Srinagar, Oct 21: Kashmir is bracing up for winter amid COVID-19 pandemic as experts have warned that the virus could become deadly in the cold weather.
A medico while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “People seem to have become complacent. We see very few people wearing masks. Social distancing norms are being violated everywhere. When the pandemic broke out in Kashmir in March this year, winter was almost over and the temperatures had improved. For COVID it’s the first winter in Kashmir.”
“Flu is a common thing in the winter season in Kashmir. It will become very difficult for doctors to differentiate between a normal flu and COVID after the mercury plummets,” he added.
President of Doctors Association of Kashmir and flu expert Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan warned that the “complacency could trigger a second wave of COVID-19 infection.”
He said, “People no longer regard pandemic as a risk and have thrown caution to the wind. We are not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 is far from over and we must not lower our guard. We are sitting on a powder keg that could explode any time.”
An official said that the government is trying to put all the arrangements in place ahead of winters as the experts have warned that the virus can behave erratically during the cold season. “The administration is aware about the challenges that people can face during winters. Hospitals and other health institutions are being equipped to prevent crisis like situation. We are taking the warnings being issued by the experts seriously. There is no scope for sitting back and relaxing,” the official added.
A doctor said, “It seems that the vaccine won’t reach Kashmir before March next year. It means people will be without any protective shield during the winter months. Things are not going to be that easy. The COVID cases declining doesn’t mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is very much there and no one can predict how it will behave in the coming days. We have to keep our fingers crossed till the vaccine comes.”
The doctor said, “The rush in the hospitals hasn’t declined yet. COVID positive patients are visiting the health facilities daily. Thousands of asymptomatic patients are under home quarantine. Situation continues to be grim.”
It’s in place to mention here that during the winter season people prefer to move outside Kashmir to save themselves from biting cold, but this year the situation in other states is also grim as the COVID-19 continues to rule the roost. We may not see many people moving out of the Valley this winter due to the pandemic.