SRINAGAR – A doctors’ body on Thursday warned that there was a potential threat of novel coronavirus spreading to Kashmir as tourists from around the world visit the valley.
President of the Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) Suhail Naik said China is located near India and there were chances of coronavirus reaching the valley as it is a tourist destination.
“Following the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China, there is a potential threat of the novel virus in Kashmir as people from different parts of the world come here as tourists,” he said in a statement.
“Many countries have direct air travel with Kashmir. So the coronavirus may come to Kashmir by that way and we have to take care before it is too late,” he said.
Naik said although no case of coronavirus has been reported in the valley yet, the government particularly the health department needs to be prepared for any emergency.
Novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. The virus is a novel strain and not seen before, he said.
The chief of DAK said the virus can be passed between humans through close contact.
“It is imperative that the government and specifically the health department should be prepared for handling the situation,” he said.
Naik said the virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to patients.
The common symptoms of the novel coronavirus include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
He said there have been clusters of cases in healthcare facilities, where human to human transmission appears to have occurred, especially when infection prevention and control practices are inadequate.
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