Amid surge in COVID cases, opening gardens to result in complacent public behaviour

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, July 9: As COVID-19 positive cases are increasing with every passing day, the health experts are not quite happy with the Government’s decision of opening up of the parks and gardens in Kashmir at a ‘critical stage’.
The experts, while suggesting another spell of a smart lockdown or a lockdown for few more weeks to contain the spread of the deadly virus, said that the opening up of these places is going to pave a way for increased physical interaction among the public, thus surge in cases.
It is to be mentioned here that in last just 8 days, J&K has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 positive cases, with an addition of 1926 cases from July 1 to July.
Amid this, the opening of public places in Kashmir, as per doctors, is going to prove disastrous. Notably, the cases since July 1 have increased by 25 percent.
A senior doctor from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura told Excelsior that it appears that the government does not have a policy with regard to what needs to be opened up and what not.
“It (opening up of the parks) was not really necessary, and keeping in view the behavior of the public, we are forced to say that less focus has been given on awareness,” he said.
He added that we have to criticize the public as well as the government.
“The Government is to be criticized for focusing on other aspects and ignoring the aspect of awareness and the public has to be criticized for not adhering to SOPs,” he said.
Dr Suhail Naik, president of Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) and a paediatrician said that such move will result in complacency on part of the public regarding adhering to SOPs.
“By opening up these places it gives an impression that everything is normal, which is not the case and it will, in turn, result in complacency and the situation can deteriorate further,” he said.
He underlined that there is an increase in cases and by such moves, “we will reach a situation where from there will be a no coming back; there is a need to take measures to contain the pandemic rather than letting it become worse,” he said.
While some experts are asking to focus on the awareness part and taking measures to contain the pandemic, others said that the imposition of another short-term lockdown has now become necessary keeping in view increase in positive patients and the load in the healthcare system.
“Keeping in view an increased number of symptomatic patients being admitted to the hospitals on a daily basis, a smart lockdown or a complete lockdown for at least weeks has now become imperative; otherwise, the whole healthcare system will collapse; there sure are economic aspects to the lockdowns, but human life matters,” Dr Masoodul Hassan a physician told Excelsior.
On opening the gardens and parks, he said that these placed do not fall under essentials, “they are for leisure, they should have been opened yet; we are not on the stage where we could have opened the parks,” he said.