India is now officially facing the second wave of Covid-19. After Covid cases in India fell to a low of 8600 by 1st February, we have seen a sudden rise in daily cases. States like Maharashtra are recording their highest ever daily cases. With Europe already having witnessed a second wave, India is experiencing the same. The fight against Covid-19 is not yet over. And at the same time we need to make sure that this fight against Covid-19, does not destroy our economy, our overburdened healthcare system and our mental health.
Why Covid-19 Cases in India started decreasing after September, 2020?
The first theory is that the immunity of us Indians is naturally stronger. India does not have much cleanliness as compared to other developed countries, so diseases like malaria, typhoid and dengue are more commonly seen, because of which some scientists conclude that this might be the reason that Indians have a naturally robust immune system to fight against the coronavirus. Second, some experts suggested that the climate of India might be the reason, India is hotter and has more humidity, and it is easy for viruses to survive in colder countries. Third, it is said that India has more of a young population, and because of this we didn’t see as many cases and deaths. Fourth, some experts says that following masks rules properly might be the reason. Fifth, they said that approximately 65% of Indians work outdoors. And many studies states that most of the infections are spread indoors, where air circulation isn’t good. All these explanations are just theories and not facts, The exact reason hasn’t been definitely proven.
Why Covid-19 Cases in India started Increasing again after February 2021?
Scientists are not sure why there is a second wave in India now, but theories have been proposed for this as well. First, people have become more careless and have stopped wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Second, there has been a mutation in the virus. You must have heard about the U.K and South Africa mutations, but some scientists believe that there has been a mutation in this virus in India as well, and this Indian mutation is starting to spread across the country. Here too, all these explanations are just theories and not facts.
Challenges in Vaccination
Around November, cases in UK showed a huge rise and the Prime Minister declared a second lockdown as well. A major reason for cases decreasing in UK is the Vaccination Program. 38% and 46% of citizens have been vaccinated in USA and UK so far. And in India only 3.6% citizens have been vaccinated yet. In spite of being the world leader in vaccine production, our high population is setting us back. But even from the vaccines available for inoculation, around 6.5% or 23 lakh doses are getting wasted across the Country. Because fewer people are opting to take the vaccine. 1 vial of Covishield (Serum Institute) has 10 doses of vaccine, while Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) has 20 doses of the vaccine. After a vial is opened, the doses must be given in 4 hours, or else the remaining doses have to be disposed off. Vaccine hesitancy is a huge problem in India. The polio vaccine was an oral vaccine, but even then people thought that the vaccine will make them impotent. India was the last few countries to be declared polio-free globally. One policy mistake we are definitely making now, that at the beginning of the vaccination program, we only allowed vulnerable age groups to be vaccinated. Because our turnout for vaccination is less than expected, the entire vaccination process ultimately slows down. This wastage needs to be stopped. That’s why transparent information about the safety of the vaccine and its side effects and adverse effects need to be effectively and transparently reach the people.
SCAM at Mumbai Airport.
Civic workers, whose job is to keep an eye on the passengers, and make sure they are Quarantined. Rules say that the passengers from Europe, Middle-East and South Africa which are facing a rise in cases after new Covid-19 strains, have to compulsory quarantine for 7 days post arrival. These civic officers were helping people break rules. International Travelers can escape their 7 day mandatory quarantine by paying a bribe of Rs. 10,000.
Modi’s West Bengal Rallies and Covid-19
So far, India has seen a total of 11 million cases of Corona Virus. The pandemic has claimed at least 161,000 lives. And even as the figures rapidly rise each day. In this past week, Kolkata has witnessed more than half a dozen political rallies. Hundreds of people were seen participating in the rallies without maintaining social distancing and without wearing masks. On March 24, Narendra Modi held a rally in West Bengal. The state has already hosted several rallies, including those by Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in recent weeks. All social distancing norms were flouted in these rallies. These rallies have happened despite the fact that eight people have been infected with the new strains of the virus in the state.
We need to understand that the 2nd wave can be more dangerous than the first wave in numbers and intensity. When we are told to mask up, we find excuses not to. We are flouting the very quarantine rules that are meant to keep us safe. And politicians, who should set examples of social distancing, are themselves taking out huge crowded rallies. This ia scam happening in the name of solutions, and until they are solved, Covid is going to be a part of our lives.