Anantnag woman not first in J&K to confirm COVID-19 after death

Her death is COVID fatality whatever the underlying problems: DAK president

Srinagar, April 27: The woman from Anantnag who was confirmed COVID-19 on Sunday was not the first to be tested for the novel coronavirus after death in Jammu and Kashmir.

On April 8, the swab sample of a 61-year-old woman from Udhampur returned positive for the novel coronavirus after her death.

A chronic arthritis patient, the woman’s body was kept in the mortuary of Government Medical College Jammu before handed over to the family for the last rites the next day.

Prior to her, a 52-year-old man from Gundjahangir area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora died at SMHS hospital on April 6 following which his samples were taken and returned positive for the dreaded disease the next day.

The family of the man had demanded the body but the administration at SMHS hospital, not among COVID-19 management centres in Kashmir, held it back till the reports were received. The body was handed over after following protocol for the COVID-19.

“Had we released the body without proper testing we would have created a public health hazard. As his close contacts have tested positive today, the hospital had good reason to act in caution. Please trust the judgment of doctors, especially treating physicians,” Dr Saima Rashid, Principal GMC, said in a tweet on April 09.

Dr Nissar-ul-Hassan, president of Doctors Association Kashmir, told GNS that Anantnag woman’s death is a COVID-19 fatality irrespective of the underlying problems.

“She is a COVID positive, so the death is COVID death whatever the underlying problem. The other patients who died of the disease also have underlying problems,” he told Global News Service.

“So far what we have seen as per the research and as per the studies, this virus was behaving mildly in pregnant ladies and this is the first pregnancy-related death due to COVID in J&K,” said Dr Nissar-ul-Hassan who is also Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar.

“We have to find out whether the virus is causing severe disease in these pregnant ladies which has resulted in death. So far we have seen and what literature says, this virus has not caused severe disease in pregnant ladies. Here we are seeing a pregnant patient who has died because of COVID-19. This may be the first case of COVID-related death in pregnant woman,” he said, adding, “Pregnancy itself alters the immune system of the body. Usually, pregnant women should have room for complications as in the case of other viruses. For example in the flu, pregnant women are at increased risk of complications and death but till now it was seen that in pregnancy this novel coronavirus does not cause much problems. Just comes with the mild thing and it goes. The second issue was it does not transmit to the babies.”

A senior doctor at Chest Disease hospital Dalgate, a designated COVID-19 centre where the Anantnag woman’s samples tested positive, told GNS that a report has been sent to the government for counting the death in the overall toll due to the virus.

Sources said that the Anantnag district administration’s claim that the death cannot be attributed to COVID was wrong and if such an analogy was applied, the overall toll due to the disease would remain unknown as other patients who have died due to the pestilence also have underlying ailments. “All the patients who died earlier had underlying ailments like the latest victim from Tangmarg who was having pneumonia, hypertension and other comorbidities,” they added.


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