official said.

Similarly, Dr. Khawar Khan Achakzai, Registrar at SMHS said the administration was late by at least 45 days.

“The transmission rate of coronavirus is very rapid. Given the rapidity of the infection, the administration should have been more proactive from the very beginning,” Dr. Khawar said.

In the wake of coronavirus, the government has been issuing advisories to inform people of the precautionary measures and symptoms associated with coronavirus.

It has strengthened the surveillance and control measures against the diseases and helpline numbers +91-0191-2549676 (UT level Cell for J&K), +91-0191-25220982 (Jammu Division) and +91-0194-2440283 (For Kashmir Division) has already been established for the convenience of people.

Also, the additional trained staff has been placed for screenings at the Srinagar Airport and National Highway. An isolation center has been set up at Sanat Nagar and Bemina so that the suspected cases are directly taken there instead of the tertiary care unit