Kulgam: Behind only Srinagar and Baramulla districts, both in number of cases and deaths, Kulgam district is the first in south Kashmir region to have breached the one-thousand mark of coronavirus infections detected.
With a population of around 4 lakh (0.4 million), the infections in the district come to a figure of 2,500 cases per million.
“This is huge if we compare it to the national average of 720 cases per million and a worrying trend,” a senior doctor working in Kulgam district told Kashmir Reader, requesting that he not be named.
The doctor said that people throwing caution to the winds might be one of the factors. “You can see for yourself, no social distancing is being maintained and people rarely wear a mask around here, even in the hospitals,” the doctor said.
As on Tuesday, the total tally of infections in the district was at 1,028.
The district has also witnessed 22 deaths related to the virus so far. Only Srinagar (1933 cases and 46 deaths) and Baramulla (1337 cases and 38 deaths) are ahead of Kulgam district as of now.
Another worrying factor with the numbers in Kulgam is that the number of travellers (residents coming from outside) testing positive for the virus is low, which suggests that the infection might already be spreading in the community.
“So far only 233 out of the 1,028 patients are travelers. The rest do not have recent travel history. It is a clear indicator that the transmission is in the community. The people need to understand the gravity of the situation and act as they are supposed to,” the doctor said.
The district administration attributes the higher number of cases to aggressive testing as well as contact tracing. “We have not been complacent with any of the two. We have been testing aggressively and contact tracing has been efficient, to say the least,” a senior official in the district administration said.
Besides, he said, the number of recoveries has been an indicator that the district is going in the right direction. “678 people have recovered so far, leaving the active positive cases at only 328. This is a clear indication that active, early contact tracing is paying off,” the official said.
He said that the higher number of deaths was because some villages had been erroneously notified during the Covid crisis with Kulgam district but were otherwise a part of Anantnag district.
“This has spiked our number of deaths,” the official said.
Neighboring Shopian district, meanwhile, is not far behind and might breach the 1k mark in coming days. The district with 929 cases thus far, is only 70 shy.
However, the recovery rate in Shopian has been decent as well. As of now the district has witnessed 700 recoveries and only 213 cases remain active. The district has 17 Covid-19 related deaths.