Precautions, not panic

People must strictly follow Covid Appropriate Behavior to prevent situation from getting out of control. The authorities must also watch the situation closely
A man wearing a face mask amid COVID-19 pandemic in Srinagar. [Representational Picture]
A man wearing a face mask amid COVID-19 pandemic in Srinagar. [Representational Picture]Mubashir Khan/GK File

In the past few weeks the daily count of Covid-19 cases reported from J&K has witnessed a surge prompting authorities to sensitise people about adopting proper Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB).

The daily recovery rate of Covid-19 patients is almost equal to that of the new positive cases reported on a daily basis and experts assert that the severity of the infection these days is low besides the rate of mortality and the hospitalisation is also negligible.

But going by the official figures, the number of cases is increasing fast and the number of active positive cases is significantly showing an upward trend across J&K, particularly in Jammu and Srinagar districts.

On Tuesday J&K witnessed 100 percent increase in the cases as compared to the cases reported a day before. Around 333 cases-187 from Jammu and 146 cases from Kashmir were reported on Tuesday taking the toll of cases to 451355.

While the count of active positive cases in Jammu has reached to 640, the number of active positive cases in Srinagar district has swelled to 464 as well.

One fresh Covid-19 death was reported on Tuesday taking the toll to 4760-2335 in Jammu and 2425 in Kashmir.

But at the same time there are some districts across J&K which have not seen any fresh cases of Covid-19 for a long time now.

Few weeks ago, the situation was altogether different in J&K particularly Srinagar and Jammu districts. The number of Covid-19 cases reported on a daily basis from J&K had almost reached single digit as very few cases were reported. But now the situation has taken a U-turn and the cases have started to swell up as well, which may become a challenge for the government, particularly the district administration to control the spread, if the cases increase at the same pace.

The increase in the number of cases has many factors attached to it. Going by the daily count, the most common emotion faced by all is fear and apprehension of a new wave. It makes everyone anxious and panicky.

Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, the J&K administration has stressed on adopting CAB and following all precautions to avoid the spread of the infection.

But on the other hand, people by and large have taken the present situation lightly and do not follow CAB and other precautions in markets and at other social gatherings.

It has been reported that Covid-19 cases are on the rise because the people were participating in marriage functions and other social gatherings as well as wearing face masks and maintaining social distance.

It is the primary responsibility of everyone to take precautions rather than taking risk of getting infected with the virus by not following CAB.

All the stakeholders have to do their bit and cooperate with the government in adhering to the Covid-19 SoPs which are already set from the last two years now.

Covid-19 is not new for us as we have experienced its first and second wave in the last two years. So we all are aware about Do's and Dont's of the deadly virus.

The doctors have already advised people to wear face masks and follow other precautions while the government has also advised people to follow precautions rather than panicking.

From small gatherings to big shopping malls people have to ensure that all precautions are followed to avoid spread of the virus. Same applies for educational institutions and offices. The school management should ensure that all SoPs are in place for the safety of the students. Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, small school-going children are seen bundled in small vans in violation of Covid-19 SoPs thus putting the lives of students at risk. The concerned authorities should look into it and instruct the van drivers to ferry students as per the seating capacity of the students. Also, there should be no overloading in school buses as well.

The J&K administration as well experts have stressed for following CAB amid the continuous surge in the daily count of Covid-19 cases in J&K.

Notably, the J&K Chief Secretary (CS) Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta has already appealed to the people of J&K to take necessary precautions and be safe in view of the rising cases of Covid-19.

He also asserted that it was better to take preventive measures than taking the risk of getting affected by the disease.

The warnings and advice were issued after it was observed that adherence to SOPs have taken a huge hit which was contributing to the fresh concerns surrounding the pandemic.

Despite repeated warnings issued by experts and urging people to adhere to Covi-19 SoPs, people are still seen violating the protocols in public places and at social gatherings.

The situation forced the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department to caution the health officials and asked them to stay alert.

The Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education (H&ME) department, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi earlier asked health officials to promote Covid-19 Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and ramp up testing facilities as well.

Following this, the Deputy Commissioners in various districts have issued instructions and made wearing of face masks mandatory at public places and gatherings. The instructions were issued in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases in J&K UT.

No doubt various preventive measures are recommended by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India such as wearing of Face Masks, maintenance of social distance and hand sanitization which are reiterated by the Department of Disaster Management Relief and Rehabilitation, J&K through various SOPs issued from time to time as effective means of COVID-19 containment.

The district administrators have noted that it was imperative to ensure strict implementation of all preventive measures such as usage of face masks and maintenance of social distance in all the public places across the District to minimize the spread of covid-19 infection.

In view of it the concerned Chairperson District Disaster Management Authority in exercise of powers vested in them under section-34 of Disaster Management Act 2005 have ordered that use of Face Masks shall be compulsory at all public places in the district with immediate effect till further orders.

Moreover, all district, sector-al officers have been instructed to ensure usage of face masks by all officers and officials in their respective offices.

No doubt there is no need to push the panic button but to be on a safer side it is imperative that all the SoPs are strictly followed for the betterment of the community. We should keep it in mind that Covid19 is not over yet.

It can strike anytime if people stop being sensible and stop adherence to Covid19 protocols. It is our collective responsibility to contain the spread of Coronavirus and safeguard our lives and others’ as well. Let us follow precautions instead of creating panic and spreading the virus. Let good sense prevail.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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