Covid-19 – Don’t invite 3rd wave!
With the easing of situation on Covid-19 front, the UT administration has ordered further relaxation in restrictions in 16 of the 20 J&K districts. Barring Srinagar, Kupwara, Reasi and Doda districts, weekend curfew has been lifted. While people are jubilant that the restrictions have been eased and thus they can resume their economic activities, 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). There are some alarming reports suggesting that some people still don’t take the risks involved seriously and roam around without taking the necessary precautions. As the gardens and parks and other tourist destinations have been opened for public, people have started gathering there without following the proper SOPs. Even people are seen frequenting crowded markets without wearing face masks. Police, on its part, has been trying to make people follow the SOPs by 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 adopting the appropriate behavior.
Medical experts describe the trend of violating SOPs 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 responsibility to ensure that he/she helps in breaking the chain of infection and that is possible only if everyone adheres to ongoing SOPs. Of late Jammu and Kashmir, like rest of the country, has witnessing dangerous spike in Covid-19 positive cases and also infection related deaths. It was this spike that forced the administration to declare lockdown to contain the peoples’ movement to stop the spread of the virus. Though from past few weeks the UT of Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed decrease in positive cases, adhering to the SOPs is the only way to defeat the deadly virus.
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. As the medical experts have been insisting that the third wave of Covid-19 could be deadliest, those who don’t follow the SOPs are, in a way, inviting this wave which would spare them only if they adopt Covid appropriate behaviour. It is therefore imperative that people understand that following the SOPs is the only way to safety. 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. While the authorities have launched a full-fledged vaccination campaign and more and more people are getting vaccinated, the SOPs still remain the only measure to defeat the virus. People should not become complacent as the medical experts are continuously suggesting that even after getting vaccinated, following of SOPs is a must. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance and washing hands frequently are the new norms and people should prepare themselves to follow these for a longer period.