Srinagar, Nov 1: As winter has almost arrived people in Kashmir fear that this year life is going to be tough as the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.
“This is not for the first time that we are bracing up for winter season but the warnings sounded by the experts about COVID cases may increase due to chill are a cause of concern,” said Farooq Ahmed, a government employee.
He said, “In winters Kashmiris have to fight on many fronts, chill, shortage of essential commodities and the frequent closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. Now the COVID is yet another factor which they will have to battle during the coming months.”
Another citizen said, “This year it seems that the winter has arrived early. Cough, cold and fever are very common during this season. Anyone who will even get simple flu will become a suspect.”
He said, “Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) being unreliable is a cause of worry. Experts are of the opinion that these tests sometimes give false positive and false negative COVID reports and these cannot be relied upon.”
A medico said, “There is no need to panic but we have to remain extra cautious and vigilant. The COVID has resurfaced in the countries where the cases had declined. The vaccine will hold the key but a huge population has to be vaccinated and it can take longtime. We are not out of the woods still.”
He said, “On average J&K is recording more than 500 new COVID cases everyday and the ones who are not lucky are dying. Situation continues to be grim as death toll in J&K is nearing 1500. How the virus will behave remains to be seen.”
An official said, “Every possible attempt is being made to stock the essential commodities in every part of Kashmir. The administration is aware of the fact that coming months are going to be crucial and no chances can be taken. All the departments have been directed to remain prepared so that people don’t face any difficulties.”
A doctor said, “In winters government will have to make adequate heating arrangements in the hospitals and the COVID care centers. Steps have to be taken well in advance. The prevailing chill is an indication that winter is going to be tough.”
He said, “People should bear in mind that if they don’t follow the COVID protocol it can have far reaching consequences and we can witness a very difficult situation in the coming months.”