March 2020 News

Hajin May Be Kashmir's Wuhan: Docs

29 March 2020
The Tribune

Srinagar: As Covid positive cases rise in Kashmir, doctors fear the region also has a 'Wuhan' - epicentre of coronavirus in China - of its own. Hajin, once a bastion of counter-insurgency militia Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon, has now been called 'Wuhan' of Kashmir after seven of its residents were tested positive for Covid while 14 are suspected and 50 have been quarantined. 'Stationed at the Community Health Centre (CHC), Hajin, for the past five days. Detected seven Covid positive patients till now and another 14 suspects admitted at SKIMS with reports awaited. About 60 family members, all asymptomatic, of positive patients along with some 50 odd other suspects in quarantine, all living within a radius of 3-4 km,' Dr Muzafar Zargar, a public health expert, stated. Zargar said, 'Such is the situation at the CHC Hajin control room that it seems we are the Wuhan of Kashmir valley, pray for all of us.' All seven positive cases are in the age group of 25-40 years. They had travel history to Nizam ud Din shrine in New Delhi. As the number of Covid patients is increasing, health experts have asked the government to keep Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and six associated hospitals of Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, reserve only for patients in need of critical care, which includes ventilator support. They have sought adequate stock of personal protective equipment, ventilators, N-95 masks, anti-viral drugs, and other drugs. Prof Muhammad Salim Khan, who is the head of Community Medicine, GMC Srinagar, has asked the government to send all those quarantined in hotels and educational institutions for home quarantine after screening. He said home quarantine people should be put under surveillance of experts from Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). Hundreds of people with travel history outside Kashmir have been quarantined in various hotels and educational institutions in Srinagar. Khan has written to the government that people who had come in contact with Covid patients shall be put under surveillance and brought to the isolation centre at district hospital or sub-district hospital level for testing.