New Delhi, India: Facing information blackout and living in lockdown since August 5, 2019, nobody actually knows what is happening in Kashmir (read as Indian Occupied Kashmir) under Caronavirus.
They were already denied health and education facilities and social care and now Coronavirus has multiplying their miseries.
Hospital authorities in IOK are accused of refusing to send samples from suspected coronavirus cases for testing.
Doctors in Indian occupied Kashmir believe that the authorities could have facilitated the spread of deadly coronavirus by refusing to carry out tests.
Dr Tsering Angchuk, the Medical Superintendent in Sonam Norboo Memorial Hospital (SNM) in the city of Leh, in an official letter, titled ‘report regarding the patients who show coronavirus-like symptoms’, requested that samples should be immediately sent to India’s only coronavirus testing facility in the city of Pune. However, the authorities refused to send samples. Doctors believe the hospital authorities refused to send samples because they didn’t want to create panic but that an outbreak in Kashmir is only a matter of time.
The hospital in IOK are also not supplied with pre-sterilised kits from the Health Ministry in Delhi needed to collect samples despite the confirmed cases. Moreover, misdiagnosis of the cause of death in India is extremely common and less than one quarter of deaths are medically certified, according to the Registrar General of India. Indian hospitals are some of the most chronically underfunded in the region and overworked staff often do not have time to diagnose sick patients. Health workers in Kashmir said the misdiagnosis of deaths was common and would extend to coronavirus. “These incorrect methods can have implications on estimates of coronavirus deaths also.”
Kashmir is India’s only Muslim-majority region and thousands of Shiite pilgrims have been allowed to visit Iran – which has recorded the fourth highest number of cases – and return without being assessed.
The Indian Government has also subjected Kashmir to a draconian internet blackout since August 5, arguing it is necessary to maintain security in a region which has endured a violent pro-independence insurgency since 1989. However, doctors in Kashmir fear that the blackout meant they were unable to stay up-to-date with the spread of coronavirus or access advice.
The case of Indian Senior Police Officer who placed millions of Kashmiris in danger
The recent incident of Covid-19 positive woman exiting from VIP Gate at Srinagar airport for being the mother in law of top police cop indicates that the Indian government is least concerned regarding the health of its citizen.
Kashmiri people criticized government machinery on social and main stream media for use of VIP influence by police officer to facilitate his relative to escape the mandatory screening. Later tests positive and puts whole valley in danger.
A renowned social activist Quratul Ain Masoodi urges govt to take action against the officer in case he is proven guilty. This is sheer misuse of power that has put entirely the population of Kashmir in danger.
It is pertinent to mention that India’s public hospitals generally are some of the most underfunded in the region.
India also has some of the world’s most crowded cities, providing a rich environment for the virus to spread. A 2017 World Economic Forum report based on UN data said that Mumbai is one of the world’s busiest cities, cramming and squeezing 31,000people into each square km.
As a result of having the perfect environment for the transmission of infection in a poorly resourced country, it is expected a great many number of people to get infected and cause further infections.” Overcrowding, poor sanitation, a new virus, the right temperatures and therefore it is a perfect mix for corona.