DAK Demands Covid-19 Hospitals In North, South Kashmir

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Health officials during their door-to-door visit in a Srinagar locality to check for symptoms of coronavirus on March 19, 2020.

Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday demanded conversion of two hospitals one each in north and south Kashmir as Covid-19 hospitals in view of the rising number of positive cases.

President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said that around 85% of Covid-19 positive cases don’t have severe illness and can be managed at rural health care setup.

“It is quite apparent that the spectrum of illness does not demand that all cases to be rushed into Covid-19 hospitals designated at Srinagar and this is invariably going to overburden central health infrastructure,” he said.

Dr Naik said treating pandemic like Covid-19 demands decentralization of health services as well as up-gradation of tertiary care simultaneously.

“This disaster could be averted only by the massive deployment of outreach services. Pandemic solutions are required for the entire population, not only for hospitals. This approach would limit the burden on central hospitals thereby decreasing workload on health care workers, and minimizing consumption of protective equipment,” he said.

DAK said in hospitals, protection of medical personnel should be prioritized and there should be no compromise made on protocols.

“There should be uninterrupted distribution and supply of N95 masks and personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline health workers,” it said.

The doctor’s body appealed to the government to focus on measures to prevent infection be implemented massively, in all locations and including in vehicles. It also urged for hassle-free movement of vehicles of doctors and paramedics amid reports that government forces were stopping them.

“We appeal the government to provide transport facility to ferry medical staff to various hospitals across Kashmir. We also urge the administration to designate hotels in districts as hostel facility for medical staff with all facilities as it is risky for medical staff to go home risking the lives of their families,” the doctors body said.

“We don’t need insurance cover but basic equipment to fight Covid-19,” they added.

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