Amid a huge surge in coronavirus cases, the district administration in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar has admitted in a video message that the city is running short of beds for COVID-19 patients. "Hospitals are full. Now there no beds available for patients. When hospitals run out of space to deal with the pandemic, people have no option but to take care of themselves and exercise precaution," a voice is heard saying in a clip shared by the Srinagar district administration on Twitter.
More than 1,300 new cases have been reported in Srinagar over the last one week. Of Jammu and Kashmir's 14,650 cases, Srinagar has logged over 3,000 patients since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the city has only 800 dedicated covid beds, according to the officials; around 100 beds have ventilator support.
"The COVID-19 situation in Kashmir has got to a point where hospitals are running out of space. Here's Dr @naveednazirshah putting it into perspective - throwing light on what has gone wrong and what needs to be done| DDMA Srinagar presentation @listenshahid @drsamiarashid (sic)," reads a tweet by the Srinagar District Administration shared last week.
The COVID-19 situation in Kashmir has got to a point where hospitals are running out of space. Here's Dr @naveednazirshah putting it into perspective - throwing light on what has gone wrong and what needs to be done.— Srinagar district administration (@srinagaradmin) July 18, 2020
| DDMA Srinagar presentation@firstname.lastname@example.org/pmoVAriSwV
"Hospitals are running shot of beds. A huge number of cases are being detected each day. We are not finding enough place in our hospitals to accommodate all of them," Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, Head of Department, Chest Disease Hospital and Medical College, Srinagar, says in the clip.
Across J&K, 254 deaths linked to COVID-19 have been recorded so far.
Crumbling health system and non-adherence to the government's covid protocol appear to be the biggest hurdles in J&K's battle against coronavirus.
Several disturbing videos have surfaced from the hospitals in the city that show helplessness of patients amid lack of beds and shortage of medicines. Questions are being raised on the district administration's efforts in the last four months.
A video, which has been widely shared on social media, shows a man crying for help to carry the body of his mother. "It happened with me today. Tomorrow it can happen with you. No one in the hospital is coming forward to help me to carry the body," the man, devastated by the loss, is heard saying in the video.
The doctors say they are doing their best to deal with the challenge as a majority of new patients being registered are those who show symptoms.
"For last two weeks, there has been a sudden rise in cases, especially symptomatic cases. It's a huge number which is coming up. This is off season for pneumonia in Kashmir. We never used to see so many respiratory cases in our hospitals at this time of year. All the cases admitted in our hospital are symptomatic. Most of them are on high flow oxygen.. few of them on ventilators," Dr Shah said in the Srinagar district administration's video message.
Across India, over 11.5 lakh patients have been affected by the outbreak; more than 28,000 have died so far.