By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: As the COVID-19 cases are witnessing a slight dip in Kashmir, voices to lift the lockdown are becoming shriller. However, experts are of the opinion that the government should not take any hasty decision.
A delegation of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) met Advisor to the Lt Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole earlier this week and explained to them the issues faced by weaker sections of the society impacted by the pandemic triggered lockdown. The delegation demanded that the lockdown should be lifted in a phased manner.
The delegation requested administration to extend the relief measures and compensation to different sections of the society like artisans, weavers, transporters, small shopkeepers, street vendors and industrial labourers as they survive on day to day basis from hand to mouth and have taken a severe hit due to pandemic lockdowns.
The helmsmen after taking a feedback from the representatives of the business community informed them that the decision to lift the lockdown will be taken after proper consultations and all the stakeholders will be taken on board.
However, experts and medicos are of the opinion that the lockdown should continue till the virus replication rate declines and the situation becomes better.
“The decision to ease out restriction should be determined by the criteria,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“A simple reduction in cases compared to two weeks prior isn’t enough. It has to be a significant drop and it has to be sustained over two weeks,” he added.
A doctor working at SK Institute of Medical Sciences Soura while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “There has been a slight dip in the cases and situation is still not under control. The government should wait for at least 15 more days before taking a call on whether to continue with the lockdown or lift it.”
He said, “Still the Covid wards are full and we are finding it very hard to accommodate the patients. Number of patients visiting the hospital has come down marginally. No decision should be taken in haste as human lives are precious. People should get themselves vaccinated as it’s the only protective shield available against the virus.”
Another medico said, “The lockdown has hit the economy hard but there is no other way to fight the virus except restricting our activities. Developing herd immunity holds the key and it cannot be achieved without large number of people getting vaccinated.”