SRINAGAR: On May 31, after over a month, Jammu and Kashmir administration announced unlocking the first phase in the wake of little respite from COVID surge.The daily COVID cases are gradually coming down to the 200-2500 range. This does not leave any space to celebrate over defeat of the virus or to be complacent. Of course, the peak of the pandemic is over to some extent but there is need to be extra-vigilant and adhere to COVID Appropriate Behaviour in letter and spirit. The guidelines and SOPs need to be implemented vigorously. Any complacency can change the scenario adversely and lead to surge in the virus cases again. The COVID protocol must prevail till the entire targeted population is vaccinated fully.According to data compiled by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, the percentage of vaccination is quite low in Srinagar and Kupwara districts.In Srinagar district, only 40.59 percent people have got vaccinated till May 30 and in Kupwara District it is just 33.71 percent in the age groups above 45 years.Recently, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha convened a meeting of the high officials of the Health and Medical Education Department to review the COVID situation and vaccination .During the meeting, the LG directed the concerned officials that vaccination for 45 above age group in all districts should be completed within the next ten days. But as per data released by the Jammu and Kashmir Administration on May 30, only 69.25 percent people above 45 age group have been vaccinated across the Union Territory .This clearly indicates that Srinagar and Kupwara district administrations will have to ramp up the vaccination to meet the cent percent target which has been set by LG Manoj Sinha.Initially, there was some kind of fear and hesitancy among the people, not only in India but around the world about the vaccine efficacy. The fear was generated by miscreants around the world on various social media platforms, creating doubts about the vaccine efficacy. In March 2021, when a second wave of corona intensified, first in Maharashtra, then in Delhi and other states including Jammu and Kashmir UT, daily corona cases in India breached the 4.5 lakhs mark. The COVID related deaths also witnessed an alarming surge, touching nearly 5,000-mark. This created panic across the country. Desperate due to a surge in cases and fatalities, the people ultimately opted for vaccination. The rush was so intense that most of the centres across the country, including J&K, witnessed vaccine shortage. The people of Srinagar kept moving towards semi-urban areas for vaccination“Initially I was skeptical about the vaccine efficacy but when a second wave erupted in Srinagar with high intensity, I realized the urgency of getting vaccinated, as it is the only way to protect ourselves”, a Srinagar resident told STATE TIMES, adding that he immediately rushed outside the city and got vaccinated. He pleaded for strict lockdown at least for 10 to 15 days more because Srinagar has recently been categorized as orange zone.Srinagar district has been reporting more COVID cases daily than other districts.“So, the district administration should revisit the decision of the unlock first phase”, some other residents observed while expressing their reservations over unlocking at this stage. Some health experts are also not in favor of easing the restrictions and corona curfew. They are apprehensive about the situation getting worse again if people are allowed to move around with little restrictions.“There should be no hurry in easing the curbs and corona curfew until every citizen of the city gets vaccinated”, some of the health experts feel.However, the silver lining in the prevailing grim situation is that Jammu and Shopian districts have achieved hundred percent vaccination in a target group.To avoid one more lock down, people of Jammu and Kashmir should follow COVID guidelines strictly, the experts emphasize.
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