Time To Act Fast

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People should join hands with authorities to defeat COVID

After slowing down for nearly five months, the coronavirus appears to be on a rampage in the country. The numbers of COVID-19 cases have been scaling new heights everyday for over a fortnight now and the medical experts are warning that the worst is yet to come. India recorded 93,249 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the highest figure since September 19, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases to nearly 1.25 crore. According to available statistics eight states in the country, led by Maharashtra, accounted for over 81.42 percent of total infections reported in the last 24 hours. The other states where the prevalence of coronavirus infections was high are Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Goa, where the cases were brought to double digits for quite some time, too has been witnessing big rise in fresh cases over the last few weeks. Medical experts have blamed the people for their failure to adhere to safety norms and the government to enforce them for the big increase in new coronavirus infections.

Randeep Guleria, chief of Delhi’s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and a member of the central government’s Covid Task Force, has said that a new strategy was required to battle the surge of COVID in the country. According to him the country was in midst of a community transmission and unless it was contained, the health care system will be overwhelmed. There is also a need to contain the virus in areas where it is spiking. Zhengming Chen, a professor of epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford has likened the second wave of COVID cases in India to the wave witnessed in the United Kingdom in which most of the affected were young people. He went on to claim that youngsters, who have been infected with the new strains of the virus, were spreading the disease to more than one person. Chen has gone to warn that if the health system is overwhelmed by steep rise in coronavirus cases, then management of patients could be a big problem, similar that is been witnessed in Brazil.

Alarmed by the sudden increase in COVID cases, the Centre has asked states to take strong action to enforce the safety measures among the masses, including the use of mask and maintaining social distance. Some experts have also said that there has been proliferation of mutant strains. It is amazing to note that after enforcing stringent lockdown for months, the authorities were lax in enforcing the protocols framed by them to contain spread of coronavirus even though the threat existed, which led the virus to rebound in full force and affect more people in the shortest possible time. The authorities at all levels should heed to the warning of experts and take all preventive measures to contain the spread before it is too late. According to AIIMS chief one of the ways to contain the spread of the virus was to have “micro lockdown” to contain the spread of the virus besides ramping up testing, tracing and isolation. It is time that authorities act fast to contain the spread of virus and ensure safety of people. 

Now that the threat from the virus is increasing manifold, it is necessary newer strategies were devised within the shortest possible time to contain the spread of the disease and fatalities thereon. The authorities and medical experts also have to bear in mind that the UK variant of the virus has also spread in the country and those affected by it tend to experience various symptoms for months after recovery or discharge from hospitals. Even while taking steps to contain the spread of virus it is necessary that research is carried out to provide solace to those affected by the UK variant. It is sad to note that even though the COVID cases are increasing manifold there is hardly any action against those flouting the COVID appropriate norms. The failure on the part of the authorities concerned could lead to huge increase in fresh coronavirus cases and treatment of those affected by the disease could become unmanageable. Let us hope that the people and authorities join forces to defeat the virus before it is too late.