Covid19 claims another life in Kashmir, toll 3

A 52-year old man from Bandipora admitted with respiratory tract infection died at SMHS Hospital last night. His sample, taken on Monday, tested positive for COVID19 today.

Dr S Saleem Khan, in-charge COVID19 response at GMC Srinagar, said the patient was admitted on Monday afternoon with respiratory tract infection and fever. He said the X-ray of the patient suggested viral pneumonia and that prompted the doctors to take his sample for COVID19 testing, although there was no reported history of travel or contact with a COVID19 positive person. “However, within a couple of hours of his admission, his oxygen saturation started dropping further and in spite of our best efforts, the patient died around 9:30 pm on Monday,” he said.

The sample of the patient was found positive on Tuesday morning, Dr Khan said. “He was admitted with us for a few hours only,” he said.

The body of the deceased was not released by Government Medical College Srinagar till the report of the sample was received. Dr Nazir A Chaudhary said the body was handed over to family, as per the protocol, on Tuesday afternoon.

A doctor who had seen the patient at the hospital said the man “did not look too unwell” when he was admitted but “developed respiratory distress suddenly.”

Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, in-charge COVID19 at CD Hospital, said this is a typical COVID19 death. “The first COVID19 death that took place at CD Hospital – of a man from Srinagar also happened like this,” he said. He elaborated that the first patient to die of the virus in Kashmir was “absolutely fine till about one and a half day before his death”. He said, in today’s case, the viral infection consumed the life “all too suddenly”, adding that in many parts of the world similar pattern of deaths was being seen.

The Bandipora man’s death marks the third COVID19 death in J&K. While the first person to die of the viral illness in Kashmir was a Srinagar man who died on March 26, the second man who died of the illness was from Tangmarg who breathed his last on March 29.

Like Bandipora man, the Tangmarg man had also not reported any travel history or contact. However, his family members were later found positive for the virus.

Victim laid to rest as per protocol:

The Bandipora man who died due to coronavirus was buried as per the guidelines set by the authorities at his native village in Gundjehangir village of Hajin in Bandipora district.

Health department sources said that only six people from the family were allowed to participate in the funeral after wearing protective gear.