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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

158 Covid-19 cases on Sunday: amid vaccine hesitancy, is Kashmir staring at a second wave?

Amid fear of a second Covid-19 wave in Jammu and Kashmir, the region on Sunday reported 158 new infections, with the bulk of the case in the valley.
While 131 of the total cases reported on Sunday wherefrom the valley district, most of them were reported from the summer capital Srinagar.

27 cases were from the Jammu division, while one person also died due to the contagion. With this, the total number of cases reported since the first infection was reported in the region in March of last year has reached 128547. Among the fresh cases include 34 travellers and one minor.
In the past 4 days, Kashmir has been reporting a steady increase in the number of daily cases with infectious diseases experts fearing a possible second wave, like the one that has hit Europe and other Western and middle eastern countries.
Doctors in Kashmir believe that the rise of 50 cases per day and over 150 per day indicate that Jammu and Kashmir are staring at a second wave. Former director SKIMS, Dr. Mohammad Sultan Khuroo told a news gathering agency that “the second wave of Covid-19 is already here but a matter of concern will be how this second wave will behave.”

Dr Khuroo said, “The cases have been raising in Srinagar, Baramulla, Budgam and Jammu districts while the rest of districts haven’t seen any surge yet. Jammu and Kashmir are reporting three times more cases than it was a few days before.”
People not coming forward for the vaccination has become a cause of concern for the authorities with reports saying that over 6 per cent of the doses have been wasted.

Khuroo said, “The people must support vaccination and take both doses on time. We must adhere to Covid-19 SOPs like wearing mask particularly when going outside, maintain social distance, sanitize hands, avoid close door gathering.”
He said vaccines are safe with mild side effects and it will take few more months to break the pandemic.

But experts believe that one can contract Covid-19 even after vaccination. Dr Khuroo also admitted this and said: “It is not necessary that vaccine can give sterilizing immunity and even after getting a vaccination, one can get a virus. The rapid tests are not much effective and there is a need to switch to another alternative form of testing so that people can get 100 per cent right report.”

Experts believe that there is a need to learn to live with the virus and the pandemic may end but Covid-19 can re-emerge as a seasonal virus like other viruses. Experts said that the strains are already in the community and they can reemerge any time as only a few per cent of populations have been vaccinated so far.

Dr Naveed Nazir Shah said, “The people must learn how to live with the virus and come for vaccination at the earliest. As of now, the situation isn’t critical.”

“At present, around 80 per cent Covid-19 positive patients are at their homes and just a few per cent of people need oxygen or need to keep in ICU,” Dr Shah said.

“People will take vaccines without any hesitancy and follow precautions in letter and spirit, only then we can beat this pandemic easily,” he asserted.

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