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Coronavirus | Rising infections among pregnant women spark worry in J&K

A police officer is seen giving flower to the doctors outside maternity hospital in Srinagar. Photo used for representation purpose only. File

A police officer is seen giving flower to the doctors outside maternity hospital in Srinagar. Photo used for representation purpose only. File   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

181 women testing positive points to community spread, says official

Jammu and Kashmir has recorded a spark spike in pregnant women testing positive for COVID-19, with 70 such cases in just the first four days of June. The total number of pregnant women infected as on Friday is 181. Experts suggest that the growing numbers are a stark indicator of the community spread of the disease in pockets of Kashmir, just days ahead of the scheduled re-opening of many sectors.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Indicating a rising trend, June 1 saw 10 pregnant women testing positive, June 2 recorded 14, June 3 at least 26 and June 4 saw another 20 cases, according to official figures.

The J&K administration has made it mandatory to test pregnant women ahead of delivery to ensure segregation.

“Pregnant women have been more susceptible to infections. Besides, only travellers and pregnant women are being tested constantly, with no testing for the general population. The pregnant women do represent the general population, and a marker of low risk population. It does indicate community transmission,” Dr. Salim Khan, nodal officer for COVID-19 and head of department of the Social and Preventive Medicine (SPM), Government Medical College, Srinagar, told The Hindu.

Most in Anantnag

According to official figures, out of 161 pregnant women testing positive till June 3, Anantnag district tops the list with 53 cases, followed by 38 in Baramulla and 31 in Kulgam.

Also read: 13 pregnant women among 108 fresh COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir

“In Anantnag, most pregnant women tested positive in the belt of Nowgam-Pati Pushroo-Somburuna-Kotihar, which has already reported 59 cases and Kharpora, which has 22 positive cases,” an official said.

Similarly, Kulgam's Chattabal (with 89 cases) and Nursingpora (with 17 cases) have seen a steady trend of pregnant women testing positive. “Baramulla has 38 women pregnant out of the total of 303 cases, with areas of Hard Ichloo, Venkara and Khawaja Bagh showing cluster cases,” the officials said.

COVID-19 | State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates

Srinagar bucks trend

On the other hand, Srinagar has not shown any signs of community spread so far with just three pregnant women testing positive so far. “Over 400 tests conducted on pregnant women in two collection centres in Srinagar showed a very negligible presence of the infection,” officials added.

The Union Territory is witnessing a sudden spike in cases in triple figures, as 222 cases were registered in a the highest single day increase on June 4. Earlier, May 27 saw 124 cases, May 30 saw 125 and June 3 saw 109. “The recovery rate is far less than the growing cases on these days,” an official said.

Dr. Naveed Nazir, head of Srinagar’s Chest Disease Hospital, also the man leading the battle against the infection, has raised the alarm.

“There are so many positives [cases] detected every day. Where are we going to keep them, their families and contacts? Do we have an alternative to our current strategy of testing and quarantine,” tweeted Dr. Nazir, who himself tested positive recently.

Spread of cases of pregnant women till June 3

Anantnag: 53; Kulgam: 31; Shopian: 7; Baramulla: 38; Ganderbal: 4; Budgam: 1; Pulwama: 9; Kupwara: 9; Bandipora: 2; Srinagar: 3

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 8:30:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-rising-infections-among-pregnant-women-spark-worry-in-jk/article31758889.ece

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