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India: Kashmir’s first COVID-19 patient discharged

‘This disease can be defeated if necessary measures and precautions are followed,’ says hospital director

By Nusrat Sidiq   | 02.04.2020
India: Kashmir’s first COVID-19 patient discharged

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

The first COVID-19 patient in Indian-administered Kashmir has recovered and was discharged, the Sheri-Kashmir Medical Institute said Thursday.

The patient, a 65-year-old woman from Srinagar, had tested positive for the coronavirus on March 18 after returning from a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

She was admitted to the main hospital in the region where she was quarantined and kept under observation for almost 14 days.

Director of the Sheri-Kashmir Medical Institute, AG Ahangar, told Anadolu Agency the patient was discharged after completely recovering and testing negative for the virus repeatedly.

“As a precaution she has been advised to remain in home quarantine for next 14 days. Fortunately, the contacts of the said patient have also tested negative,” said the doctor.

“This disease can be defeated if necessary measures and precautions are followed,” he added.

Also Thursday, the first patient testing positive who was admitted to the Chest Disease Hospital has had negative results, according to a doctor who works at the facility

“Good news from CD. First patient admitted in CD turns negative,” Naveed Shah tweeted.

There are 53 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus in the Kashmir region while 17 have been reported from Jammu, taking the tally to 70.

More than 17,000 have been put under observation, with two deaths and three recoveries.

Officials placed strict restrictions on the movement of people while sealing borders and air traffic, and has advised residents not to move from their homes unnecessarily.

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 180 countries and territories. The WHO has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now reached nearly 963,000 while the death toll is more than 49,100 and greater that 202,900 have recovered, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who become infected suffer only mild symptoms and recover.

Disputed region

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought four wars -- in 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999 -- three of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

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