Baramulla man reported COVID19 positive 5 days after death

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An elderly Baramulla man who died on 29 May was reported COVID19 positive today, taking the death toll of the viral infection in J&K to 34.

The 86-year old man admitted at Trauma Hospital Pattan died on 29 May. His sample had been taken for COVID19 testing and it was reported positive today, five days after his death. The delay in reporting the sample result of a deceased person, an official in the health department said, could put lives of family and others at risk.

Chief Medical Officer Baramulla, Dr Deeba Khan, said the body of the deceased was buried as per the protocol for COVID19 deaths. “The family was also put under home quarantine as is required for suspected cases,” she said.

However, a doctor working in GMC Baramulla said it is difficult to ensure social distancing under home quarantine when a family member has passed away. “People do not stop visiting the family to offer condolences and in this case, there has been a serious lapse of letting that happen for five days,” he said.

Dr S Saleem Khan, nodal officer COVID19 at GMC Srinagar, said the samples are tested by microbiology department and they would be in a position to answer as to why there was a delay in processing the sample of a deceased person.

The microbiology department of the medical college runs the virology lab at CD Hospital where from the sample was reported to be positive. Head of department microbiology at GMC Srinagar, Dr Anjum Farhana, said she was not authorized to speak to the media and said all queries must be directed to nodal officer Dr Khan.

The death is the 34th in J&K attributed to the respiratory virus. Of these, 30 are from Kashmir division and four from Jammu division. Seven deaths have been from district Baramulla, seven from Srinagar and five from Anantnag.