Hello people! Welcome to my blog. Hope everyone reading this is safe and in good health. In this blog, we’ll discuss HOW IS INDIA BATTLING THE SURGE OF COVID-19?
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Since the end of the year 2019, the world has been fighting an invader, a virus known as covid-19. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that causes illness which can range from mild to very severe diseases such as middle east respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome.
The virus was first found in the year 2019 in Wuhan, China. Hence, the name Covid-19. Since, then till this year, the world is struggling day and night to put an end to this pandemic. Almost all the countries succeed in putting “an almost end” to this pandemic during late 2020 but it was known by none that a deadly second wave was yet to come.
In March 2021, India started to face the second wave of covid-19 more horrific than it was in 2020. This time the virus brought along more cases, more severity, and more deaths.
The “Indian” strain:
Viruses mutate all along with their existence, it’s in their nature. Mutating means to form different versions of itself. Scientists have encountered many variants of the coronavirus but they were insignificant.
But in October 2020, a new strain of the coronavirus was found in India known as B.1.617. It is settled in the public’s headspace that the sudden rise in the covid cases in India is due to the new strain of the virus.
However, the Indian government denies that the rise in the cases is due to the mutations as the scientists say that the Indian strain is neither more deadly than the previous strain nor is it more transmissible.
But studies are still going on to know the actual cause of the spread and the effectiveness of the vaccines on the new strain.
Why the second wave turned out to be a disaster for India?
Transmission of covid-19 at a very high rate:
This time the covid-19 is transmitting at a heavier rate leaving almost no home uninfected. As the infection started increasing the death rates too started rising from April 2020 at a very high rate.
At the end of April, the daily cases in the country started to hit 400,000. The most cases were rising in the western states of India, Maharashtra, and the capital city, Delhi. Citizens didn’t follow safety rule properly:
what else caused the increase in the cases was people not being strict with the protocols. In the past year, a full lockdown was imposed in the whole country. The lockdown slowed down the pandemic to a huge extent.
This pandemic brought protocols such as wearing a mask, washing hands and using sanitizers, and following social distancing. These protocols and the strict lockdown worked as a very helpful measure in slowing down the pandemic.
So, when the cases started declining, people, as well as the rules, relaxed. People started gathering, masks became a forgotten thing. The same pattern was seen all over India giving a chance to the virus to spread again and possibly more strongly.
Though the health ministry warned us that the pandemic is still not over even when the cases fell below 10,000 in the country, the public failed in accepting the reality. The protocols of the government were not taken seriously by the public.
Even the prime minister emphasized being awake keeping in mind that the pandemic is still not over. In many states such as Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry the rallies of the party (BJP) started going on. They came together almost every day for winning the party votes.
The BJP workers and leaders did not care about the protocols. The long queues of people outside the polling booth and gatherings of people in rallies were a matter of concern. Later, these turned out to be one of the reasons for the transmission of the virus at such a big rate.
Mobility rate in the urban areas
The impact of covid-19 is mostly in the urban areas. The main reason for this is the high mobility rate. The large population of the big cities is the reason for the high transmission of the virus. That’s why the cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Bangalore are the most affected cities by the coronavirus.
Where does India stand against covid-19 ?
The situation of India after the second wave is devastating. India is now in the middle of its second wave. With exponential growth in the number of daily COVID-19 cases since March 2021, India reported more than 400 000 new cases daily on May 1, 2021. At the start, the cases were rising at a very heavy rate as well as the deaths. The current death rate of India touches more than 2.83 lakhs.
Shortage of covid resources:
Due to the rise in the number of confirmed cases, there was a shortage of beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders. The shortage of beds in the hospital caused many deaths. Hospitals were not admitting the patients which caused any patients to die in the ambulances themselves.
The rise in the cases also drained supplies of medical oxygen which is very necessary for the patients whose oxygen saturation had gone below 90%. Dozens of hospitals ran out of oxygen gas which resulted in unwanted deaths of the people.
People were going crazy over arranging the resources to save the lives of their loved ones. People started arranging oxygen in their homes by buying the cylinders from the black market at a price five times the original. Several hospitals and individuals took over social media sending out desperate appeals for liquid oxygen.
How are social media playing an important role? :
Social media played a very important role in handling the situation. Volunteers took over to help people in need by providing them oxygen cylinders and researching the availability of beds in various hospitals. People started requesting beds and oxygen on social media sites.
Many groups of volunteers in every state are working day and night. They are working selflessly to help out the people suffering by providing them with essential Covid resources.
Volunteers are also helping by updating the availability of different resources on social media sites. Many people saved through helpful steps taken by citizens. The social media practice is still going on all across India.
Steps taken by the government :
After seeing the oxygen situation in the country. The Government have to take some actions. Though the PM announced that there will be no national lockdown this year seeing the declining economic state of the country. However, he gave the liberty to the state chief ministers of announcing a state-wise lockdown when the situation gets out of control.
The Indian government diverted most of the oxygen produced for industrial use in the country towards the health care system. East Indian country produced maximum amount of oxygen. The demands of oxygen were mostly in the northern and western areas.
So to get the supplies where they are needed, PM Modi launched “oxygen express” trains to ship the oxygen at a faster speed.
The government even made the Indian air force lift oxygen from the military bases. Government will use these in area where there in no oxygen available
Foreign oxygen aid:
Amid the covid crisis in India, international help arriving is proving the good relations of India established with the other countries. Over the past few days, emergency medical aid from foreign donors is arriving to meet the oxygen shortage in India.
The US sent out 1000 oxygen cylinders with several other covid aids. France delivered eight oxygen generators where each generator can serve 250 hospitalized patients and the UK sent out 400 oxygen concentrators too.
Ventilators from the German military also arrived seeing the shortage of ventilator beds in India. Even after the arrival of such help from abroad still, the situation in India is not very appreciable.
The vaccine shortage:
The demand for the vaccines increased when there was a shortage in production. Seeing the rise i the cases, and deaths across the country the public started to panic and thought the only vaccine can protect them. The demand for the vaccine rose and the shortage occurred.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine producer, was meant to supply the vaccine doses to get 250 million people of India to get vaccinated. But sadly, it didn’t even touch half of its target.
Till now only 26 million people of India are fully vaccinated out of its 1.4 billion population and only 124 million people are vaccinated by a single dose. Due to lack of awareness about vaccine through government many people disagreed to take vaccine.
Though the vaccination process is still going across the country at a heavy rate, if we calculate then at the current rate, it will take 2.5 years for India to get 75% of its population to be vaccinated.
Will a third wave occur?:
Scientists also say that it’s likely for a third wave to arrive 6 to 8 months after July. Scientists say that as we can see many states of India has reached their peak and now the cases are declining, thanks to the lockdown and vaccination process.
The prediction according to the stats that there will be a fall in the cases till the end of July with cases less than 20,000 a day. However, after a few months, a third wave will hit India but won’t do a lot of damage as many people will be vaccinated and many areas would have attained herd immunity from the virus.
The third wave will mostly affect children below 18 years of age. All we can do is hope for the best and Pray for this pandemic to end soon. Requesting everyone to not lose hope and just know that tomorrow will be kinder.
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