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SRINAGAR — As deaths due to COVID-19 infection crossed 100-mark today in Jammu and Kashmir, the data reveals most of the deceased were declared COVID-19 positive posthumously. This trend has shaken the confidence of people among health professionals as people are wondering why almost every deceased especially in Valley turns COVID-19 positive. These include young people and even those who sustained injuries in road accidents.

In Handwara, a young boy was allegedly attacked with axe, received head injuries, died at SMHS Hospital, but declared COVID-19 positive after his death. The news came as a shock to the family who said that the cause of death may give relief to those responsible for the death of the boy.

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Another glaring example is the death of a 24-year-old youth from south Kashmir’s Shopian district who suffered injuries in a fatal road accident and died in the hospital but doctors declared him COVID-19 positive.

As reported earlier on June 27, three persons including father-son duo from south Kashmir’s Shopian district were critically injured after their car collided with a Tipper on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Pampore. One among the three died on way to hospital while injured Abrar died today and was declared COVID-19 positive.

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Family alleged negligence, saying no neurosurgeon was available in the hospital to take care of Abrar. “Doctors closed the chapter and to evade questioning, they declared the young man COVID-19 positive,” said a relative of Abrar.

The data reveals that most of the deaths occurred in SMHS Hospital. Though patients were non-COVID when admitted in the hospital, but posthumously tested positive for Coronavirus infection.

SMHS Hospital is a non-COVID hospital. “It is irony that non-COVID patients are being declared COVID positive after their death in a non-COVID hospital,” said an attendant of a patient.

A medico said that since SMHS Hospital is not a COVID-19 designated hospital like CD, JVC or SKIMS, so may be the hospital administration is not taking utmost precautions.

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Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) President Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan believes that every hospital in Valley is infected. He said that there are great chances of gadgetry, beds, ICU’s being infected with COVID-19 in every hospital. “Chances are, even young men can catch infection when admitted in the hospital and I think same happens with those young people who die of road accidents or any other ailments and turn positive for COVID-19 infection just because hospitals carry this lethal infection. Hospitals have become active agents of this infection and we should take utmost precautions,” Dr Nisar said.

A medico on condition of anonymity demanded the constitution of a ‘Empowered Death Audit Committee’ which could see the actual cause of death.

He said that in many cases, COVID-19 may be one of the factors of the death, while the bigger cause may be something else. “It’s important to form this Committee before issuing Death Certificates,” he said.

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