March marks second wave of COVID-19 in Kashmir

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Kashmir region is facing a potential second wave of COVID19 as March, the first anniversary month of the pandemic, is ending with alarming numbers.

The active-positive cases in Kashmir’s ten districts have reached 1568, which is two patients away from exhausting its COVID-dedicated bed capacity.

Kashmir has a bed capacity of 1570 for COVID19 patients at 15 hospitals, five of which are in Srinagar.

Srinagar remains the worst-hit district in Kashmir and has 908 active-positive cases. On 1 March, there were 342 active positive cases in the city, which has increased by 165 percent by end of the month.

The worrisome spike in the numbers, which is already overwhelming the health infrastructure, has come at a time when the region has been opened for the tourists.

Srinagar recorded 587 COVID19 travellers during March, compared to 2455 travellers who had tested positive during the first 12 months of the pandemic.

A senior doctor in the region warned that the “COVID is back, with vengeance”. “Our complacency would pay heavily,” he said.

“The number of cases nowadays are increasing manifold as against very slow rise last year same time,” he said.

The doctor further warned that the coming weeks would show an overwhelming number of COVID19 positive cases in Kashmir and suggested that people should “avoid clustering and congregations”.

The tourism-related events held in recent weeks had also witnessed a brazen violation of social distancing as large gatherings were allowed to attend the events.

Srinagar also recorded an increase in COVID19 death as five people died of the disease during the first three weeks of March and five died in the last week.

Kashmir region had faced a lockdown last year in March when the first case of COVID19 infection was detected in Srinagar’s old city.

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