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Showing posts with the label COVID-19 Second Wave in India

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

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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 pos

Why Social Distancing Is Near Impossible In India!

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Before going to the practical problems of maintaining social distancing we must mention at the outset about the basic traits of the Indians: that they are one of the most hospitable lots of the world always loving company in abundance and celebrations on every possible occasions—like in a family of four birthdays of all the members plus anniversaries/others will be celebrated most preferably with friends and relatives apart from all other social occasions including the big ones of marriages and even funerals; all religious festivals whereas it is said that people can have more than twelve occasions in a year of twelve months, big community festivals and home worshipping; all cultural festivals where all communities from all religions can participate; get-togethers and parties in hotels for any reason under the sun; and so on. Although the erstwhile joint family system is no longer in vogue every household loves to entertain guests on all of the above mentioned occasions and more. No wo

Serosurvey Vs Herd Immunity Vs Vaccination

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The 4 th Serosurvey done by the apex medical body ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in June-July 2021 taking in over 28,000 samples in 21 states has shown that about 70% of the people of India (including children) have antibodies, that is to say, relative immunity against COVID-19 infections—which is a big jump from the 3 rd survey done in January-February this year that showed only around 21% of people having antibodies. However, the ICMR study does not distinguish antibodies developed through natural viral infections or through vaccination in terms of numbers. Coming after the disastrously uncontrollable COVID-19 second wave which is yet to subside the result is extremely significant: it definitely shows a light of hope in terms of India coming closer to developing herd immunity, because earlier in 2020 experts said that at least 80% of population of any country must develop immunity to achieve herd immunity; and that around 70% of people of India are hopefully not going to

Politics And Sports In The Time Of Pandemic!

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It was cruelly insensitive on the part of the Government of India to declare in Parliament that there had been no COVID-19 deaths during the second wave due to lack of medical oxygen in the country, when not only the thousands of the affected families but also millions other anxious or someway related families just cannot erase the nightmarish images of people dying gasping for breath on hospital beds, in the hospital passages/corridors/lounges, on the outside courtyards or on the streets, in the parked cars, within the four walls of homes; hospitals sending SOS for oxygen, desperate doctors even breaking down; and round-the-clock media reports and most disturbing visuals.   The reason given by the government is even more ludicrously insensitive: that the states did not report the deaths due to the lack of medical oxygen. Well, most of the states, particularly the ones ruled by the same dispensations would hardly advertise their failure or the stark lack of preparedness. The govern

Terrible Portents, Terrible Country: Brazen Invitation To COVID-19 Third Wave In India!

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Sometime in February 2021 daily COVID-19 cases started rising in the state of Kerala, and then obviously, cases showed a upward trend in Maharashtra from March onward. But as we have said so many times earlier that during that time nobody was talking about a lurking second wave and the governments of the country called India were obsessed with elections of various types, religious celebrations to propitiate various communities while the larger public indulged themselves no holds barred after what they called nearly a year-long deprivation. And, the murderous second wave ravaged the country: medical infrastructure hopelessly overburdened; governments caught fully unprepared and thousands dying in the hospitals gasping for breath or dying in the streets waiting for some air or dying in the parked cars or at homes hoping to get the medical oxygen desperately; the crematoriums/burial grounds unable even to do justice to the dead bodies; and many disposed bodies of people of rural areas per

India’s COVID-19 Situation: A Crucial Juncture!

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The largely preventable or at least controllable marauding second COVID-19 wave in India seems to be ebbing with around 39000 new infections in the last 24 hours and around 700 fatalities in the same period. However, the crisis is far from over with the spree of unlocking taking place all around the nation and the most feared third wave lurking somewhere in the corner. Most of the places except for educational institutions and cinema halls have been reopening in most of the states, with only containment zones still put under strict restrictions. The grim milestone of deaths at over 4 hundred thousand has also been reached with at least two hundred thousand extra fatalities suspected. Further, unlocking cannot be avoided indefinitely due the issue of livelihoods, and in light of the fact that the national positivity rate is now around 2.5% unlocking is technically justified. However, the state governments of India must display extreme caution and aggressive testing, tracing and containm

A Lockdown Remix Experience In Peoples’ Land Kolkata!

