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Don’t lower guard!

Editorial CAITLYN SAMPLEY AGGIE


The Covid-19 situation has considerably improved in Jammu and Kashmir along with the rest of India. On Tuesday, the country reported 28,204 Covid-19 cases, the lowest daily caseload since March 16. The death toll due to the virus rose by 373 to 428,682. With improvement in the country’s Covid-19 situation and pick-up in the vaccination drive, several states/UTs have allowed schools and colleges to reopen for offline classes. As the Covid scenario remains under control, several states/UTs have announced the reopening of schools for offline classes. Schools in Delhi reopened for classes X to XII from Monday. The Maharashtra government has also announced the reopening of physical classes in schools in both rural and urban areas from August 17; Uttar Pradesh to reopen schools for intermediate students from August 16. The Odisha government had already reopened schools for students of classes 10-12 on July 26 after a gap of more than three months. Northeastern state Meghalaya is also looking to reopen educational institutions after mid-August. Karnataka has recently announced to resume offline classes for students of Class 9-10, and for pre-university college students from August 23. The data shows that the worst of this wave is behind us. However, as encouraging the numbers are, they must also not be a reason for complacency as we now undoubtedly know how this disease goes into shell before coming back with ferocity we are hardly able to control. We must remember that the behavioural pattern of putting masks on and off intermittently, improper wearing of masks and not following Covid-appropriate behaviour contributed to the second wave of the viral disease. People at large have to keep in mind their responsibility in the fight against this deadly virus. We cannot give up on life-saving practices of wearing a mask, ensuring that we strictly adhere to social distancing norms, and most of all get ourselves fully vaccinated to save our and others lives in the process. While everyone is talking about the possibility and severity of a third Covid-19 wave, doctors say any such wave can be prevented or at least suppressed by ensuring that all are vaccinated. Everything about the emergence of third Covid-19 wave, its severity and impact on children has been talked about on social media but there is an equal possibility of preventing or suppressing it, by ensuring cent percent vaccination of the entire population, say doctors who are in the middle of the fight against the virus. According to them, the strategy of vaccination of the entire population must be implemented properly without leaving behind any eligible individual. This they say will increase the defense mechanism against new infection in the body and nullify chances of catching virus again. If all the adults in a family get vaccinated, the chances of children getting infected is highly unlikely as vaccinated parents become a shield for children. Health experts also warn that infodemics need to be curbed since they induce fear and Covid vaccination phobia among the people. People are advised to cross check the source of news from Google to ascertain veracity of content of news which will help them not to fall for fake stories.