Kashmir sans plan for Covid positive pregnant women

Kashmir sans plan for Covid positive pregnant women

Samaan Lateef

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 6

The worried resident doctors huddled together after returning from a protest against lack of proper operation theatre facility. They were weighing risks whether to handle the pregnancy of a Covid-19 patient or prefer their own safety.

A 35-year-old pregnant woman from Shangus in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district was in peril, as she was infected by the coronavirus.

The patient was in advanced labour and If they didn’t deliver her baby now, she would go into obstructed labour — a condition that could prove fatal for both mother and her child. Doctors at Covid-designated hospital — SKIMS Medical College hospital Bemina — have been protesting for the lack of specialised operation theatre for surgeries of Covid patients.

However, they decided to resume duties to handle her pregnancy, putting their lives to risk. “We resumed duties for the Covid-19 pregnant patient. If she would have gone into obstructed labour, it would have been a total mess,” said a gynecologist, who handled the pregnancy successfully.

Two pregnant women have died and nearly 10 have got infected with coronavirus in past two weeks while hundreds of expecting mothers in red zones are worried, as antenatal care has taken a hit.

Another pregnant woman, Firdousa Javaid from a red zone in Anantnag, was denied hospital admission in her district and referred to SKIMS hospital, Bemina, Srinagar, on Saturday. She was again denied admission on pretext that she had come from the coronavirus red zone and was not covid-19 positive.

Her husband Javaid Ahmad, fearing his wife would die on road for want of hospital care hid the referral letter and went to Kashmir’s premier maternity hospital - Lalla Ded (LD). He didn’t reveal they had come from the red zone so the patient was not admitted in isolation or taken as covid suspect. Next day, the woman was found positive for the coronavirus and LD had to send 13 health professionals, including three doctors into quarantine.

Until today, the government has failed to establish separate antenatal care facilities in most of the districts for pregnant women, who are Covid suspects or patients.

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