We are in the middle of a 3 week long lockdown, and things don’t seem to be easing out. Each day we are informed about more positive cases. Although it is all on the expected lines, as more tests are conducted it is logical to have more positive cases. But in Kashmir valley it looks like that the rate at which new positive cases are adding up is higher than elsewhere in India. Before reaching any conclusion based on the daily statistics, one should try to include all other factors and variables that are relevant to it. Nevertheless, it is alarming. As more cases come to fore, it brings not just psychological pressure on the population, but poses real challenge to administration. Our healthcare system cannot, as we are told, take pressure of this situation beyond a point. So in this situation what are our options. The first option is to strictly follow the guidelines on lockdown issued by the administration.
There are some reports that people in many areas, especially rural, are not observing lockdown the way it should be. This can have very bad results, and the concerned authorities need to take notice of this. Second, those who have a travel history or have attended any gathering where someone coming from a suspect country was present, should come forward for testing. There is nothing wrong in voluntarily disclosing it. It can only help in fighting this pandemic. In fact, many people have done this, and this way fulfilled a social responsibility. Third, and the most important in terms of managing the crisis, is to revisit the protocol on how to manage the covid suspects who are asymptomatic. Health professionals opine that such persons can be managed at home with counselling, and if needed, little monitoring. Some doctors even say that those with mild symptoms can also be managed at their respective places. If this home-option is put to good use, it will relieve our hospitals, our doctors, and our administration of a great burden. But while doctors, officials, and volunteers do their job – and this they do at a great personal risk – people must observe social distancing. It is an ethical and moral obligation that people stay home, and don’t endanger lives – of theirs, their loved ones, and others.