Covid resurgence: Doctors advise people to wear masks

April 4, 2023
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SRINAGAR: Amid Covid resurgence, doctors have advised people to wear masks in crowded places to keep the virus at bay.

Jammu and Kashmir has seen a rise in Covid cases for the last ten days. Data reveal that the total positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir stand at 166. On Monday, 40 new cases were detected. Of which, 19 were in Kashmir and 21 in Jammu.

Sensing trouble, the government has launched an awareness campaign to motivate people to follow Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB).

“Infections are quite common. It is because of various circulating viruses. These include Influenza A, Influenza B, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus). People should avoid gatherings. They should also follow CAB,” said Professor Muhammad Salim Khan, head, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar.

Dr. Khan said people should preferably wear masks in crowded settings. “Symptoms are mild. There is no need to panic. But one needs to be alert. Wearing masks is advisable. People going outdoors or in crowded places should wear masks. People also need to follow hand hygiene and cough etiquette,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir government has gone into overdrive and decided to ramp up testing. Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK) wrote to Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) to increase COVID-19 testing.

“In continuation to the letter regarding COVID-19 testing, it has been observed that there is no increase in the COVID-19 testing rate. Furthermore, there hasn’t been any increase in the proportion of testing of RT-PCR which should be the benchmark of a minimum 80 percent of total COVID-19 testing. You are directed to increase the rate of COVID-19 testing, the proportion of RT-PCR testing and ensure the establishment of flu clinics at all the health institutions as per the guidelines issued by MoHFW,” the letter said.

DHSK has also directed officers to carry out an awareness campaign so that people follow CAB. “We have to follow CAB. We have been issuing appeals from time to time. The campaign is going on social media. Director Health came on the air. CMOs and DHOs are appealing to people through various mediums that they need to follow protocols,” said Dr. Mir Mushtaq, spokesman of DHSK.

Officials said there have been no hospitalizations so far in Kashmir. The government said they have enough beds available to meet any exigency.

“We have no hospitalizations so far. We have adequate facilities available. Even in the peak of Covid, we did not have any bed shortage. We are self-sufficient. We are on alert. There is nothing to panic about,” he said.

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