Total recorded cases 17920, 312 deaths
Jammu, July 26: J&K Government on Sunday said that 615 new cases of COVID-19, 136 from Jammu division and 479 from Kashmir division, have been reported on Sunday thus taking the total number of positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir to 17920. Also seven COVID19 deaths have been reported; one from Jammu division and six from Kashmir Division.
Moreover, 411 more COVID-19 patients have recovered and discharged from various hospitals, 41 from Jammu Division and 370 from Kashmir Division.
According to the daily Official Media Bulletin on COVID19, out of 17920 positive cases, 7680 are Active Positive, 9928 have recovered and 312 have died; 23 in Jammu division and 289 in Kashmir division.
The Bulletin further said that out of 581707 test results available, 563787 samples have been tested as negative till July 26, 2020.
Additionally, till date, 354869 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been enlisted for observation which included 44429 persons in-home quarantine including facilities operated by government, 12 in Hospital Quarantine, 7680 in hospital isolation and 40180 under home surveillance. Besides, 262256 persons have completed their surveillance period.
Providing district-wise breakup, the Bulletin said that Bandipora has 632 positive cases (including 41 cases reported today) with 213 Active Positive, 410 recovered (including 14 cases recovered today) and 09 deaths; Srinagar has 4002 positive cases (including 209 cases reported today) with 2331 Active Positive, 1583 recovered (including 65 cases recovered today), 88 deaths; Anantnag district has 1176 positive cases (including 25 cases reported today) with 353 Active Positive, 802 recovered (including 74 cases recovered today), 21 deaths; Baramulla has 1772 positive cases (including 14 cases reported today) with 545 Active Positive, 1164 recovered (including 56 cases reported today), 63 deaths; Shopian has 1390 positive cases (including 27 cases reported today) with 473 Active Positive, 897 recovered (including 11 cases reported today) and 20 deaths; Kupwara has 1035 positive cases (including 17 cases reported today) with 344 Active Positive, 674 recovered (including 30 cases recovered today) and 17 deaths; Budgam has 1128 positive cases (including 88 cases reported today) with 495 Active Positive and 611 recovered cases and 22 deaths; Ganderbal has 349 positive cases (including 31 cases reported today) with 146 active positive cases and 197 recoveries (including 48 cases recovered today) and 06 deaths; Kulgam has 1445 positive cases (including 02 cases reported today) with 447 Active Positive and 972 recoveries (including 56 cases recovered today) and 26 deaths and Pulwama reported 1219 positive cases (including 25 cases reported today) with 592 active positive cases and 610 recovered (including 16 cases recovered today) and 17 deaths.
Similarly, Jammu has 860 positive cases (including 37 cases reported today) with 359 active positive cases and 486 recoveries (including 04 cases recovered today) and 15 deaths; Udhampur has 394 positive cases (including 06 cases reported today) with 94 active positive cases, 299 recovered and 01 death; Samba has 374 positive cases (including 10 cases reported today) with 171 Active Positive and 202 recoveries and 01 death; Rajouri has 557 positive cases (including 33 cases reported today) with 432 active positive cases and 123 recovered and 02 deaths; Kathua has 465 positive cases (including 05 cases reported today) with 162 Active positive and 302 recovered (including 04 cases recovered today) and 01 death; Kishtwar has 106 positive cases with 69 active positive cases and 37 recovered (including 03 cases recovered today); Ramban has 487 positive cases (including 15 cases reported today) with 238 active positive and 249 recoveries (including 09 cases recovered today); Reasi has 103 positive cases (including 02 cases reported today) with 48 active positive and 55 recovered (including 10 cases reported today); Poonch has 184 positive cases (including 14 cases reported today) with 46 active positive and 137 recoveries (including 02 cases recovered today) and 01 death while Doda has 242 positive cases (including 14 cases reported today) with 122 active positive cases and 118 recoveries (including 09 cases reported today) and 02 deaths.
According to the bulletin, of the total 17920 positive cases in J&K 3977 have been reported as travelers while 13943 as others.
The Bulletin said that the breakup represents districts from which the patients have been traced or are ordinarily residing.
The bulletin has informed the people that, the best way to protect themselves from COVID-19 is by maintaining a physical distance of at least 2 metre from others, frequently cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or washing them with soap and water and following good respiratory etiquette and hygiene.
As a measure for social distancing in public places and workplaces wearing a face cover is compulsory.
The bulletin again explained that early detection of COVID-19 can prevent the spread of disease so we need to be responsible for the well-being of ourselves and everyone around us. “Not disclosing symptoms could put the lives of individuals and their families at risk. In case of symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty in breathing report early. Do not fear, call COVID-19 helpline numbers and seek medical advice”.
Advisory has further exhorted upon the people not to step out of home, unless absolutely necessary. “If you have to move out for unavoidable reasons, ensure that you wear a mask and practice social distancing, personal hygiene and frequent handwashing with soap and water.”
