Srinagar: Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole on Tuesday said that there was no immediate plan of imposing lockdown in view of rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the valley.
However, he said if the situation worsens, appropriate decisions will be taken by the administration accordingly at that time.
Admitting that there is carelessness among people despite adequate information about the precautions needed to curtail the spread of COVID-19, he said this attitude has to change before the situation worsens further. “Be it in the administration or common masses, any COVID related carelessness has to end immediately. We need to learn from the situation in other states,” he added.
“There is no immediate plan of the administration to impose lockdown in Kashmir valley. The situation that has arisen in other parts of the country due to the second wave of COVID-19 is definitely emerging in J&K as well. But, it is not that serious… we have still taken timely extra precautions to curtail the spread of the virus in the valley,” Mr Pole told reporters during a press conference here on Tuesday.
Pole said that COVID-19 pandemic has undergone three stages. “In the first stage, lockdown was implemented without any knowledge about the virus to save the lives of our people…. The lockdown was implemented in different phases and after sufficient information about the behavior of the virus guidelines were tailored accordingly. But, people suffered economically,” he said.
The Div Com said in the second phase a balance was made between saving life and economy. “There was a stage that COVID was at its lowest in November, December and even in January,” he said.
He said ‘currently we are undergoing a third phase during which our routine life is normal, but COVID-19 cases are also increasing’. However, he said in this phase there is an advantage that experts already know the protection protocols. “We may not know much about the virus, but we know how to prevent its spread and how to defeat it. People are also well aware about the measures they need to take to keep themselves safe,” he added.
Giving details, he said at present there are 7351 active positive Covid-19 cases, out of which symptomatic/serious cases, are admitted in different Coronavirus Designated Health Facilities while as asymptomatic cases are put under home isolation with strict surveillance by district surveillance teams.
“During the course of 13 months, a total of 1297 COVID-19 deaths have taken place giving a Case Fatality Rate of 1.46 per cent in J&K, with maximum contribution to these deaths from Srinagar (487) deaths.
“A total of 28,10,339 Covid-19 tests have been performed till date which include 20,82,568 RAT and 7,27,771 RT-PCR Tests. More than 7.5 lakh people have received COVID-19 vaccination in Kashmir which includes Health Care Workers, Front-line Workers and people aged more than 45 years,” he added.
Asserting that there is no shortage of Oxygen supply in hospitals, he said non-medical oxygen supply is totally banned.
Answering a question about shortage of oxygen to private hospitals and non-COVID patients in view of administration asking NGOs to return the Oxygen cylinders, he said the supply will be made available for everyone. “We will only register them so that we can monitor that oxygen is supplied only for medical purposes,” he added.
He said other COVID-19 protocols, including maintaining social distancing and wearing masks in public places will be strictly enforced in the valley. “Keeping in view the dependency of economy of J&K on tourism, efforts are being made the people don’t move in public places without masks.