The covid-19 second wave is spreading like a typhoon, Prime Minister of India Nadrendra Modi told the nation in his address on Tuesday night. The virus numbers are rapidly increasing, breaking the old records within hours. Jammu and Kashmir reported 2030 new covid-19 cases on April 20, the highest ever single day spike so far. Eight more people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the fatality count in Kashmir Valley alone to 1300 and overall 2071 in J&K, with 771 deaths reported in Jammu region. In this month alone, around 80 people lost lives to the covid-19 while more than 16000 cases were added to the burgeoning tally. The surge in the cases points out that very little was learnt as the more ferocious second wave continues to ravage the J&K, rather the entire India.
Given the fact that infrastructure is precariously found wanting, it seems that precious time was wasted even as critical facilities are now being scaled up to meet the demands of the ferocious wave that is accelerating at an unprecedented pace, leading to health-care facilities being overwhelmed. In India, the number of deaths have gone up, recording a sharp growth of 10.2%. Director SKIMS at a presser openly said that the valley’s tertiary care hospital is facing the shortage of remdesivir injection even as Divisional Commissioner sought to play down it by saying that the drug was available in sufficient quantity and that there was no need for panic. Bizarrely, the Divisional Commissioner went on to say how and in what condition a patient needs the particular drug. Being an intravenous injection, remdesivir can be administered only in hospital settings, and any benefit might be seen only in moderately sick patients. New Delhi is facing the brunt of shortage in medical infrastructure and the J&K government needs to take a cue from it and learn quickly. There is a need to augment infrastructure and that too without wasting any further time. Beyond doubt, the hospitals cannot be stretched beyond capacity. It is heartening to know that medical oxygen supplies are being augmented and all institutes should ensure the capacity which suffices the need. As the situation unfolds, it is unlikely that the virus is eliminated in the near future and such there is need for adherence to Union Home Secretary’s direction to J&K for “urgent review of clinical management along with ramping up testing and hospital infrastructure.”