Preventing a Second Wave : Covid-19
Union Health Minister Harshbardhan was right when he urged the people to remain cautious during the festive season. Any laxity in observing the norms in place to tackle Covid-19 will provide a fresh lease of life to this lethal virus, he believed. The Centre has already issued an advisory to prevent the second wave of the virus. But advisories cannot guarantee success; only sincere efforts from all concerned can take us nearer to our goal. The entire country will have to stand in unison if we want to win the battle against corona.
Here, it must be remembered that so far India has done well in limiting the damage caused by this pandemic. The country has the lowest death rate in the world. It shows that India is not lagging behind developed nations in dealing with pandemic situations. Rather, in certain aspects of combating the virus, India has even left behind countries like the United States of America (USA), France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom (UK), etc. This is no mean achievement by any standards. The initial success has prepared a good foundation to enable us to be stronger than the virus, provided we do not lower our guard till we win the battle completely.
In this regard, any negligence can be fatal as seen in Kerala. The southernmost state of India did exceptionally well in combating Covid-19 by virtue of its awareness and resolve not to allow the virus to make any dent to the state. Strict implementation of norms like social distancing, use of masks and reporting to the doctor even with slightest symptom enabled Kerala to be the vanguard among the Indian states in combating Covid-19. But all these efforts came to a naught when the state observed Onam, its biggest festival, ignoring the set health norms. As a result, the state now tops the chart in daily infections replacing Maharashtra, a much bigger state both in terms of area and population. Whilst before Onam the number of Covid-19 cases were negligible, it has now increased almost ten-fold.
This must sound as a warning bell to those who are planning to celebrate festivals like Navratri, Durga Puja, Dushera and Diwali in a big way. Learning a lesson from Onam, this year people should keep celebrations as low key as possible, by staying away from large gatherings and going out in the open only with proper precaution. If the people do not adhere to the advice given by the health experts, a second wave of Covid-19 is almost a certainty. The second wave may even cause further community spread, which will cause huge loss of human lives. It may be noted here that strict adherence to health norms had helped us to prevent community spread in Dharavi, Asia’s biggest slum. We will have to observe the same discipline while participating in festivities. We should keep in mind that once we beat this lethal virus, we will get many opportunities to take part in festivals with our traditional pomp and gaiety. Thus, for a better tomorrow, our pledge should be not to give Covid-19 a second chance.