Involve health experts in decision making
Now that the Lt. Governor’s administration has woken up to the challenges thrown by the growing spread of Covid-19 and has decided to re-impose restrictions in declared containment zones, the people to need to sense and smell the threat to their lives and cooperate in implementing the restrictions.With an alarming spike in fresh cases of Covid-19 and subsequent increase in the death toll due to the novel coronavirus, the situation in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has turned quite worrisome. Though a permanent lockdown was no answer to the crisis and that is why countries including India have been easing restrictions, but people in general took the Unlock as a signal that ‘all was well’ and started their courses of lives the way they used to do in pre-Covid era. This irresponsible attitude coupled with administration’s unimaginative and unwise decisions of allowing Amarnath Yatra and throwing parks and gardens open added to the troubles. People started questioning that if Yatra can be held and if parks and gardens could be thrown open, why should they restrict their movement? This resulted into carelessness of the masses that resulted into dangerous spread of Coronavirus. People failed to understand that in absence of restrictions, imposed earlier, they themselves have to voluntarily follow some restrictions. But they did not.
Like people, the administration too has to understand that the present crisis is not of administrative nature or a law and order issue. It is pandemic that has engulfed the entire world and needs to be dealt with not by bureaucrats but by medical experts and medicos. However, strangely, where every Tom, Dick and Harry in the administration is coming up with lengthy lectures about the health scenario, the ones who are well versed about the subject – medicos – are nowhere to be seen except in their respective hospital wards. Need is that whatever decisions are taken to stop the spread of the deadly virus and to flatten the dangerous curve, medicos should be the primary party to be consulted with. It should be the medical experts, scientists and doctors who should be communicating with the people on daily basis about the threats and precautions. Let administration constitute a team of health experts who would be advising it when to implement restrictions and when to ease the same. Covid-19 is the reality of our lives. It is a danger that moves along us and we can’t wish it away. It is here to stay and therefore, till scientists are able to come up with some cure or vaccine, we may have to live with Lock-Unlock-Lock-Unlock for quite some time. But need is that these decisions are left to health experts and let administration play only the executing role. People have to understand the gravity of the situation and take all precautionary measures to defeat the transmission of the deadly virus. The restrictions may be relaxed but that does not mean that people should behave the way they used to pre-Covid-19 threat. Life styles have to change, human contact is to be minimized and masks are to be made a permanent feature of our daily attire.