Kashmir health sector was already under tremendous pressure even since this covid emergency began. Since it was a never-known-before crisis, none exactly knew what to do, and where to get the material and human resource for that. Medical knowledge about virus, and plague is something different. The actual meeting of the challenge at the ground level is a completely different ball game.
In a firefighting mood the health system flung into action and tried to put things in place. How far did it succeed and how much weaknesses were exposed all this while is a matter of a dedicated study, but the news stories that came out during this time were appreciative of the doctors and paramedics who left no stone unturned in doing tests, and managing the affected people.
After many weeks we thought that an extended period of lockdown would give the government a chance to boost its health sector and make it ready to meet any eventuality given this pandemic. True, that many things were done on a war footing, but the question that still haunts us all is that if our health sector is now ready to manage the growing number of covid positives.
The news story in this paper – 1200 cases in 7 days, Kashmir healthcare collapsing – must set the alarm bells ringing. Can our hospitals, and the testing facilities accommodate this growing number of patients. And if the government decides to relax the lockdown would not the number go further up. In this situation if any thing goes wrong, we will actually waste all the hard work and sacrifices made till now.
So it is a very tough time for the people at the helm, and also a deep worry for the people at large. If our resources to fight covid are spreading too thin, that is a problem. If the numbers mount at this speed, our systems are bound to collapse. One can only hope that we succeed in bringing down the number of affected people, and simultaneously scale up our preparedness.