Bandipora was once known to be the Wuhan of Kashmir, because it was one of the first and worst affected districts of Kashmir. In fact, Bandipora was also the first district to cross 100 figure mark in the state.
The district has reported 239 positive cases till 14 June, with 64 active and 174 recovered cases.
It was frustrating because every day the graph of positive cases used to go upwards. The district was on the front page of newspapers.
“Initially, it was difficult to sit inside and maintain social distance but with time, people adapted to the rule and the result is in front of you,” said Farooz Ahmad, a local from Hajin Tehsil.
Bandipora district comprises of the Sonawari sub-division and Gurez Valley. We were not prepared for this kind of pandemic, rather no administration in any state of the country was prepared for this.
“Aggressive testing, cooperation from various departments like health, and strict social distancing was the main reason for our success in bringing the graph of cases downward.”Syed Shanawaz Bukhari, Special Officer on COVID-19 Duty
“We have not been able to conquer it fully but to a large extent, we have flatten and stagger the curve. We had a very effective last month in which highest number of cases were reported,” Bukhari further added.
The health sector in Bandipora district is considered as one of the worst sector because of the lack of facilities available.
“We are happy that we have been successful in breaking the chain, which was mandatory to stop the transmission of virus. We successfully implement the SOP’s that were directed by the government agencies. We provided the best available facilities to the patients in the form of medical treatment, quarantine facilities and isolation,” said DR Showkat, consultant on behalf of BMO, Hajin.
In fighting this pandemic, volunteers played a key role in collaboration with civil administration and police department for the safety of people and for a better future ahead. Rafkat Sonawari, who heads the team of Sonawari volunteers, tells me,
“Bandipora used to be a hotspot at one point of time. The support we got from the civil administration, police department and frontline warriors was incredible. Our role was to block the road and only allow emergency patients.”
He adds that people have also supported the fight.
“Initially, we faced a lot of hurdles because people didn’t take it seriously. But with time, they realised and supported us. Our work did became easy and the result is in front of you,” said
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
For a young journalist like Sajad Gul, reporting in pandemic was not easy. Initially, it became difficult for anyone to go outside the home. Gul, a journalist from Greater Kashmir, left his job in May, He says,
“I was working from home. It was very difficult to go outside and report. During the course of time, I did many stories and a few of my stories were rebutted because of misinformation. The pandemic was one of the reasons I left my job for some time.”Sajad Gul
I met a COVID-19 survivor, who with his positive attitude wants to inform people to be optimistic if they do turn out to be coronavirus positive.
“I along with my two family members were tested COVID positive. I didn’t have any travel history. I was quarantined for 14 days and was again tested and luckily, the test came to be negative. All I want to say is that if someone does test positive, be empathetic towards him/her. In our mohalla of Naidkhai, everyone had been tested and the results were negative. We are COVID-19 free,” said Abdul Rashid Dar.
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)