India on brink of second COVID-19 wave?
So far, India has reported more than 10 million infections – the second-highest in the world after the US. There have been over 150,000 confirmed deaths from the disease. The number of deaths per million people stands at 112, far lower than what has been recorded in Europe or North America. It is also apparent that the drop in cases is not because of more testing. Many pandemics usually rise and fall in a bell-shaped curve. India has been no exception. Also, it has seen a high proportion of cases and deaths of people over the age of 65 living in densely packed areas, adhering to infection rates around the world. Amid the vaccination drive starting throughout the country and regular upheaval of cases, communities began reopening bars, restaurants and stores can cause a second COVID-19 wave to spurge across the country, say, experts. Even, after several months of canceled events, economic difficulties, and tension, people are discouraged and tired of taking coronavirus precautions. All these factors are causing peaks and spikes in COVID-19 events.
The number of coronavirus cases in India is once again surging especially in the four states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh. Many new cases are being identified with the new variants infecting people and leading to fresh outbreaks. In Maharashtra, in the Vidarbha area and Mumbai, the discovery of new variants has led the state government to enforce a fresh lockdown and issue new guidelines as appropriate. And this isn’t happening just in India, countries all over the world are facing the same possibility of a second COVID-19 wave, either because of the contamination from new variants of COVID-19 or fresh outbreaks due to opened economies.
Without a vaccine, most physicians and scientists believe that a herd immunity method of having the virus “take its course” is not appropriate. Letting the coronavirus spread freely among the population will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of more people left with permanent lung, heart, brain, or kidney damage. Researchers are currently trying to decide whether, and for how long, people are immune from the coronavirus after recovering from COVID-19. If it turns out that immunity only lasts for a while, people may get COVID-19 again, resulting in even more death and injury. India needs to step up its vaccination campaign – some six million jabs have been issued in just under a month. The government intends to inoculate 300 million people by August to make sure a second wave does not result in widespread infections. And there’s no space for complacency yet – doctors and scientists advise people to avoid large gatherings and crowded environments and continue to use face masks and practice hand hygiene.