‘Cold food, one washroom for 23, no proper bedding’: Ordeal of COVID-19 patient at SKIMS



coronavirus, kashmir coronavirus, covid-19
Attendant waiting outside a COVID-19 clinic in Srinagar hospital. Photograph by Bhat Burhan

Srinagar: Patients who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday alleged that the authorities at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS), Soura, were ignoring them.

Talking exclusively to The Kashmir Walla, one of the patients at the SKIMS said that the facilities at the ward, where the COVID-19 patients are being treated, lack basic facilities. “They provide us cold tea; there is one soap for twenty-three patients, what sort of hygiene is this?” questioned the 26-year old resident of Srinagar’s Nishat neighborhood.

He further alleged that there is only one bucket for over twenty patients in the ward.  “There is one washroom for twenty-three of us, including a woman,” he claimed. “We tried to request them to provide a separate washroom for the female patient, but they didn’t hear us.”

The patient, who also talked about the prevailing issues, said that he was left with no option but to speak out. “I tried to call the Nodal Officer and others but their response was cold,” he said. “We are being treated badly here.”

By now, there have been at least 109 positive cases of the coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir. Among them, two have died, while the other two are said to have recovered.

“For God’s sake tell me, if the main precaution of this virus is hygiene, why we are not provided with clean beddings and pillows,” he said. “Why are we not given proper food? It’s not our fault that we tested positive, it was God’s will.”

However, he hailed doctors for their efforts, and said, “The doctors here are doing an amazing job and we are thankful to them. But the rest of the staff is not treating us well.”

The patient had tested positive for the virus six days ago and, he said, is on the path to recovery.


Kashmir needs independent journalism…

…now, more than ever to give a voice to the voiceless. The press in Kashmir has operated under tremendous pressures of reporting from a conflict zone but since August 2019 we find ourselves in unchartered territory. The Kashmir Walla is among the oldest independent media outlets in Kashmir and has withstood successive lockdowns as well as attempts to suppress us, fighting back with authoritative ground reports based on facts.

We believe in making the powers that be accountable to their actions but to also hold the mirror to the society. We believe in covering all sides of the story and that empowerment in essence means the ability to make informed decisions. As such we have not allowed our journalism to be influenced by the pressures.

Despite the new and still unknown pressures, we are all the more committed to keep informing you of events and stories that matter. Our recent coverage of events has brought us an increased readership. However, the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis has affected our operational capabilities. We are facing an existential threat but only your support can help us withstand this and maintain our editorial independence.

We need your solidarity to keep our journalism going. Your contribution will empower us to keep you informed on stories that matter from Kashmir. Show your solidarity by joining our members community. Kashmir thanks you.