The second wave of Covid-19 is declining. However the virus threat continues to exist and is still lurking around. Experts have been repeatedly warning that the third wave may strike even as no time frame has been given or possibility of it hitting later this year is not ruled out either. The head of Department of Community Medicine even warned against lowering the guard in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying the third wave of Covid “will be highly dangerous, fatal and can take a heavy toll of lives.”
Amid a decrease in the number of positive cases with each passing day and less number of admission of Covid patients in hospitals, the expert said the effect of the second wave of COVID-19 has diminished to a large extent. However, lowering of guard against Covid by the masses can pose a serious threat and lay the base for predicted third wave.
Recently the Union Health Ministry also took a serious note of gross violations of Covid-appropriate behaviour in hill stations such as Manali, Shimla and Mussoorie and the markets of New Delhi and other cities in India. The crowding of public places has heightened the risk of infection, prompting the ministry to warn that the relaxation of lockdown restrictions will be withdrawn if such recklessness persists. In Jammu and Kashmir, crowding of people at markets and other places has been increasing as the government relaxed various curbs. Unfortunately, as underlined by the expert, there is lowering of guard of the people. With Eid-ul-Azha round the corner, the people and administration should be wary of crowding. People must not forget the havoc wreaked by the second wave just a couple of months ago. One should not overlook the fact that the heavy toll in the second wave was the consequence of complacency in January, when the first wave had petered out. With the vaccination rate all but sluggish, a repeat of irresponsible conduct can hasten the onset of the third wave.
Close coordination between various stakeholders is a must to regulate the footfall of people in places where crowds are expected especially in markets for sacrificial animals and places housing shops thronged by people on the Eid eve. There is a need for strict compliance to wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, besides frequent washing of hands with soap. Rather, as experts stress time and again, it must become a way of life. Otherwise, another catastrophe may occur with more ferocity and that too sooner than later.