Srinagar: Following warnings of hospital authorities from Kashmir that they have no beds for Covid-19 patients, the administration in Kashmir on Wednesday decided to go for another strict six-day-long lockdown to flatten the curve. Earlier on 13 July, the district administration of Srinagar had already brought most of the areas under lockdown by announcing 68 areas as containment zones here. Despite all these orders, each day Kashmir valley is witnessing a huge surge in Covid positive cases. The figures are already touching 20,000 with the death rate also growing in the past few days.

Over 2,000 new cases have been reported from Kashmir in the past three days, with no beds available in the Covid hospitals here. The administration is clueless of how to create new Covid beds and have resorted to yet another lockdown to control the situation. According to official sources, hundreds of ventilators are yet to reach Srinagar despite assurances by bureaucrats of the health department. “We are even running out of space, what to speak of medicines and ventilators. Even our seniors do not come regularly, leaving us with nurses to combat the pandemic,” said a junior doctor in Srinagar’s CD Hospital which has been designated as the main Covid hospital.

There have been reports of clashes between the attendants and paramedical staff in the absence of doctors. “My father was badly in need of a ventilator and I desperately pleaded with paramedical staff at the SMHS hospital. My helplessness resulted in a scuffle with other attendants and paramedical staff, resulting in injuries. Two attendants were arrested by police and they have not been released yet. We have been struggling to see a doctor in the ward,” said Naseer Ahmad of Srinagar who lost his father to Covid-19.

Doctors blame the administration for the lack of beds, shortage of medicine and ventilators in Srinagar hospitals. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K. Pole is monitoring the situation and the government has released Rs 15 crore to SKIMS Soura, the main hospital of Kashmir. Director of SKIMS Dr A.G. Ahanger recently rattled Kashmir when he told a news agency that “community spread is a reality in Kashmir and we shall learn to live with it”.