Planning and Strategy for Coronavirus

Disease and illnesses have plagued humanity since the earliest days, however, it was not until the marked shift to agrarian communities that the scale and spread of these diseases increased dramatically.

The widespread trade also created new opportunities for human interaction that sped up epidemics. Malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, influenza, smallpox, and others first appeared during these early years. As humans spread across the world, so have infectious diseases.

Even in this modern era, outbreaks are nearly constant, though every disease were not up to such an extent as the Coronavirus outbreak that has now reached to the pandemic level.

So far mention of coronavirus across social platforms and news media really started to take off in late February. This month saw huge government quarantines as well as instructions not to gather in large groups as the number of global infections crossed one lac mark.

People’s concerns about coronavirus have also been evident in their search history. Google searches of Coronavirus in the world saw their first major rise relative to all search traffic toward the end of February as the number of people diagnosed with the Coronavirus are increasing with each passing day.

In recent days, Coronavirus has seen its highest level of search traffic as the appetite for information about an illness or pandemic has never been higher than the current Coronavirus scare.

Online platforms have been actively trying to root out misinformation about coronavirus. YouTube has been particularly hard hit with the matter suggesting ways to prevent the virus and ads seeking to capitalize on it.

This month so far, most of the rising searches is an indication of what is new on people’s minds had to do with specific locations as people sought to track down the virus as it hit their backyards. 

The Jammu and Kashmir,  Ladakh as well, are no exception to this disease as both the union territories have also witnessed the outbreak of coronavirus diseases from a couple of weeks although the number is very low who have been tested positive.

Much information is available regarding this disease and a number of articles are appearing on both print and electronic media wherein medicos, media persons and other stakeholders are suggesting a number of precautionary measures like closing of schools, colleges, universities public parks, hotels restaurant, and other social gatherings is a good idea but there are still few areas which have remained unnoticed which needs due attention on part of the state government as a precautionary measure against the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Here I would like to suggest few things that may be taken as precautionary measures in Jammu of Kashmir before it hits us badly. The first and foremost that I would suggest is that as a part of digital India initiative by government if India has an online registration system portal in place www.ors.gov.in run by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and supported by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India to facilitate the outdoor patients to get their hassle free online appointments in almost all the state government as well as private hospitals across India.

However it is an irony that our most of the hospitals have not been put on the online portal by the Jammu and Kashmir government. This could have helped the patients to get rid of the long queues and rushes in the hospitals which is more needed in the current situation where the Coronavirus has created havoc across the globe.

Presently there are only four hospitals registered on the web portal like GP Panth Hospital, Srinagar, SMHS Srinagar, District Hospital Bandipora and Government Hospital Gandhi Nagar, Jammu. However all departments of the above hospitals are not registered on the web portal. People are also unaware about such facilities available in almost all the states of India.

It is therefore suggested that all the government as well as the private hospitals including district and sub district hospitals and more particularly SKIMS, Srinagar should immediately register their all departments on the web portal so that patients and their attendants can have a sigh of relief .

It can ease the burden of hospital administration and will help all the stake holders in the health sector in streamlining the existing system and simultaneously after doing so an awareness must be launched in both print and electronic media for the use of online appointments.

Besides this, no person should be allowed in the public places and more particularly in hospital premises without the use of masks. This process should be initiated on war footing basis for public good.

Apart from hospitals there are other spots where people come on good numbers. These are banks and ATMs.

To do away with these congested areas all banks should be asked to provide mobile banking, net banking option for customers to enable them twenty four service hours a day for seven days a week.

Amid Coronavirus scare in Ladakh as a number of people have been tested positive, before the reopening of highway government should set up screening centres on Srinagar-Leh national highway to ensure that every passenger entering into the Valley from Ladakh is properly tested.

Government should also focus on screening of outsiders at Jawahar tunnel and Banihal railway stations. All the outsiders before entering into the valley must be screened.

Besides these two points special measures should be taken at tourist places. There must be a record of tourists who are still in the state to ensure the three tier checking to prevent the outbreak of Coronavirus in the state

As the new coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe and people take to their homes to avoid getting and spreading the contagion, it makes sense that much of the conversation about it is taking place online.

People are using internet to share information, air their anxieties, and pass time while in quarantine.

The moments when those online conversations light up also tell us a lot about how our feelings around the pandemic are evolving. As a precautionary measure people can prevent Coronavirus and to avoid market congestion may use online shopping.

As we know that all the above precautionary measures are not possible without the internet facility as the valley has witnessed continuous internet shutdowns in past and more particularly post 5 August 2019. The restoration of high speed mobile internet will go a long way in easing the situation not only for the home confined students but for the business community and those working in the private sector.

The tourism sector has also taken a big hit in absence of high speed mobile internet services while businesses including tour and travel operators, chartered accounts, call centres and entrepreneurs have also suffered hugely, and the restoration of high speed internet services has become an imperative in the present scenario without any further delay to contain coronavirus.

The high speed Internet is a valuable component of emergency preparedness. The Internet has been used in networking on a daily basis in making available resources to the emergency preparedness community. In some states, networks connect local governments with state emergency operations centres.

The task requires preparation and planning for how critical information is handled before, during, and after an emergency situation, and the Internet, social media is not a threat but it is creates a public opinion and provides a feedback to the masses as well as the government and it plays a vital role in the information management as long as it is used genuinely for public good.

For this task, social media reigned as it became the only reliable source for accurate, on-the-spot information from the people inside of the disaster.

In this way, misinformation is simultaneously being thwarted by having masses of on scene and people confirm or deny emergency information. Here I will conclude with Stephen King’s words: “There is no harm in hoping for the best as long as you are prepared for the worst.” .

reyazganaie@gmail.com