Mounting Virus Challenge

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INDIA has surpassed Russia as the country with the third largest number Coronavirus cases in the world. On Monday a single day jump of 24248 cases took India’s tally close to seven lakh mark while the death toll has climbed to 19,693 with 425 new fatalities. Only the US and Brazil are ahead of India in terms of the total Coronavirus infections. New infections are being powered mainly by the surge in the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

But despite the rising number of the cases, the union government has decided to unlock the economy. And it is understandable. There is no option but to open up as the tanking economy has thrown millions of people out of their jobs. The Indian economy like most other economies of the world is already in recession and persisting with the lockdown would have plunged it into depression. So, it is a wise step that the government has decided to open up the economy. But at the same time, it has to ensure that people take all the precautions while going about their business. Due protocols need to be put in place for every business and masks will have to be made mandatory.

Upcoming weeks and months will be crucial. In a letter to World Health Organization, the 239 scientists from 32 countries have said there is evidence that novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people. They have called for the World Health Organization to revise recommendations. According to existing evidence the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. But if the virus remains airborne, it should be a cause of deep concern. This makes the pandemic deadlier than any other in the past. But again while the government can’t lock the country down again, it certainly can take firm steps to make people responsible.

Going forward the situation doesn’t give confidence. At the current rate, the number of cases are going to be far too many in near future to be handled by our existing health infrastructure. More so, when the healthcare professionals are also now indicating that the community transmission might have already set in. The situation can only aggravate as the government takes steps to open up. This calls for an aggressive campaign backed by a strict enforcement urging people to exercise all the necessary precautions to ensure the virus doesn’t spread.

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