By: Afaq Bhat
Srinagar: The COVID-19 cases being on decline in Kashmir has revived the hope that life will return to normal soon.
The Health Department has achieved the feat of vaccinating 100% adult population across J&K and is honoring the COVID-19 warriors who made it possible.
According to the officials an estimated population of 93,03,842 souls has been covered during the vaccination drives and around 93 lakh souls have received Covid shot in 18+ age group.
An official while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “Reaching out to far-flung areas was an uphill task keeping in view the topography of J&K. Our staff members left no stone unturned till they vaccinated the last eligible soul.”
The official said that when the vaccination drive commenced people were hesitant. “They were not sure about the safety and efficacy of the jab. Rumours about these vaccines being unsafe made the things worse. It took time for people to understand that the vaccines are the only way out to fight the pandemic.”
According to the Sero Survey at least 84% of Kashmir’s population has developed antibodies against Covid-19. The survey was conducted when there were apprehensions that the third COVID-19 wave may strike the Valley.
The survey was conducted in July this year across 10 districts of Kashmir, taking samples from 5,663 persons, including 2,077 police personnel, healthcare workers and pregnant women. “Our study among the general population shows that 84.3% of our population was positive for IgG-II (or the anti-spike protein) antibody which is produced after infection with SARS CoV -2 as well as after vaccination,” an expert said.
“The results show that we have achieved a significant level of Covid antibodies among the population, which indicates that the third wave won’t be that strong unless we have a new variant,” he said.
The expert cautioned against complacency. “Despite the COVID-19 cases being on decline, we cannot still say that the pandemic is over. There is every possibility of new variants emerging on the scene. We may need few more months to declare victory against COVID-19. The 100% eligible population across J&K getting vaccinated is good news and we are hoping for the best.”
The expert said that second step after vaccination is the research that is going on to develop a medicine, which would be exclusively meant for treating the Covid patients. “We are on way to defeat the virus and the battle against it will be won soon,” he added.