The harsh reality
One would have never imagined that one district would reach to a level in Jammu and Kashmir when it will be witnessing thousands of deaths due to the covid-19 pandemic.
However, given the way the second wave of the pandemic made its entry here the situation proved alarming and Jammu district was the first district that witnessed the one thousand deaths mark.
The situation though has seen some improvement but we are far from being out of the critical situation that we were faced with during the last part of the April month.
Not only did the covid positive cases shown a huge upswing but the number of increased deaths is still proving to be a challenge that needs to be taken up and controlled.
Jammu replaced Srinagar at the top of the Covid fatality chart among the 20 districts early this month, prompting the central government to rush a team of doctors to look into the alarming trend of high mortality among the positive patients in the province.
Jammu district is also heading the chart with 6,929 active cases in the union territory against 5,895 in summer capital Srinagar till Wednesday evening. There are a total of 43,892 positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir — 26,168 in Kashmir division and 17,724 in Jammu division.
Though the daily number of COVID-19 cases has reduced from an all-time high of 5,500 to 2,200 in the past two weeks. The same period also witnessed a reduction in the case positivity rate from 13 percent to 6.2 percent.
However, more cases are now being reported from rural than urban areas and such cases are as high as 55 percent and 60 percent in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, respectively.
On May 1, Srinagar was leading the Covid fatality chart at 546, followed by 496 deaths in Jammu. Jammu and Kashmir this month recorded 1,372 Covid-related deaths — 865 in Jammu region and 507 in Kashmir valley. The valley is, however, ahead of the overall Covid fatality chart with 1,918 deaths compared to 1,784 deaths in Jammu province.
Notably, on May 17, a three-member central team of doctors deputed by the Union Health Ministry called for conducting genome study in Jammu, while observing that the high mortality here may be because of the double mutant Indian strain.
Experts here also believed that the B.1.617 variant was responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases in the Jammu division as in April, the percentage of UK variant dropped to 47 percent from 60 percent a month earlier and B.1.617 increased from 5.8 percent to 38 percent during the same period.
These two variants found circulating in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have UK and Western Coastal States as the sites where original virus mutated and their observed changed in frequency in UT is through epidemiological investigation.
However, whatever may be the reasons the higher levels of mortality are proving to be the biggest challenge for the medicos here as the region is grappling with a new challenge that has emerged in the form of various fungal infections.