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‘Catastrophe in waiting’: Health experts warn of early third wave as people violate COVID SOPs in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Health experts have warned of early third wave as people have started violating COVID-19 protocols with impunity in Kashmir.

For the last few weeks, COVID-19 cases have dropped considerably in Jammu and Kashmir. On average, 170 cases are being reported from Jammu and Kashmir daily.

 

However, the decreasing numbers have created a sense of false victory in Kashmir with people throwing all SOPs to the wind.

From public transport to government offices, people don’t follow the COVID appropriate behavior.

Long queues of unmasked people can be seen outside government offices, banks, Block Development Offices, and hospitals. Same scenes are witnessed in public transport, bakery shops, and wedding venues.

In the last two weeks, Jammu and Kashmir police have fined 38,513 people and recovered Rs 4,512,950 as fine.

Nine violators have been arrested while FIRs have been registered against five persons. Around 56 shops have been sealed during the period.

Since the outbreak of the second wave, J&K police launched a special drive to enforce COVID-19 guidelines. A slew of measures including restrictions under section 144 Cr.PC have been put in place to contain the spread of the virus.

A police official told The Kashmir Monitor that violations of COVID-19 SOPs have increased for the last few weeks due to which more people have been booked.

“Our teams are deputed at various markets, who fine violators under relevant laws. We at the same time appeal to people to wear face masks and follow social distancing,” he said.

Doctors said COVID numbers may increase again if people will not adhere to SOPs.

“We have seen earlier that people lowered their guard after the first COVID-19 wave. If people don’t adhere to the COVID SOPs, we may face another catastrophe,” said HOD Community medicine Government Medical College Srinagar Dr S Muhammad Salim Khan.

He said that people need to actively participate in vaccination drives to protect themselves from viruses.

As many as 320657 have tested positive in Jammu and Kashmir. Of whom 4374 lost their battle to the disease.