The daily number of Covid-19 cases has reduced from an all-time high of 5500 to 2200 in two weeks, Chief Secretary Informed Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla during a high-level meeting to review the management of the pandemic across all Union territories including J&K. The same period also witnessed a reduction in the case positivity rate from 13% to 6.2%, the Chief Secretary said.
The J&K is also said to be performing reasonably well in mitigating the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic with 3,946 cases per million population being reported over the last two weeks and 62 deaths per million during the same period.
Also, the government has stated that four districts—Ganderbal, Jammu, Samba, and Shopian, have achieved 100% coverage in 18-45 age group category. All these parameters sound good and are in fact so. However, there is also a tendency towards complacency and it could prove damaging in the fight against the ravaging pestilence when the government itself has admitted that there has been rural spread recently. In fact, the Chief Secretary informed Mr Bhalla that more cases have been reported in rural areas than the urban areas. The government, at the cost of the repetition, is also right in augmenting infrastructure to meet the challenge. It is establishing 5-bedded COVID care facilities with at least one oxygen supported bed at approximately 4000 Panchayats to provide immediate medical care to the Covid patients who can then be referred to higher-level facilities in case of emergency.
Meanwhile, as the high-level meeting ended, J&K reported nearly 3000 fresh cases, nearly 800 more than what was recorded on May 24 while 53 more lives were lost to the virus, taking the toll past 1300 during this month alone. The administration must be cogent and take all the measures to flatten the Covid-19 curve. Also people need to realize that there is room for complacency and as such every endeavor should be made to ensure that covid-19 appropriate behavior is adhered to in all circumstances to keep the ravaging pathogen at bay. The note of caution sounded by the Union Home Secretary on the successive surges and the need to remain vigilant to the situation must be adhered to in letter and spirit. There is a need to learn from experiences to keep pace with testing and vaccination rates, besides enforcing COVID appropriate behaviour and strengthening the medical infrastructure. It is also imperative for the administration to map minute details to deal with the pestilence.