No room for complacency  

No room for complacency  

The number of COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir surpassed 400-mark and till date Kashmir has 370 and Jammu 57 Covid-19 patients. The higher number of cases in Kashmir is perhaps due to the fact that people from Valley travel more than their counterparts in Jammu. Besides for livelihood, a significant number of people go to Saudi Arabia and Iran for religious purposes. Many well-off Kashmiris also visit countries like Dubai and the other Gulf and Arab countries to escape the winter. Come March, a large number of them return home. Depicted in data for the Covid-19 cases, around 30 percent of them have history of travel to outside while around 60% are contacts of the previous patients.
Even though the COVID-19 cases in the Kashmir are still within manageable levels, there is need to arrest the trend and no room for complacency. One would advocate continuing with the lockdown strictly for now but there are questions particularly what after the lockdown comes to an end. For how long can the devastating economic impact of the shutdown of the businesses would be allowed?
For now, there is partially relaxing of the lockdown for COVID-19 in zones that do not have high concern.
After having eased the restrictions after about a month, the Jammu and Kashmir government must have got the feedback on how to go about it. This is of course beyond the manner, form and related areas that stand incorporated in Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). There is no doubt that all the activities—commercial, industrial and services—cannot start suddenly. The government has already specified selected industrial, construction and some other activities that would be allowed for the time being.
There are currently over 90 red zones in the J&K, of which considerable numbers are in the Valley. As per an SOP for red zones issued on April 14, the administration has 100 per cent survey and screening of all persons within the red zone.
So far as the Red Zones are concerned, no activities would be allowed. Prudence and discretion demand need to be guarded against COVID-19 threat. Whatever gains have been made on account of lockdown must not only be consolidated but no effort should be spared in ensuring that more gains were made with intent to have zero and no fresh case of the infection from any corner.