3rd Wave Fluctuates

Division administration has Covid-19 positivity rate of third wave continues to “fluctuate.” In the last 24 hours as of 5p.m on February 1, J&K reported covid-19 2751, over 200 more than the previous day.

During his visit to DRDO Hospital Khonmuh and GB Panth Hospital to review the present situation of Covid-19 pandemic, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir called for preparing exigency plan of adequate Oxygen supply to the hospital by identifying two more Oxygen plants which can be used during emergency to maintain constant supply of medical Oxygen. The direction is to be looked at in two ways. One is it is better to be prepared while another is the possibility of the emergency in due course of time.

Last month, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya interacted with State Health Ministers, Principal Secretaries, Additional Chief Secretaries of States/UTs.

The important take away was fine-tuned warning regarding the highly transmissible omicron: A high surge in the case can overwhelm the medical system and the concerned authorities need to ramp up the infrastructure to meet the challenges as may be posed in due course of time. Since then, the covid-19 cases have skyrocketed but fortunately the numbers of hospitalizations remained low. At the same time the third wave is not over by any stretch of imagination. To put in plans in advance is good. However the governments must adapt and change plans with the changing situation. In this context, J&K government has already ordered an audit of various important aspects and ramping up of the infrastructure. Looking at the overall challenges thrown by the Omicron, it has already galloped across the U.S. and many countries in Europe at a pace never seen since the pandemic began. The sharp rise in daily cases is not surprising given the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant. As per credible estimates, it spreads nearly three times faster than the highly Delta variant which otherwise is also highly transmissible. While Omicron has emerged as the dominant variant in a few countries, it has not completely displaced the Delta variant so far even as it threatens to do so in near future. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that Delta has not been defeated. Put another way round, there are twin threats from the two variants.  In such a scenario, the administration should keep testing people with more reliance on RT-PCR testing. There must be strict adherence to covid-19 appropriate behavior and all measures, which are identified already, need to be taken without fail.

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