Lockdown Looms

The novel coronavirus numbers are rising rapidly in the last month in India. It has seen spurt in last eighteen days in Jammu and Kashmir. On April 2, highest single day spike with 517 cases and five deaths due to it were reported. The rising number of cases, more than 4000 in J&K, in last 18 days has brought back the spectre of a lockdown. Some states or UTs have already gone for limited lockdowns in some cities, and the threat of a more stringent lockdown looms large over in the worst-affected ones.
While reviewing the situation, the Cabinet Secretary said that that there has been almost a ten-fold increase in the number of fresh cases reported in February earlier this year and now.
Considering the “deterioration” in the Covid-19 scenario, the Cabinet Secretary emphasized that it is time once again a comprehensive approach of the Governments in the States/UTs is adopted to meet the challenge.
He attributed the sudden rise in cases to complacency in the community as a result of slight improvement in the numbers ending last year. He said vaccination alone was no panacea to the problem and called for strict need for testing, tracing, containment and enforcement of Covid appropriate behaviour.  There is need for a clear message from top level to the entire government machinery that all weapons in the armoury are required to be utilized along with vaccination to deal with the problem.
Amid this disturbing scenario, several assessments of the effectiveness of the previous lockdown have already been made. However people and experts are divided if lockdown was only option moving forward. There is need to balance life and living. Economy in Kashmir is looking forward to the post-pandemic period and only hopes that wheels remain in motion. There is need to increase the vaccinations. There is need to hasten up processing of administering the vaccine and it cannot be over emphasized. As such the government needs to speed up vaccination drive and set up more inoculation centres. The Jammu and Kashmir needs covid-19 to be controlled immediately otherwise the prospective season could turn in despair, more so for tourism industry.  The government needs also to go for aggressive testing, followed by effective isolation and contact tracing. It is still the best control measure the government has against this pandemic and it is what has been emphasized by the Cabinet Secretary.

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