By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: As the threat of third COVID-19 wave is looming large, experts and medicos are advising the people not to overcrowd the markets for Eid shopping.
The Eid-ul-Adha is just one week away and markets across Kashmir are witnessing a huge rush. “The third COVID-19 wave has already hit many countries and it could reach India anytime,” said an observer.
He said, “After the second wave of COVID-19 relented people once again became casual. People are thronging the markets for Eid shopping. The Covid sops are being violated brazenly. At many places people are seen without a mask. Social distancing norms are being violated with impunity. These are not good signs.”
“We have already witnessed a massive second COVID-19 wave and the havoc it created. There is every possibility about the third wave being more deadly than the second one,” the observer added.
It’s in place to mention here that Eid shopping is at its peak and people are moving around without any fear of COVID-19. “Crowded bakeries, mutton and garment shops can become Covid hubs. If people don’t act responsibly then the government should intervene. Since the day pandemic has broken out we have observed that the virus is very contagious and spreads at a rapid pace. We have to ensure that it’s nipped in the bud,” the observer added.
The government has lifted the restrictions but the officials have been urging people to get vaccinated. But still many people have not taken the COVID-19 jab.
NITI Aayog member V.K. Paul on Tuesday said that till date 3,90,000 Covid cases have been reported in the third wave across the world. “It can only be prevented if people follow appropriate protocols in a coordinated way,” he said.
Paul also emphasised on six-feet distance, wearing masks and vaccination as three major Covid protocols to avoid the spread of the next wave.
Besides forthcoming Eid-ul-Fitr marriage season is also going on in Kashmir and people are busy with various kinds of purchases.
When the second wave of COVID-19 had relented, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P K Pole, had urged people to ensure that the lockdown doesn’t return. The representatives of various trade bodies who met the officials had assured them that the Covid protocol will be followed in letter and spirit. “We are finding it hard to control the people as no one wants to listen. We are aware of the fact that if the third wave reaches Kashmir business community will be the worst hit,” said a businessman.
He said that all the shops across the Valley have installed sanitizers and are not allowing customers to gather at one place. “We are putting in pour best possible efforts. At many establishments customers are not allowed to enter without a mask.
The administration has made vaccination certificate mandatory for the people entering the malls and other important places. If we fail to keep the third wave at bay we can once again witness a gloomy situation,” the businessman added.