Taming the Virus

WITH every passing day, the situation on Covid-19 front is getting better. The much-feared third wave has not materialized. The vaccination of a majority of the population has drastically reduced the infections. India is reporting now less than 15000 cases and under 150 deaths, according to the data by the Union Health ministry. The country’s overall active caseload has gone below 2 lakh after more than seven months. This shows a steady decline in numbers. If this trend continues, India could be rid of the pandemic in a month or two.

This has given confidence to India to relax Covid-related restrictions and reopen its borders to foreign travellers after 19 months. The country has already started granting tourist visas to travellers arriving on chartered flights. The facility will be extended to those arriving on commercial flights from 15 November. India had stopped issuing tourist visas since March 2020 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi enforced the lockdown rein in the coronavirus pandemic.

Be that as it may, the decline in numbers is a positive development. There is hope now that the daily caseload shows a progressive decline. But there is a need to be careful. Government should continue to invest in a world-class healthcare infrastructure to increase the capacity of the hospitals and the medical personnel to deal with the pandemic. There is also the need to continue to vaccinate people. India's Covid vaccination count is set to cross the 100 crore-mark. The Centre will launch a song produced by Kher on the occasion of the achievement of 100 crore vaccine doses administration in the country. Even the World Bank president David Malpass has congratulated India on a successful vaccination campaign against the Covid-19 pandemic as he met finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and appreciated India's international role in vaccine production and distribution

But this is no guarantee that the Covid-19 pandemic could be reigned in anytime soon. The only way to stave off a fresh outbreak, the government needs to upgrade healthcare, enforce strict adherence to SOPs in public and keep running an advertisement blitz to create more awareness about the contagion. The coming few months are crucial. If the government is able to keep the daily caseload low and ensures it tapers off, it would have more or less won the war against coronavirus. For now, however, there is no room for complacency. The government and for that matter, even the people can’t afford to let their guard down.

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