With experts clueless about surge, hospitals flooded with positive patients
Srinagar: A sudden rise in COVID-19-deaths in Jammu and Kashmir has left doctors and administration scrambling for answers.
As per official data, J&K has witnessed 86 deaths due to novel Coronavirus infection in just 13 days of July which accounts for nearly half of the deaths reported in the region till Monday (187).
Doctors treating Covid-19 patients said that the increase in severity might be an indication towards the “possible mutation” or “increased virulence” of the virus.
In many cases, sudden death or deterioration in the condition in a few hours or days after admission has become a routine now, they said.
Some experts even blamed people for not following the infection control protocol after the lockdown was lifted on June 1.
“So far there is no clear indication about the mood of the virus but we are definitely facing a challenge of its severity now,” said senior pulmonologist at SKIMS Soura, Dr Parvaiz Koul.
“These days hospitals are receiving more critical patients with Covid-19 infection. They belong to all age groups which could mean anything, even a mutation of the virus,” he said.
However, according to him, nothing can be explained without scientific research.
“We need scientifically verified data to be able to accurately tell the behaviour of the virus,” he said.
Dr Koul said many people didn’t follow cleanliness and social distancing norms after the lockdown was lifted which could be contributory also to the spike in severe cases.
“People behaved less responsibility after the COVID lockdown was eased. It also helped the virus to expand its tentacles among the co-morbid patients,” he said.
Medical Superintendent at Chest Diseases Hospital, Dr Saleem Tak said the hospital was almost full with Covid-19 patients as a sudden surge overwhelmed the facility.
“Following the surge in patients, 120 beds designated for Covid-19 patients have already been occupied including the ICU beds. Now, we are discharging recovered patients immediately to create space for more,” he said.
Dr Tak said even the condition of young and asymptomatic patients now suddenly deteriorates resulting in severe respiratory failure phase and they succumb within a few hours.
“This is something which worries us. I appeal to people to follow protocol religiously so that hospitals don’t fall short of beds,” he said.
Similarly, a sudden increase in cases overburdened the dedicated space for COVID at SKIMS Soura.
Dr Farooq A Jan, the medical superintendent of the hospital said they had to augment the COVID facilities from 65 beds to 160 beds last week after the rise in cases.
“We mostly received elderly patients with comorbidities. Some of them succumbed within a day to the disease,” he said.
A senior doctor at SKIMS gave an instance of an elderly man from Srinagar who had simple pneumonia and was undergoing treatment.
“He suddenly developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and complained of acute breathlessness. Later, he succumbed while on ventilator support within four hours of developing the complication,” he said.
The MS said the main reason for the rise in Covid-19 deaths is the non-compliance of infection control measures by people.
“This phenomenon engulfed ill people who were normally at home,” Dr Jan said.