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Arrangements in place to tackle possible 3rd Covid wave: Div Com

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Experts warn, 3rd wave could be deadly

Srinagar: The divisional administration Kashmir on Thursday said that it has put in place elaborate arrangements and is ready to tackle the possible third wave of Covid-19.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole while talking to media-persons on the sidelines of the function here at DIPR auditorium, said that the two waves of Covid witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir behaved differently.

“In the first wave, the spread of virus was not too high while in the second wave, the Covid behaved differently as the spread was high and the shortage of oxygen beds was also experienced,” he said.

He, however, said that keeping in view the situations faced in two waves so far, the government has made arrangements accordingly and is ready to face challenges.

“The oxygen plants have been increased manifold to ensure that the situation is tackled easily. Resources have been planned as per the experience from two waves. We have also come up with five-bed hospitals,” he said.

Asked about the weekend lockdown, Pole said that it has been observed that the people don’t comply with the Covid guidelines properly and on Saturdays and Sundays people come out of their homes and visit different places. So in order to prevent the virus spread and ensure proper adherence to the guidelines, the decision to continue with the weekend lockdown is in place.

He added that although the Covid positivity ratio is declining, some variants are being reported at present. “Amid non-adherence to the guidelines, some restrictions are not being lifted to ensure the situation remains under control,” he said.

About the opening of educational institutions, he said the decision when taken in this regard will be shared accordingly.

Reacting to a query about the renovation of the Boulevard road that caved in some months ago, he said that tenders have been floated and the road will be repaired shortly.

Meanwhile, a medical expert in Kashmir has warned against lowering the guard in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying the third wave of Covid will be deadly.

Dr Muhammad Salim Khan, the head of Department of Community Medicine at GMC Srinagar, said the people should follow the guidelines fixed previously in order to minimise the impact of the third wave of the pandemic.

“The third wave of Covid will be highly dangerous, fatal and can take a heavy toll of lives,” Khan said.

Following a decrease in the number of positive cases with each passing day and less number of admission of Covid patients in hospitals, the effect of the second wave of COVID-19 has diminished to a large extent, he said.

However, this has also resulted in lowering of guard against Covid by the masses which can pose serious threat and lay the base for predicted third wave, he added.

“The decrease in Covid positive cases and the number of Covid deaths is an encouraging indication of winning the fight against the second Covid wave,” Khan said.

The doctor cautioned that a drop in number of positive cases has resulted in non-seriousness among the people towards Covid-appropriate behaviour, adherence to SOPs, particularly wearing of masks and physical distancing, adding that such behaviour poses serious threat of third wave of coronavirus.

“Crowding the markets, health resorts and weddings without wearing masks and no regard for social distance is unsolicited and unbecoming behaviour. In the interest and safety of our families and society, we need to act responsibly in every domain of life and social interaction,” he added.

While acknowledging that people mostly remained confined to homes for one-and-a-half year and are eager to start their normal life, Khan said people may go out to attend to their needs but strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour is needed to avoid possible third wave.

Additionally, he strongly recommended and emphasised on vaccination for everyone and described it as a strong tool in the fight against the deadly disease.

He said vaccination of elderly people has been almost completed and now, all the individuals above 18 years should get themselves vaccinated.

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