Srinagar: Covid-19 is turning from bad to worse in Kashmir where each day hundreds of new cases are being reported.
The worst district is the entire Jammu and Kashmir is Srinagar, the summer capital where until Friday evening 1,545 cases were detected of which 1,012 were active positive.
At 39 deaths, the district also has the highest number of COVID-19 losses.
Besides, the district also has one of the worst recovery rates in J&K. Of the cumulative 1,545 cases, 494 (31%) have recovered so far.
What is baffling is that amid the daily spikes in the deadly infection, the government has ordered opening up of public parks and gardens across J&K besides also going ahead with the annual Amarnath Yatra.
Alone on Friday, five more COVID-19 patients died in the valley, thus taking the overall death toll due to the virus in Jammu and Kashmir to 160.
Besides, the day also saw another huge spike in COVID-19 cases with 387 new patients testing positive for the virus across J&K.
Srinagar alone reported 97 of the new cases. The numbers in other Kashmir districts for the day were: Pulwama (47), Baramulla (36), Kupwara (34), Kulgam (33), Shopian (14), Anantnag (11), Bandipora (08), Ganderbal (07), and Budgam (06).
In Jammu division, 51 cases alone were recorded from Rajouri, while Jammu district recorded 23 cases.
Doctors are again fervently appealing to the general populace to stick to the COVID-19 protocols.
President, Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) Dr. Suhail Naik said COVID-19 cases and deaths have been rising after restrictions were eased in Kashmir.
“People in the region have stopped taking the infection seriously. Some people feel the pandemic is conspiracy or hoax and that has resulted in complacent behaviour,” he said.
Dr Naik noted that it is illogical to impose a strict lockdown while waiting for a vaccine. “So if people want to move the wheel of socioeconomic sectors and try to take this virus head-on, they should strictly follow physical distancing, wear masks and wash hands frequently,” he said.
He pointed out that any significant deviation from this prescribed protocol will lead to an alarming rise in cases. “People will then go for spontaneous lockdown but that will be too late and no return back situation,” he said.
Professor of Surgery, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Dr Iqbal Saleem said a serious review of the situation is needed. “The patients should not come in waves; they should come in trickles. If they come in waves, our health system will collapse and the death rate will climb,” he said.
He noted that only one percent of mortality has been reported due to COVID 19. “One doesn’t know how many COVID deaths have happened at home and there is no official confirmation on that,” he said.
Dr Iqbal stressed that there should be a smart lockdown rather than a complete lockdown. “The authorities should make sure the livelihood of people doesn’t get affected and at the same time ensure they are safe. Coming out with a concrete plan is the need of the hour,” he said.