The south Kashmir’s Anantnag district hogged the headlines mainly due to the many deaths of corona virus-infected persons at Government Medical College (GMC) Anantnag hospital.
The hospital had a 19 percent mortality rate in April, May, and June when the second wave of COVID-19 was at its peak.
Over 180 patients died of the infection alone at the hospital during these three months.
The mortality rate was quite high compared to the tertiary care hospitals in Srinagar – Chest Disease Hospital, SMHS, SKIMS JVC, and SKIMS Soura where the admissions were higher and most critical patients were treated.
Even GMC Baramulla had a much lower mortality rate.
The deaths drew a lot of criticism with people alleging mismanagement and lack of facilities at the hospital including the absence of oxygen supply devices, high-flow oxygen, and life support system.
The hospital was later provided with three high-flow oxygen plants with 1000 Lpm capacity each.
However, the hospital remains without a critical care unit and patients in need of life support continue to be referred to Srinagar hospitals.
The government also ordered the transfer of the Principal GMC Anantnag saying that the step was taken in the interest of the administration and patient care.
As the year ended, GMC Anantnag which was till now operating from a make-shift accommodation at JanglatMandi was shifted to the main campus at Dialgam.
Five blocks of the campus are ready for use while work on the remaining five blocks is still on.
However, the government failed to shift the Maternity and Child Care Hospital (MCCH) presently housed in an old, dilapidated, and unsafe building in the congested Sherbagh locality of the old town.
Space crunch has for long been taking a toll on the healthcare of the patients and at times forcing the doctors to unnecessarily refer pregnant women and children to hospitals in Srinagar.
The Rehmat-e-Alam Hospital at K P Road was declared unsafe for hospital use after spending Rs 13 crore on its construction.
The hospital was taken over by the government from the Rehmat-e-Alam Trust which had constructed the ground and first floor.
Meanwhile, MCCH continues to remain in news for deaths of expecting mothers and unnecessary referrals.
The traffic jam in Anantnag and Bijbehara towns continued to remain a major challenge for the district administration.
This was despite several measures – removing roadside encroachments, diversion of traffic through different routes taken to decongest the roads.
The government also threw open multi-level parking established near JanglatMandi but the problem persists.
The Anantnag town still awaits approval of the Master Plan, and the interior roads of the town continue to be the same despite a manifold increase in traffic.
Tourism in Pahalgam
After two years of a slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in this famed resort picked up as the year progressed.
“This year it has been a record rush of tourists first in summer and now winter,” a tourism official said.
According to official figures, 4,53,340 tourists visited Pahalgam this year.
Among them, 2,31,637 are domestic tourists from different regions of the country while 2,22,397 are locals.
The number of foreign tourists who visited Pahalgam during this period stood at 306.
“Most of the hotels with heating arrangements remain packed this winter,” an official said.