Following the recent outbreak of coronavirus in China, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Wednesday said that there is a potential threat of the novel virus in Kashmir as people from different parts of the world come here as tourists.In a statement issued to the wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said China was near to India and there were chances of coronavirus in the valley as it is a tourist destination and people from globe visit this place. “Many countries have direct air travel with Kashmir. So the coronavirus may come to Kashmir by that way and we have to take care before it is too late,” he said.Naik said although no case of the coronavirus has been reported in the valley saying that the government particularly the health department needs to be prepared for any emergency.Novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes. The virus is a novel strain and not seen before.He said the virus can be passed between humans through close contact. “It is imperative that the government and specifically the health department should be prepared for handling the situation,” he said.DAK said the virus does not seem to pass easily from person to person unless there is close contact, such as occurs when providing unprotected care to patients.
Naik said the common symptoms of the novel coronavirus include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.It said there have been clusters of cases in healthcare facilities, where human to human transmission appears to have occurred, especially when infection prevention and control practices are inadequate.The DAK president said, as of now there is no definite treatment, antibiotics or vaccines available for combating the particular virus strain and only supportive treatment is given.He suggested that hospitals be staffed with not only infectious disease specialists, but also specialists in treating severe cases to better save patients.Earlier this month Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus which is a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus has been temporarily named a “2019-nCoV.”DAK also said that the AYUSH ministry has already issued an advisory and recommended that homeopathic and Unani medicines could be effective in the prevention of novel virus.In China, the coronavirus has caused 132 deaths while 6,000 have been infected with global health experts warning that the epidemic may reach its peak in the next 10 days resulting in large-scale casualties. (KNO)