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If we can assume that people are already familiarized with the concept of lockdown as it has been more than a year since the national lockdown was imposed in India in March 2020, on the basis of this assumption we can go on to opine that the present version of the lockdown in Kolkata and the state of West Bengal has been a remix. Of course, the local media here has been terming this as only a ‘near-lockdown’, and we also know the kind of ‘mixed’ approaches adopted by various states of India to lockdown, but the experience here is unique and not related to most of the other states. We have decided to call it a remix, because under this process the old is often presented in a new getup to attract and excite the common people, and the state lockdown here has been a genuine remix with continuous tweaking to make it more and more user-friendly for the larger interests of the common people of West Bengal, particularly the state capital of Kolkata.   Yes, peoples’ interests. Nothing moves

The Unlocking Spree Begins Amid The Inevitable Risks Of Another Looming Wave!

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About 10 million people, as estimated, have lost their jobs/income following the state-wise lockdowns across India in view of the marauding second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is feared that 10 million more people are likely to lose their jobs/income till the economy gets back on rails. Therefore, nobody can deny the inevitability of the pandemic-oriented debate of Lives Vs Livelihoods, and the easing of the curbs has to follow at some stage. However, experts keep on saying that the unlocking process must be well thought-out and gradual. Even then, the associated risks with the forecast of a third wave in about six months cannot be eliminated, and Maharashtra, a state that has adopted a very mature 5-level unlocking as per the prevailing positivity rates and the occupancy percentage of oxygen beds across the respective districts, has still pointed out that the state government has taken calculated risks with those decisions.   The national capital region Delhi, with the positi

Is The Nightmarish COVID-19 Second Wave In India Ending Soon?

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In the first week of May 2021 the new daily COVID-19 infections breached the 4-Lakh (four hundred thousand) mark which added to the scare and the macabre dance of death witnessed all across India. The country’s health infra, stretched to impossible limits, was crumbling with the shortages of beds/ICU beds, ventilators and the supply of the life-saving medical oxygen. People were dying due much more to the lack of oxygen than COVID complications, particularly in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra that suffered the most in terms of all the numbers was in fact the only Indian state to have done adequate advance planning of stocking up oxygen and no patient died there due to lack of oxygen, whereas the neighboring state of Goa was going through hell. Some irresponsible experts didn’t help matters much at this crucial juncture by predicting that India would breach the 5-Lakh or the 6 or 7 or even the 10-Lakh daily cases numbers in the coming days, and that about a million people were fate

Why No Lockdown In West Bengal Or Still No National Lockdown?

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A stupendous election victory against the might of the national ruling party; Didi Mamata Bannerjee installed for the third term as Chief Minister of  West Bengal; and the immediate promise to take the fight against the COVID-19 virus in its deadly second wave head on. But, in the days that followed the state government had not shown any real intent to take on the promised fight, deciding only to augment a little the earlier state administration order that was announced a day prior to the counting of votes on 2 nd May 2021, to shut down restaurants, cinema halls, malls, gyms, sport complexes and so on, and to schedule the business hours of the general markets.   The order came the very day of the oath-taking ceremony, no doubt a very subdued affair due to the situation, of Mamata Bannerjee as the new Chief Minister; but, unfortunately, the new order yields precious little in terms of strict curbs or a most-preferred complete lockdown. The order follows largely the same format of the p

A Much Needed Comic Relief: The Distanced Senior Citizen!

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Nowadays I choose a slot when the nearby park is almost empty and so is the market on the other side, for my morning walks which I think is quite important, despite the deadly times we are living in. I satisfy myself with the precautions thus taken. That morning too, properly masked up, I combined the intended walk with the essentiality of buying a few fresh fruits for our wellbeing. After taking my predetermined rounds in the park which was empty as the rising summer sun, at this hour, made it relatively hot for the walkers, I went to the fruit shops in the market.   I found a senior citizen occupying the whole of the front-side of the shop with a lady waiting patiently behind him on his right keeping an appropriate distance. That shop was my favorite because it offered better-quality fruits at relatively cheaper prices. Therefore I joined, behind the senior citizen on his left, again keeping a good distance. In fact, I was very pleased that the social norms were maintained strict

COVID-19 Second Wave: India Continue To Reel Under A Spell Of Death And Disease!

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It has been the most horribly painful and depressing week of my life. There has been the spectre of death and unimaginable sufferings of fellow countrymen across India, from which you cannot turn away; reports are there in all news channels, something even the decidedly pro-government media cannot but report, reports and personal accounts across all social media platforms, the dread of the sudden telephone calls and so on. I am reminded of the horrors suffered by Italy and Spain last year, and shiver to imagine a full repetition in a vast and densely populated country like India; the saving grace so far being that the fatality rate here is fortunately still much lower than witnessed in Italy, Spain and other European countries; but even then, in terms of population the Indian numbers in infections and deaths are numbing, and the mutants are more lethal taking toll equally on the young and the old.         The heart wrenching scenes are everywhere to behold: people crowding the hosp