Jammu becomes first district in J-K to register over 1,000 Covid-related deaths

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Jammu, May 26 (PTI) Worst hit by the second wave of COVID-19, the winter capital Jammu on Wednesday became the first district in Jammu and Kashmir to register over 1,000 deaths linked to the pandemic since its outbreak last year.

Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday recorded 3,037 fresh COVID-19 cases that took its tally to 2,78,859 while 40 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 3,702, according to an official bulletin.

Jammu replaced Srinagar at the top of the Covid fatality chart among the 20 districts early this month, prompting the central government to rush a team of doctors to look into the alarming trend of high mortality among the positive patients in the province.

Jammu district is also heading the chart with 6,929 active cases in the union territory against 5,895 in summer capital Srinagar till Wednesday evening. There are a total of 43,892 positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir -- 26,168 in Kashmir division and 17,724 in Jammu division.

Among the new fatalities during the past 24 hours, Jammu district accounted for nine deaths, taking the district’s tally to 1,003 followed by Srinagar at 751. So far, Jammu district had recorded 49,011 COVID-19 cases and Srinagar 63,448.

Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said the daily number of COVID-19 cases has reduced from an all-time high of 5,500 to 2,200 in the past two weeks. The same period also witnessed a reduction in the case positivity rate from 13 percent to 6.2 percent.

He, however, said more cases are now being reported from rural than urban areas and such cases are as high as 55 percent and 60 percent in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, respectively.

On May 1, Srinagar was leading the Covid fatality chart at 546, followed by 496 deaths in Jammu.

Jammu and Kashmir this month recorded 1,372 Covid-related deaths -- 865 in Jammu region and 507 in Kashmir valley. The valley is, however, ahead of the overall Covid fatality chart with 1,918 deaths compared to 1,784 deaths in Jammu province.

In the COVID-19 mortality chart in Kashmir, Srinagar is followed by Baramulla district at 248, Budgam (169), Pulwama (161), Anantnag (156), Kupwara (138), Kulgam (90), Bandipora (84), Ganderbal (67) and Shopian (54). In Jammu province, Jammu district is followed by Rajouri district at 163, Kathua (123), Udhampur (116), Samba (103), Doda (86), Poonch (76), Ramban (48), Reasi (35) and Kishtwar (31).

On May 17, the three-member central team of doctors deputed by the Union Health Ministry called for conducting genome study in Jammu, while observing that the high mortality here may be because of the double mutant Indian strain.

The team -- Deputy Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Mahesh Waghmare; Joint Director, NCDC, Pranay Verma; and Professor, Internal Medicine, PGI Chandigarh, Navneet Sharma -- visited several Covid care facilities in Jammu and Samba districts.

Two days earlier, the Principal Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, Shashi Sudhan Sharma said the B.1.617 variant was responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases in the Jammu division.

“In April, the percentage of UK variant dropped to 47 percent from 60 percent a month earlier and B.1.617 increased from 5.8 percent to 38 percent during the same period,” Sharma said.

“These two variants found circulating in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have UK and Western Coastal States as the sites where original virus mutated and their observed changed in frequency in UT is through epidemiological investigation,” she had said. PTI TAS AB AQS AQS

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