In case of any emergency, people can avail free ambulance services 24×7 at their doorsteps by calling on toll-free number 108 while as pregnant women and sick infants can avail free ambulance services by dialling toll-free number 102.
People can also call on toll-free national helpline number 1075; J&K COVID-19 Helpline Numbers 0191- 2549676 (UT level Cell), 0191-2520982, 0191-2674444, 0191-2674115 (For Jammu Division), 0194-2440283 & 0194-2430581 (For Kashmir Division) for support, guidance, and response to health-related queries on Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
The public is advised to strictly follow the advisories issued by the government from time to time and rely only on the information released by the government through the daily media bulletin to print and electronic media.
People are also advised to refrain from spreading rumours and pay no heed to them at the same time.
Health Shocks versus Health Stimulants in COVID19
Dr Binish Qadri
The overpopulated and underdeveloped economies are characterised by the vicious circle of poverty having very low per capita income. It has been argued in the Critical Minimum Thesis of Harvey Leibenstein that underdeveloped economies are underdeveloped because there is a bad interface between the two forces of development viz shocks and stimulants. Since shocks are more intense in underdeveloped economies than stimulants, these economies are caught under a vicious circle of poverty. We must realize the fact that our health shocks are more than our health stimulants and, therefore, we are not in a position to come out of COVID19. What is required in this pandemic is that the economy should receive a stimulus to growth that is more necessary than a certain critical minimum size. To reduce the magnitude of health shocks and increase the magnitude of health stimulants all those forces which reduce the level of output, income, employment and investment etc. need to be suppressed and all those forces which increase the level of output, income, employment and investment etc. are to be boosted.
Shocks dampen the forces of development while stimulants boost the forces of development. Similarly, health shocks dampen the forces of health development parameters while health stimulants boost the forces of health development parameters. Health stimulants have the capacity to raise health levels in general and per capita income levels in particular above the equilibrium level. In backward and undeveloped countries as the magnitude of stimulants is quite small we can’t imagine long-run economic development. This further discourages the magnitude of health stimulants. Therefore, the efforts to evade economic backwardness (health in particular), impulsive or compulsory, are below the critical minimum effort needed for persistent growth that is all-inclusive. Even in our health departments, the efforts to do away with health disparities and COVID19 are very below the critical minimum effort needed for persistent holistic sustained health development.
According to Leibenstein, the attitudes and motivation of the people and the incentives given to them have a great bearing on the generation of stimulants. Nonetheless, the motivation and incentives have no worth without the key factors of economic development. The main factors that promote economic development are the inventors, the entrepreneurs, the discoverers, the innovators, those who have the capacity to accumulate and utilize wealth, and those who can accumulate skills and spread knowledge. COVID19 has depressed the masses to a great extent and reduced the motivation of the people to improve their immunity. Health authorities must give enough incentives to combat the detrimental impact of this virus, increase immunity, and generate health stimulants. No doubt the activities of health authorities and Frontline Health Workers are unending, but they must lay great thrust upon those activities which are in a position to generate health stimulants and promote economic development. COVID19 demands continuous efforts of various social, economic, and health agencies necessary for economic development. We need efficient human capital to produce other efficient human capital (particularly nurses, teachers, doctors, engineers). That is to say that we need a critical minimum amount of investment in human capital to produce more efficient human capital out of human resources. But, it necessitates an extraordinary type of human response towards motivations, attitudes, and incentives, which are created by a sound social and economic environment.
The author is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Kashmir. You can reach her at [email protected]
Third Wave: Precautions, not panic, please
Jammu and Kashmir is in the middle of what medical experts are calling the ‘third wave’ of Covid19. There has been a sharp increase in the number of Covid19 positive cases in the past one month or so. From 136 positive cases reported on December 19, 2021 to 5992 positive cases reported on January 20, 2022, the jump in the tally has been both significant and concerning. This has led to the imposition of a number of curbs across the Union Territory, including the closure of educational institutions for offline classes as well as the postponement of several examinations by universities.
While this increase in the number of positive cases has been concerning for both people and the authorities, the lethality vis-à-vis hospitalisations and deaths has been relatively very low when compared with the figures of deaths and hospitalisations during the second Covid19 wave when the Delta variant of the virus was at its peak.
Today, according to official versions, the bed occupancy is “very low” which is indicative of low levels of the lethality of the new variant called ‘Omicron’ despite the fact that scientists across the world have opined that its transmissibility is extremely high. Though there is no official data to support that the ongoing rise in Covid19 infections in Jammu and Kashmir is a result of the spread of the Omicron variant, nonetheless the rising levels of transmissibility are indicative of it. Truly, it is not possible for the government to go for mass testing for Omicron due to logistic requirements for genome sequencing, the levels of RTPCR testing for Covid19 have gone up significantly in the past few days, reaching as many as 80,000 tests/day on January 19.
