With Srinagar and other urban areas seemingly getting down from their peak, a spike in covid19 is being reported from rural areas across Kashmir, even as the experts expect a dip in cases in these new hotspots in two weeks.
A senior official from health and medical education department said nearly 70 percent of the new cases were coming from outside of urban areas in various districts of Kashmir. He said this was a shift from the earlier pattern that had seen urban Kashmir, majorly Srinagar district, and urban areas of other districts, reporting a major chunk of cases.
While giving details, the official said, the new trend that started over last 10 days was getting more prominent now. "Semi urban areas are also witnessing a dip while rural Kashmir has a clear surge," he said.
Dr Rouf Hussain Rather, who specializes in epidemiology & community medicine and currently working in Kashmir's Divisional level COVID19 control room, said that the new trend was expected as earlier the effect of the pandemic in rural areas was late "by around two weeks" as compared to urban areas.
"The peak in the cases in rural areas does not sync with that of in the urban areas, and similarly, the decrease will also not sync," he said.
He said that although Srinagar district was expected to hit a plateau by the end of this month, it would take rural Kashmir another two to three weeks to reach a point where the cases are stable.
As per the data provided by the official, on Tuesday, out of the 1819 cases reported from Kashmir division, 578 were from urban areas while 1074 were from rural areas. He said 167 people were from semi-urban areas.
District-wise, Baramulla, which has been showing a high number of cases in May, had only 48 cases from its urban areas while a majority, 172 cases were from semi-urban and rural areas. In Budgam, all the 266 new cases were from rural and sub-urban areas (112). In Kulgam, all the 119 cases were from rural areas of the district. Anantnag, out of 226 cases, 217 were out of urban areas.
These three districts have been the major contributors to COVID19 cases in Kashmir in the past week. At present, Budgam has 4200 active COVID19 cases, the second highest in Kashmir. Anantnag has 3911 active cases, Baramulla has nearly 3000 active cases while Kulgam, a small district in terms of population, has over 2300 active cases.