As the COVID-19 curve has peaked again in Kashmir, health experts and medicos Wednesday urged the people to avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals as the chances of catching the virus was higher in places where COVID-19 patients were being treated.
"Hospitals are the breeding grounds for COVID-19. There are high chances of getting the virus as our health institutions don't have separate facilities for COVID-19 patients. As a result, these places become high-risk zones," critical care expert Dr Showkat Shah said.
"Our hospitals are not designed to deal with COVID-19. What we have done is made adjustments. There are no separate entries for COVID-19 patients and lack of paramedic staff in the hospitals compound the situation. Even the healthcare staff isn't fully vaccinated," he said. "In view of the situation, people are is advised not to make any unnecessary visits to hospitals and also patients who are admitted in hospital should have only one attendant as these attendants can become spreaders of virus and spread it among the community."
Dr Shah said that though one could understand that in hospitals, patients always require attendants due to lack of paramedic staff whose job was to take care of the patients once they are admitted in the hospital.
"Unfortunately, attendants have to do all the work. However in this situation and for the safety of their family members, less people apart from patients should visit healthcare institutions," he said.
Major healthcare institutions in Kashmir division are situated in Srinagar district, which is among the COVID-19 hotspots in India.
Srinagar has reported over 3000 cases in the last few weeks. On Wednesday, 388 cases were reported from the district.
"There have been many instances when the people after visiting hospitals have been infected with COVID-19. In this situation it is better to be cautious and take precautions," said a senior medico at SKIMS, Soura.
SKIMS, the largest tertiary care hospital here, has ordered closure of all non-emergency surgeries and admissions to carve space for the increasing load of COVID-19 patients.
In view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Health department and SKIMS cancelled leaves to its staff.
SKIMS cancelled all the sanctioned leaves, except those on extraordinary grounds, to its staff as well as that of its affiliated Medical College Bemina with immediate effect in view of COVID-19 surge.
Earlier, the Health department had cancelled leaves of its staff.