No summer respite from Covid cases in Kashmir: DAK

Srinagar: While early in the pandemic there was some hope that summer heat will stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday said that does not seem to be the case.
“Despite high temperatures, Covid-19 cases are rising in Kashmir,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“With hundreds of new cases surfacing each day, Kashmir has recorded more than 4,000 Covid cases in the last 26 days,” he said.
“High levels of heat and humidity prevent spread of flu and other respiratory viruses, Dr Nisar said, adding “even some related coronaviruses show fewer cases in summer and they mainly circulate in winter months.”
“We were hoping the heat of summer will also reduce the viability of the novel virus,” he said.
“But, Covid-19 seems to behave differently and the virus is spreading in spite of soaring temperatures,” Dr Nisar said.
“The climate will become a factor in controlling the spread of Covid only after the emergence of collective immunity,” he said.
“Those who have not yet developed immunity to the virus would get the disease no matter the season,” he added.
Dr Nisar said Covid-19 infection is likely to spread throughout the summer.
Quoting a new study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal, he said summer won’t halt the spread of Covid as was previously hoped.
Dr Nisar said policy makers and the public should remain vigilant in their response to the pandemic, rather than assuming that summer climate will naturally prevent spread of the virus.
“Studies have shown that public health measures like restrictions on mass gatherings, school closure, physical distancing and wearing face masks play an important role in stemming the spread of the disease,” he said.
“People must continue to follow health guidelines and if they don’t, we will end up in a big outbreak which will be difficult to control,” said Dr Nisar.

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