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COVID-19’s second more destructive wave hits India in midst of heavy election season

HealthCOVID-19’s second more destructive wave hits India in midst of heavy election season
Yesterday saw an unprecedented high of coronavirus cases in India with +68,206  new cases and 295 deaths.  There are over 60,000 daily infections and on Sunday recorded  62,714 COVID-19 cases. With the fresh cases of the pandemic, the virus’ tally in India has surged to 1,20,39,644.

Delhi, despite reported nearly 1900 infections a day has stated that lockdown is no option to stop the disease’s spread. Maharashtra is at the eve of another big lockdown as COVID-19 cases soar up.  Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met with Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Health Secretary Dr. Pradeep Vyas, and the COVID-19 Task Force to plan on methods to bring the pandemic’s surging cases under control.

It appeared that India rose too quickly from its lockdown with some saying that India might have developed herd immunity.  Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious diseases that can occur with some diseases when an ample percentage of a population has become immune to infection by developing antibodies, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thus reducing the chances of infection for individuals who lack immunity.

In fact, the immunity seemed to be evident before India’s vaccination effort had kicked off, and even as new variants of the pandemic started storming through Europe.  At a time when many countries in the West were still leaning on lockdowns to control COVID-19 surges, India seemed to refreshingly rise above without imposing restrictions.

Suddenly hundreds to thousands were out at work and on busy streets, most of the time, not masking, distancing, or handwashing.  Election seasons were busy with thousands out on a rampage following absolutely no norms of pandemic protocol

It is now said that Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Punjab – surpass their peaks in new daily cases from the first wave.

Hindustan Times’ Jamie Mullick and Abhishek Jha wrote on March 26, “In just a week, the rate of new infections has increased by 66%. This is the largest week-on-week case growth witnessed in the country since May 10, 2020.

in May 2020, there were only around 3,500 new cases across India every day, against the current new infection rate of over 47,000 new cases every day.

This means that the case rate in the second wave is growing much faster than what was seen even when the peak of the first wave was ravaging through August and September. If the cases rise as quickly as presently, it appears the second wave may surpass the peak of the first wave in April, shows data.”

The sudden spike in cases added questions to India’s massive vaccination drive.   India is vaccinating a massive number – more than 2 million – a day. But relative to the country’s massive population, that pace is far too slow and would take many months before coming close to the speculated herd immunity threshold,  perceiving that the vaccines work against new variants.

It is yet to be ascertained what caused the spike, but most likely, it is the blatant lack of not wearing masks, the indifference of saving lives by following the rules, hand washes not used, nor keeping safe distances.  Sometimes, the simplest things in life can prevent a calamity, but people perhaps did not take even precautions.  As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”


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