Follow Covid restrictions to stay safe

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The Union Territory government has extended the Covid restrictions till May 24 morning and given the number of people testing positive and the tally of infection related deaths, the restrictions may be continued further as the medical experts continue to insist that coronavirus can be defeated, or at least contained, only if people take strict precautions in terms of following the Covid-related Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The lockdown is meant for the safety of the general masses as the restricted movement of the people alone can break the spread of the infection. However, there are some alarming reports suggesting that in some areas of Srinagar and elsewhere the restrictions are not being followed strictly and people are seen moving out despite the administration making fervent appeals not to do so. Police, on its part, has been trying to enforce the lockdown in letter and spirit and has been registering FIRs against violators and even fining them, however, still some people seem adamant to risk their lives and that of their dear ones by not staying at home.

Medical experts describe the trend of violating lockdown norms as worrisome saying the masses need to adopt Covid-19 SOPs as a new normal because nothing will change immediately. They are of the opinion that despite the vaccination drive, the virus is not going to vanish overnight and therefore taking extreme precautions is the only way to ensure safety from this invisible enemy. It is every individual’s social responsibility to ensure that he/she helps in breaking the chain of infection and that is possible only if everyone adheres to ongoing restrictions on movement. Of late Jammu and Kashmir, like rest of the country, has been witnessing dangerous spike in Covid-19 positive cases and also infection related deaths. It was this spike that forced the administration to declare lockdown and the spread of the virus can be contained only by containing peoples’ movement. If people abide by the official guidelines and adhere to the SOPs, the deadly virus could be defeated and lives could be saved. The political, social and religious leaders should play their role in the fight against the Covid and use their respective areas of influence to make people aware about the dangers of not following the SOPs and convince them to adhere to the officially declared restrictions.

People have to understand that with unprecedented rise in fresh cases, hospitals in the Valley have started getting overwhelmed as many of the infected people require hospitalization. The hospitals in Jammu and Kashmir are already full. Though as of now the authorities are managing the supply of Oxygen but if people don’t follow the guidelines and continue allowing the virus to spread, there is every likelihood that health sector will collapse resulting into a disaster beyond repair. It is therefore imperative that people understand that the lockdown has been announced for their safety. It is not a routine curfew to deal with some law and order situation but a step that is aimed at saving peoples’ lives. Though the law enforcing agencies are doing their best to ensure that people stay indoors but these agencies alone can’t do anything. People have to behave as responsible citizens and understand that one who doesn’t follow the guidelines is doing utmost disservice to his/her own self, family and the society at large.

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