A month of lockdown averted a catastrophe: Government

File Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK
File Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo, today said the lockdown "averted a healthcare catastrophe" in J&K and without it the daily new cases would have breached 15,000.

J&K Government imposed lockdown in 11 of its districts on 29 April, when the cases of COVID19 were rising exponentially. On 30 April, the first day of lockdown, J&K reported 3532 cases which was 1600 more than the number of cases reported a week earlier. Soon, in a week, the daily new cases jumped around 5000. On 07 May, on a single day, more than 5400 new cases were reported.

"Given the growth of cases at that time, we would have seen more than 15000 positives in a single day if the lockdown had not been imposed," the FC said. He said the restrictions that prevented mixing of people saved lives as the rate of infection spread slowed down considerably. The slowing down, he said, also decreased the number of active cases and resultant hospital admissions. "On 07-08 May we had nearly 50,000 active cases which has come down to around 40,000 now. Without a lockdown, we would have had almost double that number of active cases and the healthcare system would have been over-stretched to handle the percentage of people among these that require admission.

The bed occupancy, Dulloo said, is dependent on how many patients are actively positive. "Among these, a particular percentage requires admission and oxygen. The active case number needs to be kept down. In addition, he said, the cases doubling time also increased over the period of the past one month. "Initially, the cases were doubling in three days. We have spanned that over a week now," he said.

The lockdown has reduced the positive percentage among the tested samples, Dulloo said. He said from 11 percent samples testing positive three weeks ago, now only 6 percent samples test positive. "It shows we have been successful in reducing the extent of spread and rate of spread with the lockdown in J&K," he said.

He further said that the Government was monitoring the cases across districts in both the divisions. "Our teams are constantly collecting data and analyzing it to catch the changes and trends in the pandemic while simultaneously having a constant upgrade of infrastructure in hospitals," he said, adding that in the past month, oxygen capacity of hospitals has increased in J&K.

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