Covid-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir continue to rise. 1526 fresh positive cases, highest so far, were reported on Sunday—547 from Jammu and 979 from Kashmir. With this the active cases in J&K have reached 11467. In this month, 15271 cases were added as per data shared by the health department.
With the rise in cases, there is also a surge in the demand for medical oxygen among other essential requirements.
As the country is faced with an onslaught of Covid-19 cases, the demand for medical oxygen has already increased manifold. Several states or UTs are grappling with the shortage of the medical oxygen already. Drawing attention to the worsening Covid-19 situation of the national capital, New Delhi’s Chief Minister also wrote to the Prime Minister, asking for beds and oxygen cylinders for patients. The situation by every passing day seems to be getting worse and the Jammu and Kashmir administration must keep an eye on it. It is not the case that administration is latent in its approach. It has already constituted a committee to ensure adequate and timely supply of medical oxygen to all hospitals to meet the requirements of COVID-19 patients. The other terms of the reference for the committee, includes ensuring adequate stocking of medical oxygen, wherever necessary. While it is good that the administration has already set up the committee, it is expected to move in practical sense rather than remain restricted to paper only. Also, the government is required to keep an eye on private use as people last year scrambled to stock up homes with medical supplies of oxygen cylinders and other essentials.
As has been the case in the past, some unscrupulous dealers jacked up the prices and sold some essential commodities on the black market, leading to fear of shortage of supplies. With a large chunk of the population suffering from comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes, the dread of the need for oxygen therapy is palpable. In this background, the concerned officers have the onerous task of strengthening public faith in the government facilities and abilities. It is vital to check the undue panic and resultant hoarding of the essential supplies. There is also a need to move rapidly in augmenting the bed capacities for the patients as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as per the Lancet Covid-19 Commission India Task Force, is more infectious than last year.