Last weekend, J&K reported 521 new cases, lowest in two and half months, while four people succumbed in what happens to be the minimal single day death count in as many as 63 days.
While last month proved deadly in terms of fatalities with 1625 Covid-19 deaths, accounting for around 40% of the total toll since the start of the pandemic in March last year, and 114359 cases were added to the overall tally, the situation has started to get better. The cases as well as deaths have dwindled. The situation is relatively serene compared to last month when health structure was stretched to extreme and to the brink of breaking point. In such a situation, the easing of lockdown becomes unavoidable as the economic strain is becoming as much of a problem for people as pandemic was to their health.
On June 20, the government lifted corona curfew in eight districts while as curbs on business such as opening of the shops have been eased for entire week in Shopian, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi and Udhampur and for five days elsewhere. The decision comes a day after Centre cautioned the governments, including J&K, to be wary of crowding in markets and other places, and stressed on need to ensure the “extremely important” five-fold strategy of Covid-appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination among others to prevent the spread of the disease.
While significant unlocking has taken place, it is hoped that the government continues to ensure upward progress in vaccination. The administration is also expected to take a review of the situation further in the next week or so to assess whether the link between infection and hospitalization has been sufficiently broken to unlock further.
It is imperative to note that public health and social measures remain the key to stop virus transmission. The government should continue to make efforts to prevent virus spread and remain cogent to the fact that the dip in cases may turn out to be just a statistical blip. Some experts like AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria have underlined that a third surge and heightened spread could happen in a few weeks ahead if Covid-appropriate behaviour was not followed. The experts have also stressed the need for stricter surveillance and area-specific lockdowns in case of a significant surge. Keeping in view the imminent dangers, people must not get complacent about the drop in cases and ensure guard against the pathogen.