At a time when the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 as pandemic and so many countries across the world are on a high alert to save the lives of their citizens from this deadly disease, the administration here in J&K seems less concerned for the welfare of the people. Though there are fewer COVID-19 positive cases across J&K, the figures could be inaccurate as there is no proper check for the people who might be infected with the coronavirus.

No doubt the administration in and outside J&K are keeping a keen vigil on hundreds and thousands of people who have a history of visiting coronavirus-affected countries, but at the local level, there is information that hundreds of outsiders are visiting the Valley via Srinagar-Jammu highway and that too unchecked. Lately, many such incidents came to fore that the local passenger vehicles are choosing alternate routes to reach the Valley to skip the screening of passengers for COVID-19.

This alarming situation raises the question: How safe are we?

As per the reports, the authorities established enough checkpoints to screen all the entrants to the Valley, yet a large number of non-locals as well as the locals from Kashmir have managed to reach the Valley without any screening, thus posing risk to the lives of many people across Kashmir.

Such a situation can become the main reason for the outbreak of coronavirus in the Valley. As we all know, the health sector in J&K is not capable of catering to a pandemic disease with insufficient infrastructure. Thus the only remedy to save the lives of thousands of people is self-precaution and strict check on the government side for the infected entrants to Kashmir.

Not only the vehicles but railway authorities are allegedly allowing all the passengers from outside to visit the Valley without screening. Many such entrants, especially the labourers who recently visited Kashmir said that they do not know which route their driver used to reach the Valley, but they were not screened at any placed till they reached Kashmir.

Whatever the reason, whoever is responsible for such deceptive and unethical activities, the prime responsibility comes on the shoulders of the common masses. We as the citizens have to fulfil certain duties. The drivers who are letting the outsiders reach to the Valley without screening are among us. The people in the Health Department, who have been assigned for the screening of the people are amongst us. And the people in the administration are also amongst us. So it is our responsibility to educate our people to fulfil their duties honestly so that this dreadful disease could be checked from doing any further damage to the lives of the people.

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