Some gains have been made as regards containing the spread of covid-19 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Of late, the cases have reduced in numbers with Jammu division recording far lesser cases than the Valley.
Also, there have been comparatively lesser cases in rural areas due to agricultural and horticulture-related activities given the people are confined with their families.
In context with the country, some events have enabled the virus to spread. These have ranged from the opening of markets and big funerals of politicians. Also many people were infected when places of worship were allowed to be thronged. People are seen giving a go by to various protocols aimed at containing the covid-19 spread. There is very low visibility as regards the wearing of masks. Furthermore, the covid-19 estimations remain a mosaic of data, without a standardised system for testing, tracing and isolation across Jammu and Kashmir. There are questions on employing and more reliance on rapid antigen tests. Some experts openly say that numbers are showing a decline in test positivity rates due to it. There are little efforts by various sectors on spreading health messaging on the dangers of another wave of infections. The J&K government, like many other UTs and States, has been trying to present a picture of near-normality to boost economic activity, highlight recoveries over risk, and people are lowering their guard.
The experts have reiterated time and again that the fight must not weaken until there is an affordable vaccine; they specifically want people to learn to live with an endemic virus.
The emphasis, therefore, has to be on preparing for the new normal, adopting acknowledged defences such as masking, distancing norms and hand hygiene.
The winter season has already arrived in the Valley and advises by the experts, some of them based on scrupulous surveys, would be unwise to be overlooked. The recent upsurge of cases in some countries suggests that the winter will be critical in the fight against the virus. There are chances that the weather may increase the vulnerability of those with respiratory ailments.
Under such circumstances, the cheapest protection against disease and financial loss is prevention, including for the present and into the near future when vaccine would be available. The people must understand that prevention remains the key while the administration needs to create awareness about the possibility of a second wave.