Flu vaccines to dried vegetables: Kashmiris brace up for first winter in COVID era

File photo (KM/Umar Ganie)

Srinagar:  From storing essentials to getting flu vaccine shots, Kashmiris are bracing up for first winter in the COVID era.

Indian Meteorological Department has forecasted the winter to be harsher due to the weak La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean.

Doctors in Kashmir have advised people to get vaccinated for flu as a precautionary measure during winter.

Demand for dried vegetables, cooking oil, and spices have shot up as people are buying essentials in abundance to restrict their movement during the peak winter period.

“During winters, the national highway often remains closed.  So we are buying essentials like rice, cooking oil, spices, and dried vegetables in abundance, “said Riyaz Ahmad, who works as a carpenter in Srinagar.

Not just essentials, people are thronging markets to buy charcoal, kerosene, and heating appliances.

“To keep ourselves warm, we need to have a charcoal and kerosene at home,” he said.

Health experts have asked people to follow Covid-19 protocols in letter and spirit during winter.

  “People shouldn’t go out without wearing a mask. They shouldn’t attend social gatherings. Everyone must get a flu vaccine shot to protect themselves from the flu. The flu vaccine will help in producing antibodies against viruses,” said Dr. Shahzada, a physician at JLNM hospital

Scores of the people have already got flu vaccine shots. “In our house we have started eating things that would boost our immune system because the risk of Covid 19 is increasing day by day. My grandfather is a chest disease patient and we have already bought a nebulizer and installed an oxygen concentrator,” said Syed Mehvish, a resident of Hawal.

Power Development Department (PDD) said they are trying their best to ensure uninterrupted electricity during winters.

“We have not made any decision regarding the load shedding. When the temperature drops, the load eventually gets even higher. We will wait and watch before announcing any new power schedule,” said Ajaz Ahmad Dar, chief engineer PDD.

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