The COVID-19 Second Wave Yet To Conclude—Government Of India!

With India registering more than 47,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest in two months, the Government of India has today for the first time officially declared that the disastrous Second Wave of the pandemic is yet to conclude and asked all the states to stick to restrictive measures in the affected areas while appealing to the citizens to continue with COVID appropriate behaviour. This announcement can be termed as significant in view of the coming festival season including the Ganesh festival (observed widely for 11 days in the worst affected Maharashtra), the Navaratri and Durga Puja, and Eid-e-Milad-Un-Nabi festivals. The Union Health Secretary has appealed to the people of the country to pray and worship in their respective homes with members of the families and to avoid congregations. On the positive side the Government has informed the media that the number of worst affected districts in the country has come down from 279 in May to only 42 in August; the positivity rate is a little more than 10% in 39 districts, between 5 to 10% in 38 districts and less than 3% in the rest of the country, the positivity rate has thus declined from more than 30% in May; more than 54% of the country’s population have received at least one vaccine dose while 16% of the population are fully vaccinated so far; and that the recovery rate has improve to more than 97% nationally.

 

More on the positive side is the fact that the target of vaccinating 10 million (1 Crore) per day, set by the Government from the month of July 2021, has finally been reached twice in the last seven days with 10.09 million citizens vaccinated the day before yesterday. The country has received congratulatory messages from the World Health Organization and other countries for this achievement. This is indeed a healthy indication for the future if this is maintained consistently added to it the hope of vaccinating children above the age of 12 possibly from this month. States with positivity rates of less than 5% are actively considering reopening of schools as three states including Rajasthan and Delhi already implementing the decision—the strictest of guidelines and protocols being enforced.


Amid the fears of a Third Wave hitting the country any moment, a few days earlier the COVID-19 experts’ panel of the Government of India itself having sounded the warnings, the daily new cases of infections in the country have been fluctuating in the range of 25,000 to the 40ties, mostly thanks to rise and fall of cases in the state of Kerala in the range of 10,000 to 30ties per day (32,803 new cases in the last 24 hours). As of today, Kerala is accounting for 69% of the country’s daily new cases. Fluctuations have also been seen in Maharashtra, though to a lesser extent, and in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram, and along with these states a few others have been showing a rising trend of new cases on a weekly basis. In the states of Odisha, West Bengal and Assam the new cases have been consistently above 500 per day for the past one month. There have been 509 deaths in the last 24 hours after the daily fatalities being reduced to around 300 in the last few days. With the Government now saying that the Second Wave is not yet over the uncertainty about the Third Wave increases further, giving much more food for thought as far as the Endemic Theory, discussed in an earlier piece, is concerned. The thing of utmost importance is that the citizens must not lose patience and continue strictly with the norms prescribed.



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