Srinagar, Dec 31: With the threat of Omicron variant looming large in Kashmir valley, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday warned against crowding on new year celebrations.
“People are urged to avoid gatherings on new year to prevent the spread of highly transmissible Omicron variant in the valley,” said DAK President and Influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“Gatherings increase your risk of contracting the virus and spreading it in the community,” he said.
Dr Hassan said let us not take chances with our own health and health of others by creating easy opportunity for the virus to spread.
“People should avoid new year parties and gatherings to protect themselves and their loved ones,” he said.
“We cannot be complacent. We are not out of woods yet. Covid is far from over and we must not lower our guard,” said Dr Nisar.
“If people are not careful and don’t act responsibly, the situation will spin out of control,” he said.
The DAK President said if we want to go back to normal in near future, we need to impose self restrictions. And the most important is to avoid crowding.
“If we can limit our social gatherings, we can successfully create a deterrent against the spread of infection to a large extend,” he said.
General Secretary DAK Dr Arshad Ali said vaccination and Covid appropriate behavior like masking and avoiding crowding should go hand in hand.
“Vaccination will protect from severe disease, but you can still get the virus and spread it to others. People should continue to follow safety norms to avoid catastrophic slipup,” he said
Spokesperson DAK Dr Riyaz Ahmad Dagga said many state governments have already put restrictions on new year celebrations in view of rise in omicron cases across the country.
He said Jammu and Kashmir is already witnessing a winter surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitals too are seeing increase in number of cases requiring oxygen and some even need ICU beds.
Three cases of Omicron that have been detected in Jammu had no travel history or contact which gives us to understand that the new variant is possibly already in the community.
“If we do not behave appropriately, we will give the virus a chance to spread in the community which could reignite another outbreak in the valley,” he added.