2nd wave of Covid-19 revisited | By Dr Rajkumar Singh


2nd wave of Covid-19 revisited

IN the year 2021, the Covid-19 entered in its third year and the year 2020 proved most fatal for the whole of humanity, which took lakhs of precious lives all over the world.

Many countries of the world faced second wave of Covid-19 in the closing months of the year 2020, but it came second time in many Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives.

Bhutan, Nepal and in host of others. Some European including a few states of USA are facing its third wave where possibility of lockdowns and other stern measures to control the pandemic is in the offing.

Across the globe all countries have adopted their own strategy to tackle the new situation arising out of the resuming of the pandemic.

For example, Britain has unveiled a three-tier system under which affected areas have been divided in medium risk, high risk and very high risk, while Ireland has already implemented six-week lockdown but unlike the earlier schools will remain open, retail shops will remain close with other reasonable restrictions for other sections of society.

Fear looming large: Omnipresent fear of the resurgence of Covid-19 is on the way and knowing the facts about the history of previous pandemics it is not unnatural.

In the context as the new cases are coming day by day, the WHO has also warned to have the 5-6 phases of Covid-19.

Even in traditional pandemics old measures of its control remain useful today which include:

(1). Isolation and treatment of infected person;

(2). Containment of disease spread with the help of quarantine measures;

(3). Personal precautions for protection and

(4). Use of proper means of media to let the common people know the facts of the disease.

However, the factors that cause the resurgence in early 2021, in several parts of the world more count on opening of schools, change of temperature during the outbreak and changes in human behaviour.

In fact, for being house arrest about a year the people of India became less cautious and many people began congregating at crowded weddings and family functions even without bearing mask and keeping no physical distance among the people gathered to participate in the event.

This behavioural factor proved very dear for all and the country is facing a severe intensive situation pushing the nation at great risk.

Partly, the government is also blamed for allowing reckless behaviour in the population.

Status in India: With the opening of the year 2021, several states of India like Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujrat and Punjab have remained far from satisfactory and in other states, such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal the cases of Covid -19 are multiplying.

If this speed is not checked early adopting all precautions and apt guidelines the data may surpass its previous records leading to a lot of people’s casualties.

Affected states in India are taking various initiatives to check the spread of coronavirus which has arrived again with more intensity in practice.

In the latest development a complete lockdown has been announced in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur from April 9 to 19, while the Government of Punjab has extended its night curfew till April 30.

In addition, more states and regions where the increase of number is reported are coming under vigilance and strict supervision.

In last one week the average of daily cases rose to 100,761 which means that India has surpassed the peak of the first recorded at 93,617 on September 16,2020.

In India the sole rising figure of Maharashtra, especially Mumbai is more alarming and worrisome because it has contributed almost half of the figure found all over the country, leading to the imposition of a night curfew and weekend curfew.

Along with Mumbai, Chandigarh has also been forced to impose curbs on social movement.

These states alike, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have also closed schools colleges and coaching institutes for a week, but viewing the rise in cases possibility of its extension and imposition of other stern measures can’t be ruled out.

Regional report: In comparison to other parts of the globe the South Asia region is densely populated and an easy prey to pandemics and a number of other natural calamities.

Although, in proportion to its population, cases remained low in South Asia, mortality in particular.

India alike, the second wave of Covid-19 appeared in most countries of South Asia including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal etc.

In Pakistan 95% of beds in hospitals are full and there are hints that the Prime Minister may re-evaluate country’s policy not to impose nationwide lockdown in the coming days.

In Bangladesh too, educational institutions have been closed and other preparations are on to face the second wave of the pandemic.

In Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal Covid-19 cases are increasing and fear of its resurgence is looming large in the area.

Keeping in view the region’s increased level of unemployment, poverty and food insecurity due to pandemic the coming back of the disease in the region will aggravate further the already pitiable condition.

In a recent report which cover Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka it was found that about 420million children were out of school due to pandemic and its related measures and they are unlikely to return school because of this new wave.

In times to come the situation in the globe and the region as well may deteriorate and repeat of history cannot be fully denied.

— The writer is Professor and Head, P G Department of Political Science, Bihar, India.