UNLIKE some other countries, the Covid-19 pandemic in India is well under control. In the last twenty four hours, just 2,827 coronavirus infections were reported in the country. This has created hope that the pandemic may be on its way out. But there is also a danger that there could be more region-specific or nationwide outbreaks. It won’t be prudent to rule out the fourth wave and go about our lives without following Standard Operating Procedures or take lightly the advent of new highly transmissible virus strains. In January-February, the third Covid wave triggered by Omicron caught on despite a predominant majority of the country having been vaccinated. However, the vaccination did substantially reduce the hospitalizations and deaths. It remains to be seen what level of transmissibility and the virulence the new variants possess. More so, when vaccination is already over one year old and its effect may be wearing thin. This is already happening in China and some other major countries.
As things stand, despite the sudden spike in the cases, the number is too low in India to be taken seriously yet. So, the coming days and weeks will be crucial as to the trend of infections. Any significant rise in the cases will require government intervention just as China has done in Shanghai. The world’s biggest city has been under lockdown for some time. However, India is unlikely to go that far as unlike Beijing, New Delhi doesn’t follow zer-Covid policy.
It is thus premature to rule out more Covid waves and we have to be prepared for them. The world has been through several successive waves of the pandemic which have infected millions and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. With the abating of the Omicron wave which broke out early this year, there was a temporary sense of relief across the world. The economies started re-opening in most parts of the world. But fresh surges in some countries should be a warning that the virus is here to stay for some more time. In fact, it has already become endemic now.
So far, Covid-19 has turned out to be a very stubborn virus. Despite full vaccination by a large mass of people across the globe, the outbreaks have not stopped. Here’s hoping that the new Covid variants become milder so that people can live with them. But meanwhile, the governments and the people can’t afford to let their guard down. There is a need to continue to follow Covid precautions in public.
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