JAMMU and Kashmir has recorded a 250 percent increase in Covid-19 cases over the past 10 days triggering fresh alarm about the resurgence of the infection in the union territory. From 1130 cases on July 16, the toll has reached around 4000 now. Eight deaths have been reported this month, seven of them in the Jammu division. This has prompted the authorities to direct health officials to start booster vaccine doses against the virus on a war footing. On Monday, J&K Chief Secretary directed the officials “to organise systematic vaccination drives for prompt booster vaccination of the remaining segment.” He called for the administering of the booster doses to the remaining population within the set deadlines. On a positive note, the director SKIMS Dr Parvaiz Ahmad Koul told the Chief Secretary that the current trends showed low Covid mortality,
However, this is no reason to take things easy. The pandemic is returning with new virus strains – albeit not as deadly as their earlier versions which killed millions around the world, with India being one of the hardest-hit countries. India was swamped by an avalanche of cases, more so during the second wave that broke out in January and February 2021. The country itself witnessed over three lakh daily infections from January 19 to 24. But thankfully, the wave soon subsided. Ever since, there have been sporadic outbreaks but none of them as fatal or virulent as the first three waves. The number of mortalities has also progressively gone down. But that is no reason to let our guard down. We have to gear up to face and defeat the new variants.
With the abating of the Omicron wave which broke out early this year, there was a temporary sense of relief across the world. The economies started re-opening in most parts of the world. But fresh surges in some countries should be a warning that the virus is here to stay for some more time. In fact, it has already become endemic now.
So far, Covid-19 has turned out to be a very stubborn virus. Despite full vaccination by a large mass of people across the globe, the outbreaks have not stopped. Here’s hoping that the new Covid variants become milder so that people can live with them. But meanwhile, the governments and the people can’t afford to take the fresh strains lightly. There is a need to continue to follow Covid precautions in public.
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