In the recent past, the number of novel coronavirus cases reported every day in Jammu and Kashmir remains around 500-mark as against over a thousand in 24 hours last month. It is suggestive of two things. One that the spread of covid-19 has reduced and second, more importantly though, the virus is still existing.
As winter has already set in, the virus is bound to spread as has been the case in the context of the United Nations and the United Kingdom besides in J&K’s neighborhood especially the national capital.
Remarks by Dr Vivek Murthy, former US surgeon general, who co-chairs the COVID-19 advisory board of president-elect Joe Biden, need to be weighed in.
“What’s happening now in particular is that with winter, as people move indoors, this is actually the perfect set up for the virus because we know it’s easier to spread indoors than outdoors,” Murthy said.
In context with the country, some events have enabled the pestilence to spread. 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.
They also remain the cheapest protection against disease and financial loss can be prevented, including for the present and into the near future when the disease is overcome completely. The people must understand that prevention remains the key while the administration needs to create awareness about the potency of the virus.