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Ongoing COVID wave in Kashmir to peak in two to three weeks, say experts; ‘next 15 days critical’

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File Photo: KM/Umar Ganie


Srinagar: Experts on Wednesday said that the ongoing COVID-19 wave in Kashmir is expected to peak in the next two to three weeks.

Former director SKIMS, Chairman Covid Advisory Committee and renowned Gastroenterologist Dr Mohammed Sultan Khuroo said the peak of second wave is expected in three weeks and till then the cases will continue to surge.

 

He said that the fight against COVID needs to be intensified and it shall take more efforts from the administration and public to control the surge given the more virulent strain which can evade and cause breakthrough infections.

“Travel discipline to J&K needs to be implemented and all travellers who board a plane or a train, bus to visit J&K must have a prior RT-PCR negative certificate,” Khuroo said.

“The test needs to be repeated at the entry point, at least by a rapid antigen test. Those who are positive must be quarantined strictly to avoid the spread of infection,” he said.

Khuroo said that testing and tracing policy should be intensified and made more realistic.

“Rapid testing should be limited to specific circumstances and the RT-PCR facility must be made readily and quickly available,” he said.

“Vaccine hesitancy needs to be fought and the vaccination program must be strengthened. This shall reduce infections and further mutations,” he said.

Another expert Dr Nisar Ul Hassan said at the current estimates, the peak of the second wave is about to come in the next 15 days.

He said at least 3 percent patients who test positive for Covid-19 need hospitalisation and oxygen support.

“And if the cases continue to surge with the current speed, our hospitals won’t be able to cope up and in order to break the chain there is need to continue restrictions,” Hassan said.

“There is need to remain further cautious and not to lower the guard even if cases start declining,” he said, adding that fresh waves can come anytime and could be more deadly as most of the population is yet to be vaccinated.

Hassan said that the virus is behaving differently and “the only predictability about it is that it is unpredictable.”

Renowned Pulmonologist Dr Khursheed Ahmad said the situation is very severe and beds at most of the leading hospitals including CD hospital are full, while peak of the wave is expected in next three weeks.

“The need of the hour is that people must impose self-lockdown and not wait for government lockdown so that we can make the chain weak,” Dr Ahmad said.

He added that it is community transmission and there are hardly few households who are yet to contract the virus and people must keep their movement restricted to their lawns.

“People must remain extra cautious and anyone having symptoms must get tested and there is no need to rush to the hospital if anyone comes positive as around 85 positive patients need mild treatment and good hydration,” he said.  KNO)