The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday announced the formation of a ten member committee, led by eminent doctor Mohammad Sultan Khuroo, “to prepare an Action Plan for tackling a possible third wave of Covid-19 pandemic.”
As per the order, the committee of nine doctors and a bureaucrat is entrusted with upgrading infrastructure and revising the Standard Operating Procedure and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour to brace for a third wave.
The order, however, comes after a series of administrative lapses — such as the free flow of tourists from severely hit states to Kashmir — led to the ongoing second wave. The death rate is significantly higher this time and there is a critical shortage of medicines, vaccines, ventilators, and ICU beds. SOS calls on social media are commonplace now.
As many as 1,397 have died of Covid-19 since March 1 while there are more than 50,000 active cases of the infection acoss J-K. The numbers are, however, contested by Doctors Association Kashmir. “The actual number of people dying from COVID is higher than what is reported,” said DAK’s president Nisar ul Hassan.
The Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha led administration imposed a relatively lax lockdown in the region for the past nearly three weeks till 24 May as per current orders. The lockdown has been extended multiple times before.
In an interview with The Kashmir Walla in April this year, the committee head Khurroo, also head of the apex committee on Covid-19 containment, had ruled out a lockdown as a containment measure. “The show must go on,” he had said.