Editorial | Keeping the virus off

Greater Kashmir

As it gets closer the fear starts gripping one and all. What started from Wuhan, China, is now a thing next door for all the countries in the world. The spread of this virus across continents has made it global emergency. It is no longer China, and it is no longer Asia. The less than little creature, Cornovirus, has crossed the land and water barriers and sounded alarm in all the corners of the world. In India, as the reports suggest, 6 have tested positive. That means it is now real and immediate. As a response to this the central government has already announced a slew of measures, but at the same time has urged people not to panic. Here in JK, the top brass surfaced up before the media, informing that the situation is being monitored very closely. It means the state of alert has been sounded. One can only wish and pray that there are no positive cases found in J&K, but as it looks like, it is any time expected. So the government, particularly the concerned departments, cannot lower the guard.

They have to be in a start of readiness. In this situation government should undertake a huge public awareness campaign to prepare people for any eventuality. It also needs to educate people on what to do, what not to do, and how not to fall for any wrong information on this count. There is an added problem here. To get the required information, internet would always come handy. But here in J&K that luxury is no more available to people. So government, as an act of compensation, should utilise all the locally available sources of information, to educate people on how to guard against this infection. The decisions taken so far – establishing checkpoints for screening passengers,  making complete declaration mandatory for passengers, and banning export of some medicine – may not suffice. If this virus could upend the systems in the developed countries where do we stand in the face of this threat. So if there is some time at hand, utilise it fully to keep the danger at bay. Without creating panic, government should do all with a sense of urgency, and on war footing. While it is true that the panic that ensues such things is sometimes more dangerous than the thing itself, but it is no wisdom to look the other way, just to give a sense of everything being fine.