Religious body urges Srinagar residents to get Covid jabs
With just half of the 45-plus population vaccinated in Srinagar district, Mutahida Majlise Ulema (MMU), an amalgam of influential religious clerics and institutions of Kashmir, on Monday asked the people to shun reluctance and get vaccinated against coronavirus.
Srinagar is among the districts with lowest percentage of vaccination despite being the worst-affected in terms of Covid cases and deaths.
Led by Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, MMU in a statement said the members of the medical fraternity have conveyed their serious concern to them over the reluctance of many people to take the jabs.
“This is putting them, their family members and the community at great risk of contracting and spreading the virus and also jeopardising the attempts to overcome the pandemic,” said the amalgam of 28 religious groups and institutions.
The body said that out of the 7,00,000 people of Srinagar who are aged 18 and above, around 2,90,000 have been vaccinated – less than even 50% of the population. The figure crossed 3 lakh till June 13.
“Of the 798 people who died due to Covid in Srinagar, 98% were not vaccinated. This goes to show that vaccination is a protection against complications and death,” the body stated.
It said that of the 15,000 healthcare and 50,000 frontline government staff who received both doses of vaccine after February 2021, none developed Covid pneumonia and no one died or had any vaccine reaction.
“If we compare it to last year, 15 health staff members died because of Covid. So, the effectiveness of vaccination, as a means of protection from the virus, is well established,” it said.
MMU said the reluctance was “unreasonable” and needed to be shunned by one and all.
“This is imperative so that normal life in terms of business, education, religion, travel that has been severely curtailed by the pandemic is resumed, and the population of the valley is well protected (and prepared) for a possible third wave,” it said.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is under house detention, urged the people to get vaccinated as soon as possible and follow the SOPs by wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
“By the grace of almighty we will overcome this pandemic, be protected from it and resume our normal life activities,” he said.