Editorial: It’s time to lockdown

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Most powerful economies and most sophisticated healthcare systems of the world have failed to sustain themselves in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison, Kashmir is a speck and it’s ability to withstand the growing second wave is non-existent. The healthcare system of Kashmir is rudimentary; from the doctor-patient ratio to the bed availability, every aspect is short of norms and expectations, and COVID-19 is making no exceptions.

In such an alarming situation, the only route to health security of Kashmir is a lockdown. A fortnight ago, when the second wave was still in its infancy in Kashmir, we had a scope for a smart lockdown. The administration, however, had blinded itself to the reality and was flirting with tourist arrivals. The rush to showcase the flawed idea of normalcy had diluted the sense of responsibility among the bureaucrats who run the show in Kashmir. At a time when data was showing the advent of a second wave of devastating proportions, tourism shouldn’t have been the focus of the entire administrative machinery. The healthcare preparedness should have been the focus; the only focus.

Kashmir is already running late now. The virus is spreading at an alarming rate and, at this speed, it is a matter of a few weeks before the hospitals run out of beds and ventilators. The experience of the world is before us to decide and the only way to stop the pandemic’s second wave is to lockdown; else it will be a disaster of apocalyptic nature.

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