Kashmir Indepth

Battle against corona not so easy, it’s going to be a long haul: Dr Pervaiz Koul

‘Need to see how virus behaves after lockdown’

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, April 17 (KINS): Doctor Pervez Koul, head of Pulmonary and internal medicine at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, on Friday said that battle against the Covid-19 is going to be a long haul and it is to be seen how Coronavirus behaves after lockdown.

“So far Kashmir has been able to contain the deadly novel Coronavirus and lockdown has played a great role to prevent the spread of the disease, but real situation would be clear once the lockdown is over,”Dr Koul told news agency KINS.

Koul said that wearing mask is very important at this juncture. “There is a unanimous consensus that everybody should wear a mask. A person will be benefited for sure, if he or she wears a mask,” he said.

He said that a commoner should not get perturbed or be forced to buy masks worth RS 20 every day. “Anybody can wear a mask and re-use it after washing it properly with soap or a detergent and then air-dry the same. If a person has five masks, after five days, he or she can re-use them after proper wash,” he said.

“Health experts, doctors and even para-medics too have been given five N-95 masks and directions for use are same which is to re-use the one after every five days after washing it properly.”

Asked about in which stage of Covid-19 Kashmir had entered at present, Dr Koul, who is an expert in pulmonary medicine, Rheumatology, and infectious diseases, said that so far Kashmir has been able to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“And that’s because of the lockdown. It’s a country wide lockdown and so far we have been able to contain the spread of the virus. But once the lockdown would end, we will get the real picture of the virus. We will have to closely watch the dynamics of the virus as to which way it will go once the lockdown is over,” Dr Koul said.

To a query, if things would be normal after May 3, he said that the fight against Covid-19 is not so easy. “May God prove me wrong, but we are preparing for a long haul. It is not going to end tomorrow,” he said.

On whether there is any evidence of community transmission in Kashmir, Dr Koul said that there have been some cases who don’t have travel history or have either forgotten whether they had got in touch with some contacts of Covid- positive cases. “This signifies there is a community transmission, but it is not that gory yet. As I stated, we need to see which way virus would behave after lockdown, we would also be able to judge whether there is a community transmission,” he said.

He, however, said that the health care officials were more vulnerable to getting exposed to the virus. “I have seen many doctors have died after catching the virus across the globe. Even in United States, there is a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They are getting it from wherever it is possible and yet there is a shortage. In Kashmir, we too have limited PPEs, but there is a global shortage and we can’t complain about it,” he said. (KINS)

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