Kashmir Indepth

As Kashmir faces shortage of ventilators, newly procured ones to remain unused


SRINAGAR, March 22 (KINS): Although authorities of SKIMS Soura have procured 20 new ventilators, these could be made operational only when oxygen capacity of the hospital is increased.

Deputy Medical Superintendent SKIMS Soura Dr Ghulam Hassan Yatoo said they have received some ventilators. “I have to check when they will be made operational,” he added.

However a top official told Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that SKIMS has to increase the oxygen capacity only they (ventilators) will be made operational.

“Procuring ventilators at this stage won’t make any difference as hospitals also need required staff to operate them,” the official said.

For a population of 70 lakh, there are less 100 ventilators in Kashmir hospitals. Almost all are occupied by patients suffering from various ailments.

“Although only one patient has been tested positive in Kashmir so far. God’s forbid, if the virus spreads in Kashmir, our health system is in poor state. We are not in a position to deal with any eventuality and there will be a crisis situation,” the official said.

While Principal Government Medical College Srinagar Dr Samia Rashid said, “We had a detailed meeting with MoS Jitendra Singh to discuss our preparedness for Covid 19. We highlighted the issue of shortage of ventilators with him and Director NHM. We have been promised 40 high end ventilators by the end of this month. We have enough ventilators to contain the situation right now but our manpower to run them all is not sufficient. We are already in process to address them.”

Doctors have raised concerns about the lack of proper and adequate personnel protection gears and safety equipment like N95 masks, PVC coated gowns, and ventilators.

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) led by Dr Suhail Naik has written a letter to Baseer Ahmad Khan, the newly appointed Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir saying that hospitals in Kashmir lack “proper and adequate personnel protection gear especially N95 Masks, PVC coated gowns, goggles and other equipments.”

The doctors’ body has requested for procurement of adequate ventilators to augment the capacity of district hospitals and new medical colleges in the Valley.(KINS)

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