Give credit where it is due
Thankfully the number of Covid-19 positive cases and related deaths has been witnessing a downward trend from past few weeks. The credit for this goes to the people of the Union Territory, majority of whom are listening to the counsel of health experts and are following the Covid-19 SOPs. The credit is also due to the entire medical fraternity, workers of social welfare department, teachers and other concerned agencies besides the Lt Governor administration that too the second wave seriously and worked on war-footing basis to prepare for facing the challenge. It is because of the efforts of the administration that unlike rest of the country, in Jammu and Kashmir infected people didn’t die on roads gasping for breath reason being that the administration ensured that medical oxygen is available to all health institutions dealing with the Covid patients. It goes to the credit of Lt Governor who has been reviewing the day to day requirements of medical oxygen, medicines other medical equipment across the UT and giving directions to the officials to augment the infrastructure and utilize all available means of resources at hand to mitigate the Covid effects on common people. The administration has made efforts and it is because of these efforts that while most states across the country were facing acute shortage of medical oxygen, Jammu and Kashmir had sufficient stocks of oxygen across all the hospitals in the UT. As per official figures, the present overall oxygen generation capacity in Jammu and Kashmir stands at 1.5 Lac Cubic Meters as compared to the Consumption of only 103219 Cubic Meters which is only two-thirds of the total availability. Besides, in-house oxygen generation plants have marked a Six-Fold increase from 8920 LPM in April, 2021 to 53150 LPM in May, 2021. While six months back that J&K had only 19 Oxygen Generation Plants, today 40 such units are operational while as 39 are coming up in next 2 months.
While the efforts made by the UT administration are praiseworthy, one should hope that this success doesn’t result into complacency as the pandemic is still here with its potential to infect and kill humans. As the talk of a third wave is already making rounds, the UT administration need to double its efforts and utilize all the resources available with it to strengthen the health sector in Jammu and Kashmir. The second wave has made us realize how ferocious and dangerous this deadly virus could be and thus we should not allow it to repeat what it did during its second wave. The UT administration need to preempt the coming threat and establish more and more Covid facilities besides ensuring surplus medical oxygen and requisite medicines. Besides these preparations, the UT administrations should continue with aggressive vaccination drive and ensure that hundred percent of the people in the eligible age groups are vaccinated so that the very possibility of the third wave hitting is negated. People on their part too should come forward without any hesitations to get vaccinated and should continue following Covid-19 SOPs as that is the only way to stop the spread of the killer virus.