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COVID-19: Why are surges occurring across India?

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Dr. Jahangeer Ahmad Bhat/ Showket Hussain Wani
The world is currently beholding a melodramatic distraction of everyday life owing to the hasty headway of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the pandemic evolves, there is a critical requisite to better understand its epidemiology, typify its potential impact, and identify mitigatory strategies to avert pandemic-related mortality.
Scientists of IIT-Kanpur have predicted that the second wave will peak in mid April between 15 and 20 May, 2021. This means that their studies on virus and human behaviour resembled in the sense that hypothetic assumption proved to be a real catastrophic. In fact, Human behaviour is the major factor. State and local governments, as well as individual people, differ in their response to the pandemic. Some follow COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancing, hand-washing and mask-wearing. Others are not as prescriptive in requiring these measures or in restricting certain high risk activities.
However, the relationship between those precautions and cases of COVID-19 is clear: In areas where fewer people are wearing masks and more are gathering indoors to eat, drink, observe religious practices, celebrate and socialize, even with family, cases are on the rise.
Also, places where people live or work closely together (multigenerational households, long term care facilities, prisons and some types of businesses) have also tended to see more spread of the coronavirus. Coronavirus outbreaks in the events like gatherings of people where one infected person or more transmits the virus to many others — continue to occur.
India definitely has the most infections in the world,” says Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy. He also said that, “It is a myth that Indians have a lower fatality rate,”
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
On 10 February, at the start of the second wave, India confirmed 11,000 cases – and in the next 50 days, the daily average was around 22,000 cases. But in the following 10 days, cases rose sharply with the daily average reaching 89,800.The rise in case numbers has been exponential in the second wave.
The mega religious event was attended by millions of people from across the country to take a ShahiSnan. An analyst of Dehradun, AnoopNautiyal is analysing Covid 19 data since March 2020 and said that, “Mahakumbh has no doubt acted as a super spreader event. People who came to attend the rituals in Haridwar must have gone back to their home states with infection of new variant. The situation has become dire and systems around us are collapsing. Many Indian cities are reporting a chronic shortage of hospital beds. It’s also evident in the desperate cries for help on social media platforms. Disturbing reports of people dying without getting timely treatment are coming from all over the country.
The experts confirmed that three of the six are of the double mutant strain, two are of the UK strain and one is yet to be identified.
India on 25 March announced that a new “double mutant” variant of the coronavirus had been detected from samples collected from different states. Virologist Shahid Jameel explained that a “double mutation in key areas of the virus’s spike protein may make the virus more infectious and allow it to escape the immune system”.
Therefore, the need of the hour is to live in fraternity as last year the people with religious bigotry and egoism proclaimed a particular religion and conspiracy of some belligerent countries to transmit the virus and target a particular MuslimTablighi Jamat and held responsible by the mainstream media for spreading Corona virus.
On the other hand 30 lakh devotees have gathered at Kumbh festival in the middle of second wave and the media is silent. Unfortunately, we look at the virus through the lens of bigotry. Hospitals are running out of beds. We were the first in the world to associate Corona virus to a religion. Politicians took the benefit of doubt and news channels launched an all-out attack on one community.
However, we are yet in a situation to handle it but it is possible only if we adopt communal harmony and also here comes the greater role of media. In fact we are living in a country where people are starving for their day to day requirements. They may feel a need of some basic necessities that might be hard to get. So, keeping the bond of humanity intact we have to be courageous enough by heart to behold such circumstances with compassion and generosity. Police has to be very polite while doing their share of duty. It needs compassion and competency to teach general masses how to tackle and live with the pandemic.
We know it is catastrophic and may take our lives if we do not gear up. Then still why throng on roads as if a guest is being welcomed. In positive sense, it is nothing but necessity of poor who may lose their family to starvation if he return back empty handed.
On the negative side we are having so puritanical attitude that we dare not to be sacred in spite watching live funerals of hundreds that is heart wrenching. In fact, our population is so mix up that we can’t measure the attitude and behavior of them. Hence, time has now to decide how to clock it. What will be our fate? God forbid we may not turn up after losing precious lives and may not become antiquity of Indus valley civilization.
(The authors are teachers by profession and teach at Govt Degree collage Mendhar-Poonch and GDC, Mendhar respectively)

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