In Kashmir, SOS calls contradict govt’s ‘all is well’ claim

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Srinagar: For the past few days, as the COVID-19 crisis worsens in Kashmir and deaths in April have been unprecedented, Jammu and Kashmir’s social media space has been filled with desperate SOS calls. There are searches for oxygen cylinders, ICU beds, and medicines. The government, however, claims there is no shortage of anything.

On Thursday, the Jammu and Kashmir government held a hurriedly called press briefing at 9:40 pm to tell the people that all is well. An advisor to the Lt. Governor announced that the government was equipped with everything to fight against the second wave of COVID-19 and people shouldn’t panic. 

Who was in panic? 

By calling a press briefing at 9.40 pm to tell don’t panic, the administration has not sent a strong message out. Two hours before this briefing, The Kashmir Walla had reported that patients admitted in SMHS hospital were finding it hard to get oxygen cylinders. Earlier in the day, we also reported that the ICU beds for COVID-19 patients were fully occupied in the four designated hospitals of Srinagar.

In the last few days, since the cases are rising in Jammu and Kashmir, social media space is filled with SOS messages from people who are looking for oxygen cylinders, medicines or ICU beds. One must wonder what is the need of SOS messages if the government says don’t panic.

Why are so many people, including former chief minister Omar Abdullah, tweeting SOS calls from attendants of COVID patients. Multiple videos have also emerged on social media showing people crying while sharing their ordeal of search for a ICU bed or oxygen. Is this all fake?

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