Big disaster in offing as people taking COVID-19 very lightly, say experts

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Despite re-imposition of lockdown in Kashmir, the surge in positive cases and deaths continues. Experts believe that the spurt in cases and the mortality would increase more as a large chunk of Valley’s population doesn’t believe COVID-19 was a hoax, reported a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

The experts said that as the approach of people is still non-serious towards COVID-19, the positive cases continue to show a surge so does the mortality rate. Dr. Muhammad Sultan Khuroo, former director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and head of Apex Committee constituted by the J-K Government to suggest ways and means to tackle COVID-19, said that lockdown is not needed if people follow protocol in spirit.

“But when people are not following protocol seriously, there is no option other than to impose restrictions so that things won’t go from bad to worse,” he told KNO.

Moreover, lockdown is supposed to show its impact at least after ten days. “Even in lockdown when you are doing very much indiscipline results will be worse than what we are witnessing,” he said, adding that “we are heading towards a big disaster if people continue with their non-serious approach towards deadly COVID-19.”

Dr. Khuroo said that the countries where people have followed protocol seriously have hardly witnessed any death of late. “It is unfortunate that some people here still believe COVID-19 is a hoax,” he told KNO. “When we form a crowd and then even if we wear ten masks, virus will spread. Masks are of no use when we form a crowd in closed places because in gatherings, virus spreads through aerosols.”

Most of COVId-19 positive patients are on oxygen and ventilators and if the situation remains the same there would be no space to treat patients. Dr Khuroo requested people that it is not too late yet. “If people still follow Covid-19 protocol seriously, things will improve. But if they continue with their non-serious approach, we are definitely heading towards a big disaster, which seems to be in the offing already.”

Dr. Khurshid Ahmad, a leading Pulmonologist and deputy head of department at CD hospital Srinagar said that as the virus is in community, there remains very little effect of restrictions.

“Restrictions are imposed at main points. People inside their localities and other areas are roaming freely without following protocol. That’s why the effect of lockdown is very less,” he said. “Either, we have to impose restrictions in such a way that nobody could roam freely but that is not possible everywhere or we ourselves have to take protocol seriously.

Only then we can fight Covid-19,” he said, adding that “Despite keeping our elders and children at home, our young ones who go for work outside are becoming carriers of viruses when they meet their parents and children back home.”

He said that the present condition is such that they hardly receive any patient who doesn’t need oxygen and a ventilator. “This wasn’t the case earlier. If situation remains same, our hospitals will fail to cater to patients which will increase death rate,” Dr Ahmad said—(KNO)

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