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Inquiry ordered into first COVID-19 death in Kashmir

Policemen block road as the country goes into lockdown mode to contain the spread of Coronavirus, in Srinagar. | File

Policemen block road as the country goes into lockdown mode to contain the spread of Coronavirus, in Srinagar. | File   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The 65-year-old patient, who was later tested positive, was not been handled as per the protocol required for treating such patients, says an order by the Divisional Commissioner

A 65-year-old COVID-19 patient died in Kashmir on Thursday morning, first such death in Jammu and Kashmir where 11 patients contracted the deadly disease.

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

“First death due to Coronavirus is a 65-year-old male from Srinagar’s Hyderpora. Four of his contacts also tested positive on Wednesday,” said J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal.

Preliminary reports suggest the person died due to cardiac arrest and was having a medical history of hypertension, diabetes and obesity. According to the family, the patient had travelled to New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh with the Tabligh-i-Jamaat, a religious group that preaches Islam. The Jamaat activities were attended by people from Malaysia and Indonesia, the family added.

Also read | In Kashmir, people chip in with books, masks for those in quarantine

The family has alleged he was not tested for COVID-19 since March 18 despite being declared a high viral load case during his visits to the Valley’s two premier hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, ordered an inquiry after reports of mishandling of the case admitted at the Chest Disease Hospital in Srinagar.

“A report further reveals that the patient, who was later tested positive for COVID-19, has not been handled as per the protocol required for treating such patients,” the order reads.

Negligence, says official

There are fears that the patient was allowed enough time to spread the virus by intermingling with the public and relatives. “The negligence at the hands of hospital administration has resulted in a lot of confusion and vulnerability among masses,” an official said.

Also read | Jammu and Kashmir police book 3 for hiding travel history, quarantined

The inquiry report has to be submitted within two days. “I have ordered for a probe to find out whether the case was mishandled and protocol was followed or not,” said Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P.K. Pole.

According to the Central government guidelines, the family has been advised against going closer to the body. The body will be transported in a secured bag and the vehicle in which he is transported has to be decontaminated by the trained staff. The final burial will also ensure that the body is buried eight feet in the grave compared to the tradition of six feet.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:55:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/inquiry-ordered-into-first-covid-19-death-in-kashmir/article31170690.ece

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