Doctors say pregnancy should not be seen as something requiring clinical attention, visits to hospitals
Anantnag: The number of pregnant women who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir has crossed the 200 mark, with south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Kulgam districts the worst affected in this category.
The two districts have about 50 percent of the total cases of pregnant women testing positive.
Saturday witnessed the highest single-day spike, of about 450 positive cases, in Jammu and Kashmir. Of these cases, more than 50 were of pregnant women.
“More than 50 pregnant women tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday,” a health official told Kashmir Reader, adding that the tally of such women till Friday was 182.
With Saturday’s count, the tally has reached well beyond two hundred, 233 to be precise.
Unsurprisingly, Anantnag district, which has been on top of the list of cases (with more than 385 cases detected of Covid-19) for quite a while now, tops this list as well.
“We had 63 cases of pregnant women who tested positive on Friday. Yesterday, I hear, 7 to 8 pregnant women tested positive, taking the overall tally of such cases to 70,” Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Anantnag, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader on Sunday.
He added that the district has seen about 20 recoveries of such women so far, leaving the active cases at around 50.
The district recently closed down all private clinics, nursing homes and diagnostic centers to get the people working there tested, while the establishments were asked to sanitise and fumigate their premises.
“The decision was taken after contact tracing of Covid-19 positive pregnant women revealed that they had visited various clinical/medical establishments. It suggests that these establishments might be the source of infection,” an order issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag read.
The neighbouring Kulgam district is the second-worst hit district with more than 370 cases of the disease thus far.
“We had 43 pregnant women testing positive for the virus on Friday. Yesterday, some more pregnant women tested positive,” Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kulgam, Showkat Aijaz Bhat, told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the district administration has been conducting rigorous testing, which has led to an increased detection of positive cases.
The experts and doctors that Kashmir Reader talked to said that a flouting of the laid protocol for treatment of pregnant ladies has had a negative impact.
“The protocol says pregnant ladies in advanced stages of pregnancy need to visit health facilities only four times. Here, however, we have pregnant women visiting hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and drug stores multiple times a week,” a doctor told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the need of the hour was proper handling of pregnancy cases, for it was a normal physiological phenomenon and need not to be treated as an ailment.
“Doctors as well as people need to understand this. Unnecessary visits to hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers are putting these women at a higher risk of contracting the virus,” the doctor said.
Besides, the health experts think that the need of the hour is to create dedicated help lines for pregnant women in each district where doctors can be available on call to address any queries these women have.
“Because most of these visits are out of curiosity and/or fear of complications during pregnancy, a doctor on call can greatly reduce the anxiety and subsequently the visits to health facilities,” another doctor told Kashmir Reader.
Some of the doctors, however, express fear that the increased number of pregnant women testing positive might be an indication of community transmission.
“Pregnant women have been the only group, apart from travellers and contacts, who are being tested for Covid-19. The case might well be that we are already into community transmission,” a doctor at Srinagar’s LD Hospital said.
There, however, is no study or any other confirmation yet that Kashmir is into community transmission.