India is in the middle of its most serious public health emergency which as per some experts is more serious and severe than last year, when the covid-19 pandemic first struck. Jammu and Kashmir is no different and like other states have been recording continuous upsurge in the daily cases. Each day brings in a new record of the number of cases. Nearly one thousand cases get added up to the rising tally every day. Each day also brings in a new set of alarming reports about the impact of the new variants of the virus in the country. As per experts, there are two ways to tame the raving virus. One is vaccination and for it to be successful, the government must do more to dispel negativities and misinformation about it and also more people need to be made eligible for inoculation. The second is Covid-19-appropriate behaviour and as has been stated by Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, it is the best “social vaccine”. At the expense of the retaliation, the night curfew announced to stem the increase of the covid-19 in J&K is nothing close to be sagacious. At the same time, the Lieutenant Governor led administration has made quite a good announcement by asking Deputy Commissioners and Police Superintendents concerned to facilitate religious prayers and functions during curfew timings in the holy month of Ramazan which begins in a day or two depending upon the appearance of the moon. The government has also taken some action to nudge public behaviour back to the norms of the past year but a lot more needs to be done. Perhaps there is a need to take action to control the crowds at gardens and also ensure that the public transport remains safe. Also, there is a need to ensure that all the travelers to the valley are subjected to tests and the processes are ensured religiously. Perhaps, the government should not delay the necessary carrying of negative RT-PCR tests for anyone arriving from outside as has been done by many states or UTs across the country already.
The holy month Ramazan is about to start and people need to be more cautious. There is a need to maintain social distancing as much as possible, ensure everyone wears the mask and take other covid-19 appropriate behavior. It is important for people and the government to foresee the risk of going down the path of some states which are now finding it hard to control the covid-19 curve. The government understandably seems cautious because of the economic implications of restrictions but an unchecked public health crisis will end up taking a much heavier toll.