Stating that the lockdown is not a solution to contain upsurge in coronavirus cases, experts here have urged people to stay away from public and social gatherings and follow SOPs.
Director Health Services Kashmir, Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Rather said: "People should not lower their guard against the deadly COVID. What we have seen is that people are taking it lightly now as a result of which there is no adherence to protocols which is leading to the upsurge in the cases."
He said that mask, hand washing and social distancing are required to be followed to keep this deadly virus at bay. "It is something which everybody can afford."
Head, department at Community Medicines, SMHS, Dr Salim Khan said: "In the last two weeks we have recorded above 1500 COVID cases, the reason is that people are throwing COVID safety protocols to winds. We have found in many cases that wherever there are gatherings, the outcome is a cluster of positive cases. On many occasions, all family members have been tested positive after attending a marriage function or any other gathering.
"This time the rate of cases is increasingly rapidly; last time people were cautious, but now people have lowered their guard. Otherwise one would not have seen chaotic scenes at Tulip Garden and Badamwari where thousands of people were roaming around without any social distancing or masks.
"This time if the spread of cases is not stopped, the number will surge at a much higher rate than what we witnessed last year."
Dr Salim Khan believes that "lockdown is not a solution", but stresses for taking precaution which according to him is the only way to contain the surge. "In India it is reported that many new variants of the virus are present, stopping its spread is going to be difficult if people don't follow protocols," he said.
He said: "People coming to Kashmir by air are being tested, but road link is a concern. People should restrict the number of persons in marriage functions, congregations, as even asymptomatic people can infect many."
Critical care expert, Dr. Showkat Shah said that the government should put in place measures to ensure that the SOPs are adhered to; be it social, cultural or religious gathering there has to be adherence to the COVID protocols.
"What we are witnessing (public rush) at Tulip Garden, Badamwari and other recreational places is shocking as people are not following guidelines despite the spike in COVID cases," he said, adding that travelers coming to Kashmir need to get tested properly with RT PCR, and should posses medical fitness certificate to travel which should clearly show that there are no symptoms of covid.
"Apart from it, we need to remove the doubts among the people about vaccination. Furthermore, testing facilities need to get increased. Lastly, lockdown is not the solution as it has many ramifications, but due care and precaution is the only solution to prevent the spread of this infection."