General lockdown imperative: Dr Nisar; Following SOPs must: Ex-Dir SKIMS; People must learn to live with COVID-19 by following SOPs: Dr Naveed Nazir
Srinagar, Apr 27: As the COVID-19 cases continued to witness a surge across Jammu and Kashmir, the health experts here have pitched for the imposition of strict curbs in micro-containment and containment zones across the Union territory to prevent the virus from spreading further.
However, some of the medical experts have called for an immediate general lockdown in wake of the spurt in the COVID-19 cases.
President Doctors Association of Kashmir and Flu expert Dr Nisar Ul Hasan urged government to re-impose lockdown across J&K to prevent further spread and deaths due to the novel Coronavirus.
Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), he said the government must act now and shouldn’t wait for Delhi and Mumbai like situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “We are witnessing a horrific situation in hospitals. We have never seen such a situation before,” he said.
“For the last few days, people in large numbers are coming to hospitals with severe bilateral pneumonia requiring oxygen and many needing intensive-care setting. Our beds are full, oxygen points are occupied and we don’t have any space left in ICUs as well,” he added.
Dr Nisar said patients are visiting at a time when it is difficult to save them. “Not only the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, but young people are now coming with severe disease and some of them are dying too,” he said, adding that the virus has become dangerous and is now behaving aggressively, which gives an understanding that virus has changed (mutated).
“Earlier, most of the COVID cases in the valley were either asymptomatic or with mild disease,” he said, adding that the virus has taken an ugly turn and the situation has deteriorated.
“If we will not act now, we will be in a situation which will be difficult to control,” he said. Dr Nisar said there are still a massive number of people who are susceptible to virus and warned if restrictions are not reimposed, we will end up in a worst outbreak.
“It is important for policy makers and public to know that decisions need to be based on what is happening with the disease in our community rather than what other places are doing,” he said.
He said that the decisions need to be driven by data rather than public or economic pressure.
Former Director SKIMS and renowned Gastroenterologist, Dr Mohammed Sultan Khuroo while talking to KNO said that there is a need to impose strict restrictions in containment zones and in and outward movement there must be strictly prohibited.
“Government notifies containment zones but no restriction is being imposed on the in and outward movement in these areas, one fails to understand the need of declaring the areas as MCZs and CZs,” he said.
He said that people must follow COVID appropriate behavior as situation is very critical besides that vaccine hesitancy must go off and government must rely on RT-PCR instead of RAT.
He added that the decision of imposition of lockdown is to be taken by the government, who has to take care of many things before taking any decision. He, however, said that the general lockdown must be the last option.
Dr Naveed Nazir Shah, Head of Department at Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar while talking to KNO said that there is an exponential rise in positive cases as well as deaths and there must be some of restrictions, which will restrict the movement of the people besides congregation. “It is the only way out through which we can break the chain.”
“With the imposition of lockdown, we can break the chain but that is not the permanent solution as even after breaking the chain we have to live with COVID-19,” he said, adding that people must learn to live with COVID-19 by following the COVID appropriate behavior in letter and spirit.
“Government must put strict measures in place by fining people and take strict action against the violators,” he said, adding that the situation is going from bad to worse and as cases are coming to hospitals, in near future we may find there is saturation in hospitals also.
Kashmir Traders and Manufacturing Federation (KTMF) president Muhammed Yaseen Khan while to KNO said that it is not their domain to comment on the issue whether the government must impose lockdown or not but the government must take advice of experts in this regard.
“It is a matter of life and death and there are medical experts who must suggest best possible ways at this stage and whatever decision government takes, we are with it,” he said