hings are going from bad to worse. Getting oxygen in hospitals across the country is akin to climbing a tall mountain. A tall, inhospitable mountain as they say. While Jammu is comparatively at ease owing to some tough discipline that was maintained by the local populace and implemented strictly by the local administration, Srinagar is suffering big time. With a substantial chunk of population working abroad, and a good chunk having been forced to seek employment outside, Kashmir was bound to explode once all the folks and tourists came back to the valley. The ratios of those infected in Kashmir and of those infected in Jammu is almost 60:40. Same is the case with mortality rates. Health experts and critics say a downward trend in infections late last year lulled authorities into complacency, as they failed to plug the holes in the ailing health care system that had become evident during the first wave. Experts also blame authorities for allowing super-spreader events, including religious festivals and election rallies, to take place as recently as this month. For the third day in a row, India on Saturday set a global daily record of new infections. The 346,786 confirmed cases over the past day brought India’s total to more than 16 million, behind only the United States. The Health Ministry reported another 2,624 deaths in the past 24 hours, pushing India’s COVID-19 fatalities to 189,544. Experts say even those figures are likely an undercount.
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The government ramped up its efforts to get medical oxygen to hospitals using special Oxygen Express trains, air force planes and trucks to transport tankers, and took measures to exempt critical oxygen supplies from customs taxes. Sometimes the difference between life and death is determined by the availability of oxygen or rather the affordability of it. The medicines are ranging between anything and some NGOs have jumped in and are offering medicines to people at confessional or no rates. The same NGOs are coordinating with the recuperated patients for the plasma donation and sometimes getting a donor from as far a places like Lolab and Kulgam to hospitals in Srinagar. While one must appreciate the work that these NGOs are doing but from the administration point of view a lot more needs to be done. While everyone was predicting that cases would explode in Kashmir but we could not do the ground work in due time resulting in total chaos. We have to wait for the peak to be over. Another crisis. Another time when administration was nowhere near full preparedness.