Twelve persons died to COVID19 in J&K, the government said on Monday.
Of these, five were from Kashmir division and seven from Jammu division.
Two of the casualties were from district Srinagar which has recorded 405 deaths of its residents till date.
The deceased were a 67-year-old man from Eidgah who was admitted at SKIMS, Soura and a 70-year-old man from Dalgate area admitted at Chest Diseases Hospital.
A 60-year-old woman from Laisoo, Kulgam passed away at GMC Anantnag, a health official said.
A 70-year-old man from Charar-e-Sharief, Budgam also succumbed to the viral illness. He was admitted at SKIMS Soura.
A 62-year-old man from ShahlalKupwara, also admitted at SKIMS Soura, died on Monday.
Due to reduction in testing on Sunday, fresh cases witnessed a drop on Monday. As per the official data, 21,446 tests were carried out across J&K in the past 24 hours. Of these, 9000 were done in Kashmir division and the remaining in Jammu division. The result was 166 cases from Kashmir division and 185 from Jammu division.
A total of 608 people were reported to have recovered today.
Meanwhile, with the COVID19 deaths refusing to abate, experts have underlined the importance of wearing masks amidst falling temperatures in Kashmir.
Head of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at GMC, Srinagar, Prof S Saleem Khan said, “With the arrival of winters, social distancing has gone for a toss as families huddle up inside closed rooms without adequate ventilation.”
He said that even in office spaces, doors and windows are closed down in winters, restricting the movement of fresh air.
“This creates a perfect conducive environment for the spread of the virus,” Khan said adding that the heavy load of viruses had been found in closed, confined spaces.
Head of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at GMC, Srinagar, ProfNaveedNazir Shah said masks could help reduce the rate of infection by acting as a shield.
“Most of the infections take place due to breathing in air contaminated with SARS-CoV2,” he said.
Shah said that winters are a time when viral activity is high and masks could help in averting the spread of other viruses as well, in addition to SARS-CoV2.
Prof Khan also underlined the increased importance of masks amidst continuing spread of COVID19. “We have seen that almost four of every 10 people have already been infected in Kashmir with our sero-prevalence study,” he said.
Khan said the viral infection was continuing to spread and was taking precious lives.