As Covid 19 cases continue to rise, India most likely looks set to be gripped by the third wave of the pandemic. All major metros – Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata – have seen Covid infections galloping to newer heights with a majority of cases of the latest variant Omicron being reported.
During the past week from December 27 to January 2, India registered about 1.3 lakh fresh Covid 19 cases as against 46,073 in the previous week.
The national Capital of Delhi recorded 4099 cases on Monday and one death with positivity rate soaring to 6.5 per cent which represents the highest single day rise in Covid cases since May 18 last year when the second wave was sweeping many parts of the country.
On its part, the Centre has asked the States, particularly the five poll-bound States of U.P., Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa to ramp up the vaccination drive. It is pertinent to point out the note of caution sounded by the health experts that Covid appropriate behaviour, hand hygiene, masking, maintaining physical distance as well as avoiding crowded places remain only tools in one’s hands to avoid getting infected.
Till this weekend, India had administered nearly 145.16 crore doses of Covid vaccine across the length and breadth of the country. The vaccine coverage needs to be expanded but India, as compared to some of the developed nations, has performed rather well on this count and the vaccination drive has now been opened for children in the 15 to 18 years age group.
Most of the metros – Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata – have imposed stricter curbs and night curfews and ordered closure of schools, colleges, cinema halls and gyms. With the waning away of the second wave, the country’s economy was showing signs of returning on the track but the prospect of the third wave looks set to deal another blow as several activities come to a halt. The only sign of comfort appears to be that Omicron infections which account for the majority of cases now are stated to be mild and people are getting over it in home isolation with fewer cases of hospitalisation being reported.
Clearly, it is not child’s play to tackle rising Covid infections. The Centre, states and the citizens have to all work together to bring the situation under control.