A man registers his name for Covid testing at a government hospital in Jammu on Thursday.(AP)
A man registers his name for Covid testing at a government hospital in Jammu on Thursday.(AP)

40% of J&K’s Covid-related deaths took place in September

J&K recorded 68% of the total Covid fatalities (804) in August and September
By Ashiq Hussain | Hindustan Times/Srinagar, Srinagar
UPDATED ON OCT 02, 2020 12:48 AM IST

Jammu and Kashmir logged 40% of the overall Covid-related fatalities in the UT in September, the highest so far. Though deaths have gone down in Kashmir, there has been a corresponding spike in Jammu division.

The UT had logged 326 deaths in August and 478 deaths in September. J&K recorded 68% of the total Covid fatalities (804) in August and September . So far, the UT has reported 1,181 fatalities. The death toll had crossed the 500-mark on August 13 and 1000-mark on September 20. Of the 1,181 deaths, 839 were reported in Kashmir and 342 in Jammu.

The death toll was more severe in Jammu than Kashmir in September. Of the 342 deaths reported in Jammu division since March, 80% ( 276) were recorded in September alone. In August, Jammu had witnessed 38 Covid-related deaths.

The daily death count has mostly remained above 10 in September. The highest fatalities, 23, were reported on September 21.

National Health Mission director and UT Covid mitigation in-charge Bhupinder Kumar said officials had anticipated a surge in deaths after unlock was initiated.

“A surge was expected in Jammu after all we had seen a similar situation in Kashmir two months ago. Our focus is on containment. We have conducted massive testing – one of the highest in the country,” he said.

“From 12,000 daily tests, we doubled our testing to 25,000 tests. We are also testing people in rural areas,” he said, adding that the increase in number of deaths could be attributed to the increase in daily infections.

Of the 75,070 cases reported from March 9 to September 30 in the UT , 37,372 were recorded in the month of September, of which 20,463 cases were reported from Jammu. Kumar said they had started a sero survey in Jammu district to ascertain the extent of infection.

“As per findings of the sero survey, we have the lowest prevalence in the UT. However, Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu is also conducting a survey in the district and within the next seven to 10 days we will be able top determine the extent of infection,” he said.

Kashmir logged 202 deaths in September against 288 deaths in August. “September was not that bad for Kashmir as the number of deaths stabilised but there was an upsurge in Jammu division,” said Qazi Haroon, officer on special duty with health department to assist government with corona mitigation efforts.

“We have now started non-Covid elective medical activities as well. Home quarantine and rapid antigen tests have played a significant role,” he said.

There was a sharp increase in the number of recovered patients in the last days of September. The percentage of cured patients has crossed 75%.

On September 30, as many as 1,355 people recovered from the virus and were discharged from different hospitals taking the overall recoveries to 56,872, which account for a recovery rate of 75.7%.

Since September 21, as many as 15,132 patients have been discharged against 11,080 fresh infections. At present, there are 17,017 active cases in J&K. Total tests conducted in the UT till September 30 were 16.22 lakh.

Of the total 56,872 recovered patients, 37,885 people recovered in Kashmir and 18,987 in Jammu.

Kumar said that the overall positivity rate in the UT was half of what was prevalent at the national level. “In Jammu, the positivity rate is 3.8% and in Kashmir it is 5.4%. Overall we have a positivity rate of 4.06% against the national average of 8%,” he said.

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