Srinagar: With J&K seeing a massive uptick in Covid-19 cases in the past few days, adherence to SOPs have taken a huge hit even as minimal testing facilities in the twin capitals of the J&K UT is contributing to the fresh concerns surrounding the pandemic.
Despite repeated warnings issued by experts and urging people to adhere to Covi-19 SoPs, people are still seen violating the protocols in public places and at social gatherings.
Rarely are people seen wearing face masks, washing hands or using hand sanitisers to avoid the spread of the virus which has witnessed a surge in the last few weeks.
Notably, at least 165 persons tested positive for COVID-19 across J&K on Thursday which is an increase by 25 cases compared to a day earlier.
As per the government figures of the total cases, 53 cases were from the Kashmir division and 112 from the Jammu division.
Providing district-wise breakup for the positive cases, the figures reveal that Jammu reported 92 cases which is highest among all districts followed by 43 cases reported from Srinagar district.
Udhampur district reported seven cases, Kathua six, Ganderbal five, Samba four, Anantnag two while one case each was reported from Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Baramulla, Kupwara and Pulwama districts. However no fresh cases were reported from seven districts across J&K.
The official figures reveal that the number of active positive cases in J&K has reached 815 – 312 in the Kashmir division and 503 in the Jammu division.
The figures reveal that 119 persons who were infected with coronavirus and had recovered were discharged from various hospitals including 44 from the Kashmir division and 75 from the Jammu division.
Meanwhile, amid the surge in the daily cases reported in J&K, the experts are apprehensive of further increase in the cases till August and September months. The doctors said there are chances of spread of the virus as people do not follow precautions religiously.
"People are taking it lightly as they hardly wear a face mask or maintain social distance at public places or at social gatherings. There is a need to follow all Covid1-9 SoPs," critical care expert Dr Showkat Ahmad Shah told Greater Kashmir.
He said taking SoPs lightly will add to the number of positive cases. "So it is better to take precautions instead of taking it lightly," he said.
He said people should not wait for the government instructions to follow the Covid-19 which were already in place. "We all should behave maturely and it is better to take precautions," he said.
Usually, people who come out of their homes are least concerned about maintaining social distance or wearing face masks.
"We have seen a surge in Covid-19 positive cases from the last few weeks so we cannot afford to lower our guard against pandemic,” said another medico.
He said that negligence as people demonstrate in markets, roads and public transport can prove a disaster.
“It may result in the arrival of the predicted third wave of virus," he said.
The violation of COVID19 safety guidelines are apparent at public places, public transport with people not maintaining social distance and roaming out without putting on a facemask.
Amid a spike in Covid cases, there are minimal testing facilities in Srinagar and Jammu. Also, there are no strict measures taken by the government to enforce adherence to Covid-19 SoPs.
"Earlier, authorities would depute officials to fine people for violating Covid-19 SoPs. But now no such steps are taken and people are roaming freely without taking any precautions despite a surge in cases," said a doctor wishing not to be named.
Despite repeated attempts, divisional commissioner Kashmir Pandurang Kondbarao pole was not available to comment on government readiness to combat the present covid-19 situation.