Covid-19 Third Wave – Are We Ready?

While the nation was caught off guard when the so-called second wave of Covid-19 hit, it is now the right time to roll up our sleeves and take adequate measures so that if the third wave arrives, we shall no longer be struck underprepared, blaming each other. In this article we shall introspect where we went wrong and what are to be done to make amends for the irreversible damage already made.

  It is heartening that the nation is healing from the second wave of coronavirus rampage. The nationwide infection rate has come down to one lakh per day from a gigantic figure of more than four lakhs a day which was prevailing even a month ago. The mortality rate has also become considerably low, around two and a half thousand per day, half of the official figures we were receiving not so long back.  But the question is not how we are overcoming the wave. The real worrying factor is how much time we are going to waste in boasting of our achievements in defeating the deadly virus in Round Two. There are already some alarming activities so much similar to those evident in the lull phase after the first wave, immediately after which the storm of the second wave swept away the nation.

The time is ripe that we buckle up to strengthen our health infrastructure. Makeshift arrangements are not going to work in the long run. It is essential that permanent Government facilities must be constructed for the treatment of contagious diseases. Separate pediatric wings with ICUs and ventilation facilities must be developed. Every government hospital must be armed with an oxygen production facility. The budgetary allocation must be enhanced for the healthcare sector scrapping some unnecessary expenditure. Healthcare professionals must be encouraged to join government services. Necessary lucrative pay packages may be introduced to entice the talented pool of such professionals.

Research works related to Covid-19 so far have been mostly accolade-seeking, not farsighted. It’s not how much benefit it is going to yield. It is gradually becoming who is doing it first. This is dampening the basic spirit of research. If the scientists are forced to work under gunpoint to make an invention so that politicians are going to eat their pie, how can their work produce miraculous results? They should be given free hand to work independently. Rat-race has demolished generations after generations in the world. How can it is going to fetch good results when saving human lives is the prime concern?

Considering the progress of vaccination in India, it does not look like every adult citizen will be vaccinated before the expected time of arrival of the third wave. However, it is indeed essential, very essential to ensure that every adult citizen is vaccinated. Vaccinating both parents with both doses will lessen the chances of spreading the infection to their children. If we cannot produce vaccines for the children, this is the least service we can provide to our future generations. Unfortunately, every policy is framed as per the availability. We don’t make things available and then make policies. We raise our collar first. We take pride in announcing based on notionality. Then we follow our policies and then make things happen. A disparity in the availability and requirement is thus inevitable. Vaccination crisis in our country is a prime example of such lack of farsightedness.

Everything is not so grim though. Even though there are speculations that our children are going to be worst affected in the third wave, there is no concrete medical evidence. The only possible argument is that they are the ones who will not be jabbed (considering an ideal situation where every adult gets vaccination). There are too many unverified apprehensions about the effect of the third wave on the children. At times one may wonder if that is the business policy of the corporate giants dealing in medicines. People will do anything to protect their children. If they get any future predictions that will save their offspring from being doomed, they will go to any extent to save their dearest ones. And who will reap the benefits? You are well aware. So, with all the speculations of the fatalities of the third wave around, people are buying medicines ( which are changing rapidly producing irreparable damages to our immune system), boosting immunity and the corporates are minting money. Do not be astonished if some of the drugs we are using now get banned soon. See what happened with drugs like hydroxychloroquine, Doxycycline or ivermectin. We need to understand that ad-hocism in policies is not going to yield results when battling with a deadly virus is concerned. It’s all or none. Let’s give time some time. Let’s give our researchers the time to finish their works and come up with final results, ones that will not be reversed.

Our research works so far have been only on the development of medicines or vaccines. How about doing some research works on genetic prediction? How the gene is going to behave in the coming days must be the debate, not how much damage has already been made or what achievements we have made against the existing strains of the virus. Our science must be progressive. But the race against time is making it retrogressive. Soon the second wave will subside. People will flout every rule. Covid will soon become a joke. And then another wave will hit us. And then another new disease. Its only science which is going to save humanity at this most crucial period. Formulation of a long-term Disease policy is thus the need of the hour. Time to go back to studies and read how the dinosaurs disappeared from planet earth?

Read the Chapter Three of my new novel here

Read the chapter two

News Reporter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *