Other States

Pregnant women in Jammu and Kashmir to be screened

Jammu & Kashmir has made COVID-19 testing of all pregnant women mandatory, as a local court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of the deaths of two pregnant women in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

“A drive has been started for carrying out advance testing of pregnant women for the coronavirus. This is being done so that they feel no neglect at the time of admission [for delivery]. We will ensure the reports of the tests arrive ahead of their delivery dates,” Dr. Shabir Ahmad, who works in the Anantnag hospital, said.

Divisional Commissioner-Kashmir, Pandurang K. Pole, has directed the Health Department “to devise a birth plan for the pregnant women so that they could be screened for COVID-19 well in time”.

“Pregnant women from the red zone areas must be treated separately, and asked to use services of ASHA workers for their proper identification,” said Mr. Pole.

Also read: Pregnant women from Kashmir’s red zones risk neglect

Dr. Shabir Sidiqui, Medical Superintendent of the Lal Ded Maternity Hospital in Srinagar, said new protocols have been furnished for red and other zones, which include exclusive hospitals for women coming from the red zones.

“A pregnant lady has to undergo the COVID-19 test at least a week before [delivery],” said

said Dr. Shabir Sidiqui, Medical Superintendent of the Lal Ded Maternity Hospital in Srinagar

Court order

The fresh directions come as two pregnant women and a pair of twins have died in Anantnag since April 26, amid allegations of negligence in hospitals levelled by the families.

The Anantnag district court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of the deaths and directed the Senior Superintendent of Police-Anantnag, to hold an inquiry into the matter.

A Principal District and Sessions Judge, Anantnag, in his order, said, “A video has gone viral on the social media sites where in a pregnant lady is being ferried on trolley by her relatives through the streets of Anantnag obviously for not having been provided an ambulance by the hospital authorities.”

The order also said, “This is not the first incident of medical negligence. A pregnant lady has also died at Bijbehara Hospital, who was denied treatment and this authority cannot watch such medical negligence as a mute spectator. Such kinds of negligence needs an inquiry and persons involved in negligence must be brought to book so that trust of people that they have lost in the working of administration is reposed.”

Babies delivered

An official said two pregnant women, who tested positive for COVID-19, have delivered babies in the Sub District Hospital (SDH) Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.

Block Medical Officer (BMO)-Sopore Dr. Asif said the Gynaecology department at the Sopore Hospital, headed by Dr. Abdul Wahid and Dr Kashif, took care of the cases. “Both the babies are fine,” said Dr. Asif.

Samples for testing could not yet be taken from the babies, the doctors said.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 5:39:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pregnant-women-in-jammu-and-kashmir-to-be-screened/article31504470.ece

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