A 52-year-old man died at a Srinagar hospital on Sunday, less than 12 hours after testing positive for coronavirus. This was the second death case in Jammu and Kashmir after a religious preacher died on Thursday.
The man, a resident of Tangmarg area in Baramulla district, was suffering from a liver ailment and was admitted to Srinagar's SMHS hospital last week. He had no travel history or contact with any COVID-19 positive case.
Yesterday, doctors took his samples for COVID-19 and shifted him to the Chest Disease hospital, which has been converted into a COVID-19 treatment facility, after testing positive.
Doctors handling the patient say it seems to be a clear case of community transmission in Kashmir.
Five more cases have been identified since morning. The number of COVID-19 cases is now 38 in Jammu and Kashmir. In the last 36 hours, 24 cases have been reported.
On Thursday, the first death due to COVID-19 was reported in Kashmir. The victim was a 65-year-old religious preacher from the Hyderpora neighbourhood of Srinagar, who tested positive three days ago. He had recently travelled around the country, visiting mosques in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh's Deoband before returning home on March 16.
During the last two days, 19 fresh cases of coronavirus have been reported in Kashmir. Several of them had come in contact with patient No 2.
Officials say more than 5,000 people have been put under observation in Jammu and Kashmir for their contact with COVID-19 suspects or travel history.
But in many places, people kept in quarantine facilities allege that over dozens of people are being kept in a single room or hall, and they fear that such a facility could be a major health hazard.
"Around 1500 people have been kept at Radha Soami Satsang centre near Jammu. They are hurdled together and it goes against the basic concept of social distancing," said an inmate.
He said there are thousands of people, who were returning home, have been kept in facilities in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts. "The chances of catching an infection in these so-called quarantine facilities are very high. God forbid if one person is COVID-19 positive, we all are doomed" he said.
In Pulwama district, people kept at a quarantine facility alleged that they haven't been given any food since yesterday."We arrived here yesterday, spent half of the night outside the building and another half inside the common room. We have been without food since we arrived here," said a quarantined person. " My concern is quite simple: we are around 40 people here. We are forced to use single washroom. Six persons in one room. Even a cabbage will understand that this increases our vulnerability," he said.