Third Wave is Seeding

AFTER a progressive decline in the coronavirus caseload over the past two months, India on Wednesday reported an increase in infections and fatalities. According to the union health ministry data, India reported 38,353 Covid-19 cases and 479 deaths in the last 24 hours on Wednesday. This is a 36 percent jump from Tuesday when India reported 28,204 new Covid cases and 373 deaths. The fresh surge is taking place across 44 districts in India which are reporting more than 10 per cent weekly positivity rate. Kerala is the only state which has more than 1 lakh active Covid-19 cases.

On a positive note, the active Covid-19 active cases constitute 1.21 percent of the total cases and the country has achieved its highest recovery rate today at 97.45 percent. Over forty thousand patients have recovered in the last 24 hours. India has also paced up the vaccination over the last two months. The total number of COVID vaccine doses administered in the country so far has reached 51.90 crore.

Now the studies are underway to see if a combination of two different vaccines would give a better outcome. In India, new ICMR study has found it safe to mix Covishield and Covaxin, the two main vaccines against Covid-19 in use in India. The study has also found that mixing the two gives better immunity. However, according to the World Health Organization, there is currently limited data on the efficacy of a “mix and match” regimen.

For now the rising infections is a big worry. And this is happening even when a significant population has so far been vaccinated. Worldwide, the new surge is traced to India-originated delta variant. But the centre has denied that in India that the fresh infections are a result of the delta variant.

However, the need for caution can’t be overemphasised. In Kashmir too where  on ground, the Covid protocols are observed in breach. The situation has, more or less, gone back to square one. The people seem to have concluded once again that the pandemic is all but over. And which is not the case – albeit, the second Covid-19  wave may be waning.

The Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has called for a strict adherence to Covid protocols to pre-empt the expected third wave.  Sinha has also directed the Health and Information departments to come up with a comprehensive district-level plan for conducting awareness campaigns. He also asked the Deputy Commissioners and the district police officers to rope in religious leaders and community heads for spreading awareness regarding adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour. It is, however,  important that not only the awareness is created but the Covid protocol is also enforced. As things stand, the third wave could be seeding.

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