How Soon Will The Normal Life Resume, People Ask

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SRINAGAR: After being under lockdown for almost half of the year, what is the state and status of the pandemic in Kashmir? People are increasingly asking the question that when they will be permitted to resume the normality so that they can earn with dignity.

A view of Lal Chowk Srinagar on August 15, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

According to the daily statistical note on the pandemics, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Jammu and Kashmir is 28021. Almost all are recovered or are at different stages of recovery as the number of active cases stands at 6818, of whom 5227 are in Kashmir.

There have been 527 deaths so far and most of them 484 have taken place in 10 districts of Kashmir. These details are expected to change by the evening of August 16 as the new developments that have taken place in last 24 hours will add up.

Compared to the major states in India – Jammu and Kashmir is a small union territory, numbers are too small, so is the demography. With 6.67 positives cases currently being tackled in the hospitals across India, the numbers in Jammu and Kashmir are too little. But that does not make a case of taking the scourge easy. It is devastating and thousands of families are in crisis.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who has been the key individual in managing the most impacted district in Jammu and Kashmir is always suggestive of the idea that the numbers are encouraging and if the people in Jammu’s Kashmir’s most populous city take the SOPs seriously, it will become easier to manage the mess.

At the same time, however, tensions are running high that the authorities are using the lockdown to push the population towards economic crisis. Kashmir has not been able to do anything since August 2019. Though there were a few weeks of works but the trade used that in cleaning their spaces. The purchasing capacity has also gone massively down so even if businesses reopen, they will take a long time to revive.

Shuttered shops at Jamia Market Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

With most of the crucial days of the Kashmir’s peculiar calendar already over and remained incident-free, the situation must encourage the governance structure to permit restoring of the routine life activities especially the business. The SOPs, however, must be strictly implemented.

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