Two patients who were admitted at SMHS Hospital here for treatment of H1N1 influenza, died today at the hospital, taking the death toll due to the pandemic to 11 this season.

 A 40-year old woman from Srinagar, who had tested positive for H1N1 influenza passed away at SMHS Hospital on Thursday night. A doctor at the hospital said that the woman had been critically sick for four days and was put on a ventilator on Thursday.  “However, she did not improve and lost battle with the viral infection,” the doctor said.

Another patient, a 70-year old man from Kupwara district also died on Friday morning due to H1N1 influenza. He had also been in critical condition for three days. Both patients were initially admitted to isolation ward of SMHS Hospital.

There is no life-support system available for influenza positive patients at SMHS Hospital. In order to tide over the crisis, the administration had allocated one bed in medical ICU for such patients. On Thursday, Government Medical College Srinagar administration said that an isolation ward, equipped with ventilators will be made operational at Chest Disease Hospital from Monday.

Medical superintendent (MS) SMHS Hospital, Dr Saleem Tak, confirmed the deaths of two H1N1 positive patients at the hospital. “We lost two patients today, while we have one more undergoing treatment here,” he said.

At Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, nine people have died due to influenza this season, hospital administration said. “Since September 2018, we had nine deaths due to various strains of influenza,” Dr Farooq Jan, MS SKIMS said. He said in addition nine patients who have tested positive for influenza were admitted at the Institute.

Over 120 patients had tested positive for influenza at SKIMS this season, H3N2 being predominant among them, the administration said.

In the last influenza season, between September  2017 and March 2018, at least 30 people died of influenza, mostly H1N1, in Kashmir.