Covid-19: No Space for Complacency
Although virologists have ruled out the possibility of a fourth wave hitting India owing to the successful vaccination programme, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged all nations to remain vigilant as it fears that more virulent variants of the lethal virus may emerge at any time. So, the recent increase in the number of Covid cases in the country should not be taken lightly. On an average, India has reported a daily caseload of above 10 thousand during the last 15 days. All parameters of the pandemic such as active cases, positivity rate and hospitalisation are on the rise. However, the mortality rate has not shown any major change thus far, which is a great relief considering the thousands of deaths during the first two waves. But one should not judge the severity of the disease only by mortality rate as all other parameters show that the virus is active and until it is completely tamed, there is no place for complacency. China is struggling to control the outbreak of the pandemic. The virus is also active in other parts of the globe and countries like Australia, Germany and England are still searching for a way to end the menace.
Thus, any laxity in observing Covid-related protocols, like wearing masks or washing hands, may prove to be fatal as the SARS-CoV-2 virus is continuously evolving and spreading fast, though not as severe as earlier variants. A look at the states where Covid cases are on the rise will prove that throwing caution to the wind has resulted in the rise of Covid cases. Many believe that the surge in Covid cases in Maharashtra is caused by increased social activities, which were banned till a few months ago. As a matter of fact, many experts have termed a gala birthday bash of a very successful Bollywood producer and director as a super spreader event, though there is no official confirmation on the issue. On the other hand, both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are also finding it increasingly difficult to contain the spread of the disease owing to the fact that the states are the industrial and IT capitals of the country respectively and attract tourists in large numbers. As the vaccination process in many countries continue to be very slow, there is an apprehension that outsiders are bringing the virus into the country.
So, in adherence to the warnings issued by WHO, the country should be prepared to meet any challenge to public health effectively. Eminent scientists believe that many new viruses may emerge in the coming days due to climate change and we may have to live with the fear of new epidemics or pandemics in the future. To prevent the viruses from creating havoc in human society, the authorities along with citizens should enforce and follow safety protocols strictly. In this context, the government should make it mandatory to wear masks in public spaces, along with continuing the vaccination programme with the same zeal as before. Although India may not witness a fourth Covid-19 wave, chances of an attack by new SARS variants still looms large.