Wearing Face Masks  

Almost all the district magistrates in Kashmir Valley have made wearing face masks mandatory at public places to prevent spread of covid-19. Even though effective vaccines are available, it is also clear that the parallel run of Covid-19 and economic reopening may not be linear. In other words, the higher the infection outbreaks, there would be economic falters, although the gravity may not be the same as was at the beginning of the pandemic. The underlining here is, of course, that there isn’t exactly a choice but to control the virus from spreading given the trends in some countries, particularly Europe.

There is need for adherence to all the measures to prevent the virus from spreading and remain embedded in the social distancing, hand washing etiquettes and wearing masks. Of late, the government has given up hefty penalties used earlier to make people wear face masks. Nevertheless, there is a need to wear masks and that too religiously. Many people have made considerable sacrifices in the past to contain the spread of the covid-19—staying at home, avoiding contact with other people, giving up dining in restaurants, having no fun, etc.  As the figures stand now, the number of new COVID-19 infections per day in Jammu and Kashmir have increased manifold and which calls for more sacrifices by people in terms of taking preventive measures. Over 500 cases were confirmed on July 21 alone and it marked the highest single day spike in nearly six months.

Also ‘Variant of Concern’ i.e. BA.2.75, BA.2.38., BA.5.2, BA.2.76, BA.2, BA.2.78, BA.5.2.1, BA.4 and BA.2.74 stands confirmed based on the results of genome sequencing of the samples sent to NCDC New Delhi on June 30 and July 11.

True the admissions in the hospitals and mortality rate due to the virus is negligible at present but the behavior of virus is unpredictable due to constant mutations which call for need to adopt “strategic surveillance by increasing Testing, Tracing, Treating, Vaccinating and Implementing Covid Appropriate Behavior.”

The logic behind the success remains relatively inexpensive and simple preventive method whose use could be greatly expanded: face coverings. The masks can make a difference. But they only work to the extent that people wear them around others. When many people refuse to do it, out of selfishness, delusion or absurd motives, they give the virus a helping hand. It is important to note that wearing masks is important to prevent virus spread and hence save lives and livelihood.

Related Articles