Experts make a case for extended lockdown in J&K
As J&K opened up after a weekend curfew, experts urged the authorities to extend the lockdown so as to bring down the infection rate, which is putting pressure on health infrastructure in the Union Territory.
Dr Salim Khan, professor and head, community medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, said, “The infections are rising exponentially and many patients are falling seriously ill and requiring oxygen and ventilator support. If the scenario continues, we may not be able to admit more patients in view of the limited health infrastructure. A lockdown can help slow down the transmission and in turn reduce the influx of patients to the hospital.”
He added that J&K should go for a limited lockdown so that the economy is not affected either.
Dr Shafqat Khan, former municipal commissioner, Srinagar, said the only way to fight this battle is to follow the guidelines of masking, social distancing and maintaining hand hygiene.
“Intermittent lockdown will slow down human activity. However, it is imperative to disallow large-scale social and religious activities. The Lieutenant Governor (LG) administration has already taken a number of steps in this direction and thrust has been laid on strengthening the infrastructure and allied facilities,” he said.
A senior doctor, heading one of the Covid centres in Srinagar, said that a 15-day lockdown is necessary if the cases go up further. “Only then can we crush the curve. The government should rope in all stakeholders to get the lockdown implemented in letter and spirit at the grass-root level. We have still breathing time to strategise; policy makers should take full advantage of the present situation,” said the doctor.
Former Srinagar mayor Salman Sagar said that after a timely and beneficial decision to make vaccination free for the 18 to 45 age group, the LG should take into consideration a 21-day lockdown so that the spread is contained and the purpose of attaining herd immunity is served. “All inter-state and intra-state travel should be suspended for a period of 21 days so that any chances of transmission from outside the UT are nullified and we are able to lower the burden on our health infrastructure,” said the former mayor.