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Experts blame public negligence for spike in COVID cases in Kashmir

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Say adhering to SOPs has to be a new normal as situation won’t change for now…

Srinagar: As the count of active Covid cases and the mortality is going up with each passing day in J&K, experts say that negligence by the people is the main cause of the spike.

They say that the virus can be defeated, or at least contained, only if people take strict precautions in terms of following the Covid-related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

They also say that the masses need to adopt these SOPs as a new normal because nothing will change immediately.

“Let us be clear that the virus is not going away overnight. Everyone must understand that taking extreme precautions is the only way to ensure safety from this invisible enemy. We all have to adjust with these SOPs for a long time ahead.” Dr. Syed Mudasir Qadri, Associate Professor, Internal and Pulmonary Medicine at SKIMS, told ‘Kashmir Images’.

Referring to rise in active Covid cases across the UT, Qadri said, “It is our social responsibility to ensure the chain of infection breaks. And that is possible only if everyone adheres to ongoing restrictions on movement. Once the chain of infection breaks, we will eventually see decline in the number of active cases day by day.”

Pertinently, Jammu and Kashmir has seen a surge in Covid cases and deaths, particularly since mid-April. As many as 3733 fresh active cases of Coved and 51 deaths, the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, were recorded on Monday in J&K.

The first three days of this month recorded a total of 11,136 new cases with 139 deaths in the UT.

From April 27 onward, more than 3000 fresh cases and mortality in two digits are registered daily.

With this unprecedented rise in fresh cases, hospitals in the Valley have started getting overwhelmed because many of the infected people require hospitalization.

“Our hospitals are already full. We do not have enough oxygen and ICU beds here. We have been seeing this much mortality for the first time since the pandemic outbreak last year,” says Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan, president of the Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK).

Stressing on the continuation of the lockdown, Hassan said that the health system in J&K cannot bear the surplus burden of Covid patients for a long.

“In a pandemic like this, no health system can sustain the burden of infected patients beyond a certain limit. Therefore, to avoid a catastrophe, we have to contain the virus by containing people,” he said.

Officials say that many people deliberately avoid precaution even knowing that they are putting themselves and others in danger.

“Unfortunately, many people do not follow the SOPs. Some of them do not go for testing even after feeling symptoms of the virus. They not only endanger themselves but also put others around them at risk. People should wear face masks, ensure social distancing, and maintain hygiene to stop the spread of the pandemic,” Dr. Talat Jabeen, an epidemiologist, who is also the Nodal Officer Divisional COVID control room Kashmir, told this newspaper.

“In the given situation, people need to play smart to ensure the virus does not spread any further. They have to take care of their lives as everything else is secondary,” she added.

“We might be facing a situation like in Delhi and Mumbai here too if we fail to contain the virus at this point in time,” Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan cautioned.

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