Pre-empting Third Wave

On Tuesday, India recorded 27176 new Covid-19 cases, out of which 15876 cases came from Kerala which is still in the grip of the second wave. The total active cases in the country have dipped to 3.5 lakh. On a positive note, less than 50,000 cases have been reported for 80 consecutive days now.  

Meanwhile, the government is looking to administer 100 cr Covid vaccines in the next 3 months.Vaccination is key to fight against the pandemic.  If the government is able to meet the target of vaccinating the entire population within the next six months or so, it would help reigning in the pandemic. Delta strain of the Covid-19 has been a source of concern. Worldwide, the new surge is traced to the India-originated delta variant. It has been proven to be more infectious than the previous Covid strains. 

In Kashmir, the last week has witnessed a fresh surge in infections. This has already forced the district administration in Srinagar to declare five more areas in Srinagar as containment zones. The public movement in these areas has been restricted to pre-empt the spread of the virus. Some of these areas are Nowpora, Sheikh Faisal colony at Bachpora and Sheikh Hamza Colony Lal Bazar. This followed a  review of the rising cases of Covid19 in these areas. 

The administration has also sealed five shops in downtown and uptown areas of Srinagar as they were found to be in breach of the Covid-19 SOPs. Similarly, the police registered nine FIRs under section 108 against the shopkeepers who repeatedly violated Covid protocols. In addition, Rs 15000 have been recovered as fine from the people who were not wearing masks. These are good measures and would go some way in forcing people to observe a Covid-appropriate behaviour. 

However, the need for caution can’t be overemphasised. In Kashmir too where on ground, the Covid protocols are generally 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 now have waned.

As it is, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has already 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 awareness is created but the Covid protocol is also enforced. As things stand, the third wave could be seeding.

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