As India battles a devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic amid a shortage of oxygen, beds, and other resources, areas with a high positivity rate — 10% to be specific must be locked down. We need to look at areas with high infectivity (positivity) rates… if it is high then we need to have containment zones, even lockdown, so the chain of transmission is broken and the number of cases falls.

India has been reporting over 3 lakh COVID cases for the last few days. The situation is turning very serious as many hospitals in the national capital continued to struggle with oxygen scarcity and some have now asked families of patients to shift them to other facilities.

Many patients died in hospitals, which complained of oxygen shortage while officials at many other health facilities said they were struggling to meet the oxygen needs of the patients and appealed to the governments for help.

“It’s a Tsunami, Not a Wave”

The surge in the disease has been evident since March. In mid February, there were 7,000 cases daily. This number rose to 24,000 by March 10, went up to 45,000 on March 20, 53,500 on March 30, 1,53,000 on April 10 and to 2,95,000 cases on April 20. What started in Maharashtra and a few other states has quickly spread across the country. So, in March itself alarm bells should have been ringing and action initiated. 

Numbers have been increasing over more than two months and with inadequate testing and contact tracing, it is difficult to stop the spread. Community transmission has been taking place. Migrant workers have been returning to their villages for some time. Many went back for Holi at the end of March. Others went for the Maha Kumbh and returned or are due to return. It has been beyond our capacity to test so many people and isolate them.

What can India do today?

If a medicine was available that would have helped, but that is not the case. Expanding the health infrastructure will take time. Even if these are quickly set up, who will manage these facilities since there is a shortage of medical personnel which is required for multiple tasks – to take care of the patients, do the paperwork and vaccinate people. Many of the medical personnel are falling sick or having to take care of their family members who have got infected.

So, in addition to COVID-19 appropriate behavior, there are only two choices for slowing the spread of the disease and eventually stopping its spread – vaccination and lockdown.

Isliye IPL dekho, Magic Rummy khelo. Hamesa mask lagayen khud ko bachayein or dusron ko bhi bachayein, Ghar par rahe or sukrakshit rahe.
 !! Jaan Hai toh Jahan hai!!