Respect lockdown; restrict movement

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Waking up to the dangerous spike in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 and also in deaths related to the infection, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has ordered a strict lockdown till July 28 morning. The fresh lockdown had become necessary as most of the people were not heeding the official warnings and were not following the health guidelines. Not wearing face masks and not maintaining social distance, it seemed that people are on a suicidal path, risking not only their own lives but also of their families’, and others’ too. Not only the ordinary people, but certain institutions including the banks and some government offices too were openly showing their complete disregard for the advisories vis-a-vis the ongoing pandemic. Despite the administration and the health experts issuing guidelines, time and again, the people, by and large, seemed unconcerned about the same. This irresponsible attitude of the people has helped the deadly Coronavirous to spread its tentacles dangerously. The tally of infected people has already crossed the 15000 mark and death toll too is nearing 300. In this backdrop, the administration’s decision of ordering fresh lockdown was both necessary and appropriate.

Now that the administration has made a decision, the ball lies in the court of the people. People have to understand the gravity of the situation. They have to understand that an invisible killer enemy is hovering over their heads. They have to understand that whatever precautions are being suggested by the health experts are to be followed. Covid-19 is the reality of our lives. The virus is here to stay and therefore we have to learn to live with it without allowing it to make us its agents to spread further. Scientists, all over world, are busy trying to find some vaccine or some cure for the coronavirus. But it is going to take some time and till that day comes, people have to be their own protectors. And for doing so, they have to follow the guidelines in letter and spirit. If everyone decides to avoid moving out, unless extremely necessary; wear face masks; avoid social contact and follow regular hand wash directions, the deadly virus will not be able to find any carriers.

On its part, the administration has to prepare itself for the worst. They have to strengthen bed capacity as given the rush of fresh patients, the existing hospital and their bed strength are collapsing. If health experts are to be believed, if the spread of the virus is not contained, Kashmir may need more than 5000 additional oxygen fitted beds to deal with the crisis that is staring the people right in the eye. While one would expect people to follow the guidelines strictly, the administration has to understand and appreciate the gravity of the situation and be prepared for difficult days ahead.

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