The medical experts said that the people in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir believe Covid-19 is a hoax and as a result of which a number of ailing people don’t get tested and die of this deadly virus which goes unreported.
The medical experts believe that the actual number of Covid-19 deaths in Kashmir valley is higher than what is reported as many deaths go unreported as people deliberately don’t go for testing.
In a statement , valleys top medico and influenza expert, Dr Nisar Ul Hassan said that the people of Kashmir valley prefer not to get tested believing that this deadly virus is just a hoax and fabricated and as a result of which ailing people who die of it go unreported which is a serious concern.
He said that the official count of Covid-19 deaths in the valley is an understatement and only provides a snapshot of the actual death toll virus has taken.
He said many people with Covid symptoms don’t get tested for the virus because of the fear of stigma and quarantine of family members.
“Social stigma makes people hide their illness and keep them away from seeking health care,” he said.
Dr Nisar said people fear that if they die of Covid-19, they will not get a decent burial and few will come to their funeral. “As a result, people are choosing to die at home, unrecorded. Another apparent deterrent to testing is widespread conspiracy theories about the virus. People believe that Covid-19 is a hoax,” he added.
He said while elderly people have the highest rates for hospitalization and deaths, many are not tested for Covid-19 in hospitals.
“Elderly people don’t develop typical Covid-19 symptoms. In them, feeling weak or confused may be the only sign of having the infection. When patients lack classic signs, health professionals are less likely to think of the diagnosis. This means many patients die undiagnosed,” he added.
Dr Nisar said many Covid-19 deaths are hidden among other diseases and many patients with heart or lung disease die of Covid, but their death is attributed to their underlying condition.
He said more than 30 percent of the positive cases may be missed by the RT-PCR test which is used to identify people infected with Covid infection.
“Inappropriate sample collection, taking the sample too early or too late during infection and late processing of the sample can give rise to false negative results,” he said33