Involve the Community

THE figures tell a story about the Covid-19 cases in Kashmir: The count has now gone well past 13000 cases. Out of these cases, 5,797 are active positive, 7,165 have recovered and around 250 have died, most of them in Kashmir. Srinagar district with 62 deaths has the highest fatalities followed by Baramulla at 50, On Saturday, for the first time, the number of patients recovered were higher than those who tested positive on a single day. Patients, numbering 607, were cured and discharged from different hospitals in the union territory even as 441 new cases were reported. Similarly, of the total of over 13000 cases, 3,202 have been reported as travellers.

Since most of the active numbers are concentrated in the Valley, it is challenging to tackle them for the existing healthcare infrastructure. Any upgradation of the medical infrastructure over the past four months isn't sufficient to treat the surging number of cases.

Going forward the situation doesn't give any confidence. At the current rate, the number of cases are going to be far too many in near future to be handled by our doctors. More so, when the healthcare professionals are also now indicating that the community transmission might have already set in. The situation, we are given to believe, has aggravated after the government took steps to open up the economy. And which is also important. It is not possible for people to remain in a perpetual state of lockdown. This has already wrought havoc with the economy. More so, in Valley which has been under lockdown for the past twelve months. This has led to a loss of employment for thousands of people. The vital sectors of our economy like tourism, horticulture, handicrafts have been hit hard. So, perpetuating the lockdown is not an option. What the administration can do and which is eminently possible is to create more awareness about social distancing norms and take action against the people and the businessmen who violate it. It is time people are made responsible for their own health. We have to ensure that both life and livelihood are saved.

And to this end, the government will have to run an aggressive awareness campaign about the disease. It has to also work towards involvement of the community by charging village, locality elders, mosque managements etc to ensure people follow the safety precautions. Government should also enlist the youth for the purpose. This will go a long way to make a redeeming difference to the attitude of the people towards the contagion and in turn arresting its spread.

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