Same Covid Strain In Kashmir As Existed Last Year: Director SKIMS

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Srinagar: Director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura Dr. A G Ahanger Tuesday said that Covid samples from Kashmir are being sent to New Delhi and Pune testing facilities but there has not been a change in the Covid strain that existed in the Valley last year.  He, however, said the Covid cases have shown a “tremendous surge” in the past two months.

“We have been sending the Covid samples of patients to New Delhi and Pune laboratories for testing. There has been no change in the Covid strain that existed in Kashmir last year so far,” Ahanger said in reply to a query during a press conference in Srinagar.

Earlier, briefing the media men about the present situation at the SKIMS Soura tertiary care hospital, Director SKIMS said there are 260 beds specifically for the Covid patients at SKIMS.

“Level 3 care is available at the SKIMS and Infectious Diseases Block (IDB) is dealing with it,” he said, adding surgeries that can wait are being delayed for some time.

He said that from the 1900 litres of oxygen available at one point of time at SKIMS, the hospital has 3250 litres of oxygen per minute. “Besides, we are enhancing the oxygen facilities in the coming months and with that we will be having additional 1250 litres of oxygen available per minute,” he said. “The only issue we are facing is non-availability of injection Remedisvir.”

He said that so far four lakh plus RTPCR tests have been done at SKIMS and 22000 patients have been treated. “Till mid-January 2021, Covid figures were negligible as only 15 to 20 patients were admitted in the hospital. Since the past two and half months, there has been a tremendous surge in cases. At present 156 covid patients are admitted in the hospital of which two are on invasive ventilation and four non-invasive ventilation. In the past 24 hours, there has been no death,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Government Medical College Srinagar, said that primarily SMHS deals with the non-Covid patients but still 232 beds have been kept for the Covid patients. “We usually refer the Covid patients to Chest Diseases hospital, which is a designated hospital where oxygen facility is also available,” she said, adding that at SMHS there is adequate supply of oxygen available and today 300 Remedisvir injections were procured as well. “However, we are all geared up to deal with any exigency,” she said.

17L People Vaccinated In J&K

 The Jammu and Kashmir administration has vaccinated around 17 lakh people against the COVID-19 with no reported case of extreme adverse events.

As per the official figures available till April 19, over 16.9 lakh have been vaccinated of which 8.14 lakh people have been inoculated with COVID vaccine in Kashmir division while 8.76 people have been vaccinated in Jammu division.

State immunisation officer Dr Shahid said that 140,215 of the healthcare workers, 407,701 of the frontline workers and 1,142,828 persons above 45 years of age have been inoculated.

The total number of healthcare workers who have received their first dose of Covid-19 stand at 90,807 and 49,409 healthcare workers have received both doses of Covid-19, he said.

He said that among front line workers, 259,895 persons have the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination while 147,806 front line workers have received both doses of Covid-19.

The total numbers of persons above 45 years who have the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination stands at 1,084,039 while as 58,789 persons above 45 years have received both doses of vaccination, he said.

“Initially the pace of vaccination drive had decreased in Muslim dominant areas due to fasting, however, after coming to know that it won’t affect their fasting, people have again started to come up to vaccination centres and get vaccinated,” Shahid said.

“On 19th April, 34,981 persons from Kashmir and 29,833 persons from Jammu were vaccinated,” he said

The vaccines are being administered free of cost at all government CVCs and against the payment of Rs 250 per dose at private centres, officials said.

The government has now decided to vaccinate people above 18 years. In this regard, the health department in collaboration with the administration has chalked out a strategy to roll out vaccination from April 15. (Agencies)

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