The covid-19 cases continue to grow and there seems to be no end to it. On May 20, J&K logged 4169 cases while 67 more people succumbed to the virus. 1092 people have lost life during the first 20 days of this month while 80142 cases have been added to the tally from 179915 to 260057.
As on Tuesday last, the daily count of covid-related deaths in India touched a new high, with 4,529 deaths being reported from across the country. That overtook the count of 4,329 deaths recorded on May 17.
Since the start of this month, 71395 people are reported to have died because of Covid-19, making it the deadliest month during the pandemic. Last month was the worst month for India in terms of number of infections. Close to 70 lakh infections had been detected during that month. But its impact on mortality is being felt only now. In April, close to 49,000 fatalities had been recorded in India.
All this points to speed with which the second wave is spreading across J&K. Also on worrying note is the extent to large swathes of rural areas of J&K. Not only twin capital cities, some other districts are seeing a higher number of cases on daily basis.
The available data as regards India suggests that it took nearly five months for the virus to leave its footprint in the rural parts. Apparently, it suggests to have fuelled misconceptions about the virus being a predominantly urban phenomenon.
It is important that the government should concentrate on stepping up data collection methods and be scrupulous with facts. Only the true picture of the spread of the pestilence will help in checking the virus surge.
In order to effectively tackle Covid-19 pandemic in rural areas, the Lieutenant Governor in a right step on May 19 directed the Deputy Commissioners and Health department to ensure a minimum 5-bedded Covid Care Centre including one Oxygen supported bed in every Panchayat of J&K for the patient requiring immediate medical attention.
In a right step also, expenditure of up to Rs. 1 lakh per Panchayat has been approved from the District Capex Budget to make these Centres immediately functional. The administrators have also moved with the speed and most of the deputy commissioners have started steps in this direction. It is encouraging. The government should also ensure basic minimum infrastructure for isolation facilities and also strengthen other public health facilities in the rural areas.