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Principal Secretary claims first death by COVID-19 in Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir – Family denies... he was not infected

SRINAGAR, 27 March 2020, TON: A 65-year old from Hyderpora, Srinagar passed away Thursday at Chest Diseases Hospital here. The doctors claim that he was tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and marks the first casualty to the outbreak of coronavirus in India occupied Jammu & Kashmir State. However, family members claims that he had acute chest infection and not COVID-19.

Principal Secretary to Jammu & Kashmir State Government Rohit Kansal announced the death on Thursday through a tweet, “Sad News: First death due to Coronavirus – 65 year old male from Hyderpora Srinagar.”

The man, who had been admitted to hospital on Saturday had been critical with bilateral pneumonia. His condition, a doctor at the hospital said, deteriorated on Wednesday and he breathed his last around 8 am. The body, he said, was handed over to the family in afternoon, as per the protocol for COVID-19 casualties.

Dr S Saleem Khan, nodal officer for COVID-19 at Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar said the deceased man had co-morbidities and had been “very sick”. “He had hypertension as well as diabetes and did not improve with treatment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir government initiated an inquiry into the alleged mishandling of this patient at SKIMS Medical College Hospital where the patient had sought treatment on 21 March, a day before he was admitted at Chest Diseases Hospital.

An order issued by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole, has sought explanation from Medical Superintendent SKIMS Medical College Hospital (JVC) and Head of the department of Chest Medicine. The order has asked them to explain why the patient was “given ample time to spread the virus by intermingling with relatives and public”. The patient, as per the document, had been listed as COVID-19 suspect and the same was not brought into the notice of the administration. “He left the hospital without getting admitted,” reads the order.

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