By: Nadeem Nadu
Srinagar: A 60-year-old tourist from Gujarat died due to Covid-19 at a hospital here, officials said on Monday.
They said that the tourist was admitted on 2nd April in CD Hospital after testing positive. While he had tested negative one day prior at Airport.
Confirming the death, a doctor at the hospital told GNS that the tourist was suffering from “severe covid-19 Pneumonia” and died on Sunday.
Interestingly, the tourist like the one from Pune Maharashtra who died on Wednesday last had tested negative for the covid-19 at the Srinagar airport on arrival to Valley.
A few tourists are already admitted to CD hospital as well as Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital, two of the exclusive facilities for the management of covid-19 patients here, officials told GNS.
Sources in these exclusive health facilities said that most of these tourists have tested negative at airport and those who arrived by road were reportedly not even tested en-route.
“Some tourists have arrived by road and told hospital authorities that they were not tested anywhere en-route,” they said, raising a question about the administrations concerns about stemming the spread of the covid-19 at a time when it’s rapidly spreading in India and elsewhere. The spread has already forced the closure of schools in Jammu and Kashmir. There is also threat of spread of new variants, already found in at least five patients in Jammu.
A doctor here told GNS that a new trend has been witnessed of late when people who had previously recovered are re-infected which strongly points towards a mutated strain. “There is pressing need to have a more rigorous exercise to identify these strains,” the doctor said.
Last week, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) called for genetic testing of Covid-19 positive samples to look for any mutated strain of the virus.
“Genetic testing would not only detect the known mutants that might have sneaked into the valley, but also check whether any mutant has emerged within the region,” the doctors’ body said.
Sources said that it is also not the case that samples are not being subjected to genome sequencing. “There is need to increase the frequency as the cases subjected to genome sequencing are very few,” they said, adding, “re-infection in some patients could even be due to weakening antibodies but increased genome sequencing and other related tests would only increase certainty about the reasons rather than rely on hypothesis.”