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18 new COVID-19 cases in J&K, 9 from tertiary care hospitals

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Tally reaches 793; 335 recover; 84900 under surveillance

Health workers take nasal swab and check body temperature of passengers arriving Srinagar on Thursday. PHOTO-Javed Khan/Kashmir Images

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir reported 18 new novel coronavirus cases on Thursday, out of which nine were from three tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar, ringing alarm bells in the health community of the Union territory.

The total number of cases rose to 793, out of which 68 people are afflicted with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Jammu region and 725 in the Kashmir Valley, the officials said.

“Eighteen positive cases have been detected in the last 24 hours,” the officials said.

Among the new cases detected in Kashmir, nine are related to three tertiary care hospitals of the Valley, in a major setback to the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Out of 719 samples tested at Chest Diseases Hospital, nine are positive,” said Salim Khan, the nodal officer of COVID-19 at the Government Medical College, Srinagar.

Khan told PTI that all these nine samples were related to three tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar.

“Out of the nine, six samples were taken from patients admitted at Bone and Joint Hospital, while two, including the man who died late last night, are from the SMHS,” Khan said.

He said the other positive case was of a doctor working at a super speciality hospital in Srinagar.

The emergence of cases from these three hospitals has rang alarm bells in the health community.

“It is worrying because people are not cooperating. People with travel history are hiding it from authorities and infecting others,” said the head of chest medicine at the Chest Diseases hospital — one of the designated COVID-19 hospitals in the Valley.

“Till the time people do not cooperate, it is impossible to contain the virus,” he said, adding that all these cases would be shifted to the Chest Diseases hospital for treatment.

Another doctor said the patient, in his mid-thirties, who passed away at the SMHS hospital on Wednesday night had no comorbidities, but his condition deteriorated within two days, which is worrying.

“There was a belief that coronavirus could kill only elderly and people with comorbidities. But, his death has busted that myth,” the doctor said.

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir has tested over 3,000 samples in a day.

“J&K breaks the 3000 tests a day barrier- 3429 samples tested; 18 positives detected,” government spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted.

“Total positives now 793- Jammu 68; Kashmir 725. Our positivity rate 2.1%; Mortality rate 1.13%,” the official added.

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