The battle against Corona is not over yet. It’s time to take guard again. Last September, the load of Covid cases on each day was nearing the 1-lakh mark and then subsequently the cases started to dip. After a gap of few months, the daily cases are witnessing a steady rise in the country again. The cases which were hovering around 10,000 in January have shot up drastically to breach the 1-lakh mark in April. India became the second country in the world after the US to record more than one lakh cases every day.
What are the reasons for the spike?
The discovery of the double-mutant variant of the virus and the public’s laxity fuelled the second wave of infections across the country. Just go back in time to last year and recall how strictly people wore masks, followed social distancing and mandatorily sanitized their hands.
People religiously followed the Covid-appropriate behaviour back in 2020. From then onwards, as weeks progressed, people’s attitude was lax towards Covid precautions. They are not wearing their masks properly. We have been seeing people crowding markets, using public transport, attending family celebrations and election rallies without following Covid protocols.
What safety precautions one should follow?
Though we did not have any vaccine last year, we followed Covid protocols and successfully got the Covid spread under control. India’s vaccine drive started only in mid-January. The Health Ministry has expressed concern that the next four weeks is very crucial to curb the surge. Without the participation of the public, it is difficult for any nation to curb the spiralling cases.
Follow Covid-appropriate behaviour without fail wherever you go. Wear your masks and keep sanitising your hands. Try to avoid crowded places. Opt for work from home if your company permits. Maintain social distancing at office, market place, shopping malls etc so that we can break the chain. Also avoiding the 3’C’s -- closed spaces, crowded spaces and close contacts -- will have a big impact in the fight against Covid. Japan is one country which is following the rule diligently.
Nearly 75 % of all who are getting hospitalized in the #COVIDSecondWave are symptomatic, this percentage was over 87 % in the first wave, shows @Icmr data from 40 hospitals based on 9485 patients.#COVID19India @NewIndianXpress pic.twitter.com/FeKyaZg2Wa— Sumi Dutta (@SumiSukanya) April 19, 2021
New symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
Unlike the classic symptoms of Covid, research from hospitals across the country shows new symptoms. Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, body pain and cold are some of the symptoms exhibited by Corona-positive patients recently. Even in the absence of well-known symptoms, like fever or cough, doctors advise a person to get tested in case of the new symptoms.
Vaccination crucial for all
Coronavirus can have severe and life-threatening complications. There is no way to know how Covid will manifest in you. If you get infected, you could spread the disease among your family and friends. Along with measures to reduce the chance of being infected, vaccines will reduce the chances of infection. People who are heeding to the rumours and refusing vaccination should realise that they are potentially prolonging the pandemic by contributing to the spike in cases and providing all the opportunities for the virus to mutate.
As of now, vaccination is open for people aged 45 and above. The government is being advised to open vaccination for all above 18 years. If you are eligible for vaccination, immediately get the shots and save the world from the clutches of the virus.
Dr Pradeep Rangappa
Senior Consultant - Critical Care, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur