What does the future hold as the second wave of COVID-19 hits India?Initially, when the coronavirus pandemic began late in 2019, experts already knew that there are possibilities of a 2nd wave of cases, a pattern commonly seen in other virus pandemics. It is also evident that cases see a surge in the summer and a larger one in the fall. With the rising cases, India’s economy is noticing a decline, death rates have again gone up and daily COVID cases are escalating more than ever.Leading Indian scientists from the most renowned institutes and research centres have studied and suggested that the distinctive factors can be used to trace this sudden and sharp rise of active cases in India.Opening of Schools, Colleges and Workplaces - In several parts of the country, schools and colleges have largely opened, along with offices. Although such institutions are following the necessary COVID protocols given by the government, there has been no proper control over public transport and the people, many of whom have not been following the protocols. This has led to a large number of asymptomatic carriers transmitting the virus.A new mutant strain - The double mutant variant of the virus has caused a significant rise in the number of infected cases. Scientists believe that this strain is about 70 times more contagious than the previous one. It may even render vaccines to be less effective.Vaccination - With the process of vaccination being carried out everywhere in the world as well as in India, people seem to have become more carefree and think they need not be worried about the virus anymore. Public gatherings, celebrations, festivals and parties have become normal, and more and more people have stopped wearing a mask. In reality, vaccines can only protect you to some extent, it is important to still maintain the COVID specific rules and regulations.Which Indian states are affected by the second wave of COVID-19?With such an unprecedented rise in new cases of COVID-19, the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have been worst-hit. These states are at high risk despite the rapid testing and the extensive vaccination drives being undertaken by the government. The daily record of infected people is exceeding the count of last year.State government measures to curb the surgeWhile several states are seeing exponential growth in cases, the entire country is expecting a total lockdown again. The state governments have started taking measures to take control over the situation in various ways. Maharashtra has been experiencing a shortage of injections and ventilators. As the cases rise, the government has recently decided to ramp up the safety measures by announcing 15 days of strict new restrictions. Public gatherings of more than four and non-essential travel on public transport would be banned along with the imposition of a night-time curfew. To effectively control the spread of COVID-19 infection, the Karnataka government has made certain travel restrictions where a person needs a COVID negative test certificate to enter the state, if he/she doesn’t have one, institutional quarantine of 2 days within which COVID test report should come negative, has been made compulsory.The Chief Minister of Delhi has approved a proposal to impose a night curfew in the national capital besides new COVID rules and restrictions. Delhi is also considering opening up vaccination for all age groups.Fines for not wearing a mask, a negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 in order to be allowed entry into the state via flight or road, a limited number of people at public gatherings and festival celebrations being barred are some of the strictly enforced measures in the Indian states to combat the deadly second wave of COVID-19.Safety measuresStay prepared to face the spike or second wave of Coronavirus. Doctors, clinics and hospitals are continuously working with manufacturers to stock up on equipment, vaccines, drugs and following their policies for protecting patients and staff members.
- Do not stop practicing COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancing, hand-washing and wearing a mask.
- Stay in touch with local health authorities, stay updated with the information if COVID-19 cases begin to increase in your city or town.
- Make sure your household maintains a stock of food, medicines and other essential supplies.
- Consult your doctor to ensure that everyone in your household, children as well as older members, are up to date on vaccines.
ConclusionIndia is facing the threat of a devastating and deadlier second wave of the coronavirus, it is critical to remember the need of positive behaviour, being responsible, more testing and vaccination is crucial.