The second wave of Covid-19 has hit the country with a far greater force compared to the first wave. There has been a steady rise in the daily coronavirus cases since February 1, when the country had recorded the lowest number of cases in 8 months.
The daily cases surpassed all previous records when on April 4 the country reported over 1 lakh positive cases on a single day. This sudden spike in the cases has come as a shock to the people as well as the state governments.
It is very important to understand this sudden surge in cases and how can it be controlled.
The major reason for this unprecedented rise in numbers can be contributed to the fact that people have become more relaxed since the beginning of the year.
With the news of the availability of indigenous vaccines in the market, people thought as if life was getting back to normal. As schools, colleges, restaurants, malls, businesses and the entertainment industry started functioning normally, most people started avoiding Covid-19 safety protocols.
Another major reason for the growth in cases is because of virus mutation. Although not all of the mutations act as a major concern but those detected in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), and Brazil(P1) pose a serious threat. The UK variant has already been detected in India and there are still possibilities that Indian-specific mutations are still to be identified.
The good news is that the vaccines are equally effective in the case of the new variants. But still, we shouldn’t let our guards down.
The below are some points that can be considered to reduce the further spread of the virus:
- The surge of the second wave can be majorly contributed to the carelessness portrayed by the people. In order to keep this in check, more strict measures should be adopted.
- The violators should be fined and all establishments must routinely test their personnel, track the positives and treat them as per the protocols.
- The authorities should immediately close these establishments if Covid-19 protocols are not being followed properly.
- Increasing the pace of the vaccination drive to cover an average of 5 to 6 million people a day. Moreover, adopting a staggered rollout according to the containment zones.
- Using the chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) hotspots should be identified and every susceptible in: dividual irrespective of their age should be vaccinated. Any kind of social gatherings should be banned in the hotspots.
- Along with vaccination, it is important to develop novel therapeutic options through genomic approaches. By using viral cloning technology more effective therapeutic options can be designed.
- This can be very helpful in fighting against Covid-19, particularly when the patient gets hospitalized or develop severe disease. India has successfully upscaled its infrastructure in many centers and hence is capable of performing highly efficient sequencing of the genome of coronavirus isolates.
- The other option can be to develop new strategies to create designer therapeutic antibodies, just like in the case of the Ebola virus.
- The United States company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has already developed an investigational product, REGN-COV2, which successfully treated Donald Trump.
- Further research will be required to develop new products on similar lines that are equally effective and affordable against the new variants.
A mix of scientific and administrative approaches is essential to tackle the second wave of the pandemic. But there is no reason to panic, some behavioral changes on our part can play a major role in controlling the virus from spreading any further.