Any complacency on part of people or authorities can have potentially dangerous consequences. The testing has to be ramped up. Furthermore, there has to be a close eye on the economic scenario and people’s daily livelihoods to ensure that the same are not jeopardised in any manner. Any decision on imposing lockdown has to be based on the levels of hospitalisations as against the number of daily cases, as some medical experts in J&K have already suggested.
At the public level too, the response to the fresh outbreak has been sagacious enough. Contrary to social stigma and ostracisation seen during the first and second wave of Covid19, when deaths and panic were at their peak, the situation today is far better. People appear to be handling the fresh outbreak with a fair degree of seriousness and maintaining the social cohesion that was seen in tatters in the first and second wave. That is a lesson that seems to have been learned the hard way at the public level, though it is important for the people to continue to mask up, maintain physical distancing and other Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) to halt the fresh outbreak in its tracks.
There is no clear scientific data to suggest that the Omicron variant is going to behave ‘mildly’ in the near future as it is behaving today. That should serve as an alarming sign for both the people as well as medical experts and health professionals dealing with Covid19. There must be no lowering of guard whatsoever. The hospitals have to be fully equipped with Oxygen supply and ICU beds to keep them ready for any eventuality. Dedicated Covid19 hospitals have to be put in a ‘ready mode’ for next few months till the ongoing wave—believed to go in a couple of months from now—ebbs. Any complacency on part of people or authorities can have potentially dangerous consequences. The testing has to be ramped up. Furthermore, there has to be a close eye on the economic scenario and people’s daily livelihoods to ensure that the same are not jeopardised in any manner. Any decision on imposing lockdown has to be based on the levels of hospitalisations as against the number of daily cases, as some medical experts in J&K have already suggested. A reckless lockdown has the potential to hit the livelihoods of people which they are yet to revive after taking a massive hit during the first and second wave of Covid19. Additionally, it is important to explore ways and means to see to it that the education sector doesn’t get impacted any further. It has already taken a heavy toll on children’s education and their socialising in schools and colleges. All decisions have to be weighed in with ground realities and medical advice for a fine and balanced approach. Both people and government need to work together to realise these objectives.
Covid19 reopening: A close watch needed
Jammu and Kashmir, like other parts of the country, continues to battle the Covid19 pandemic. Though the number of daily positive cases is not as alarming as it would be a few months earlier, yet there are some indications of a slow rise in positive cases in the past few weeks. This situation clearly calls for very careful handling of the situation, especially in view of the apprehensions of a possible third wave hitting the country in the months of October and November.
In a welcome move, the Jammu and Kashmir administration recently ordered phased reopening of educational institutions, including colleges and higher-level schools. It was a long-pending demand of all stakeholders, in the larger interest of the student community, to allow children to return to their on-campus classes after a long hiatus. The move coincided with the phased reopening of businesses in the Union Territory to infuse a fresh lease of life into the otherwise ‘dismal’ economy that was badly hit in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic.
The post-pandemic situation calls for revival of economic activity to enable people associated with various trades to resume their businesses and earn a livelihood following a depressing scenario. There is a large section of the population directly dependent on daily earnings to make both ends meet.
There is no denying the fact that the post-pandemic situation calls for revival of economic activity to enable people associated with various trades to resume their businesses and earn a livelihood following a depressing scenario. There is a large section of the population directly dependent on daily earnings to make both ends meet.
It was therefore imperative upon the administration to take care of the interests of this section of the society. It is equally a fact that the resumption of academic activities across Jammu and Kashmir was the need of the hour to enable students to interact with their teachers and peers, re-socialise on the campuses and heave a sigh of relief. To this extent, the administration took certain welcome decisions. However, the fact that the pandemic is still not over can’t be overlooked in such a scenario. It is therefore important to watch the situation very closely for its better management and minimal disruptions in case of any eventuality like the third Covid19 wave.
The onus to ensure a close watch on the situation certainly lies on the officials concerned, especially the Deputy Commissioners of various districts. In the past two months, the number of daily positive cases largely ranges from 100 to 200. This is not alarming if a comparison of these figures is made with the figures of the previous few months. But the level of unpredictability is too high to be taken casually. On September 22, the UT recorded the highest single-day tally of 204 Covid positive cases—up from 145 cases recorded a day earlier. This is where the situation demands utmost caution. At the official level, it is important to keep a track of these figures to decide on further reopening. If the rate of positivity surges, it would be in the fitness of things to reconsider the further process of reopening and reimpose the curbs, wherever necessary. Alongside, it is imperative to ensure that mass gatherings are disallowed and people adhere to the Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) in letter and spirit. The administration also requires to watch the Covid scenario in other states of the country and handle the inflow of tourists and visitors to the UT accordingly in strict adherence to the SOPs. The situation just cannot be allowed to go out of control any longer. Sustained and focused attention on the situation can go a long way in facilitating its better management at all levels.
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