Exercise Caution, Do Not Panic

Although belated, Omicron presence has been confirmed in Kashmir Valley. Jammu has also reported five more cases, taking the overall tally in J&K to 13.

There is also a surge in overall covid-19 cases. More than four thousand cases have been confirmed in the last less than a week.

As per experts, the current surge in COVID-19 cases in India is driven mostly by the Omicron variant. They said the rise in numbers was expected to continue for the next few weeks. At present, COVID deaths were being reported mostly among those with co-morbidities, the experts said.

The early indication given by the IIT Kanpur model noted that transmission was taking place very actively and that India should be reaching its peak in the near future.

The peak will depend on the virus transmission, and how well the community adheres to the COVID-appropriate behavior, experts said, which underlines  that a lot can be avoided by people. If the norms are violated, a faster and taller peak is likely to occur.

The initial experience from the genomic surveillance shows that from 10 days to two weeks, over 90% of the virus circulating in big cities in India was the Omicron variant.

Advisories by the government need to be taken seriously given that the virus surge is linked to affecting livelihood besides life itself. There should be no laxity in enforcement of Covid Appropriate Behaviour. There is need for increasing testing capacity, besides declaring micro-containment zones and hot spots in areas registering increase in the cases, and to avoid crowding at public places.

The message to the public at large needs reiteration on a daily basis as the Covid-19 cases mount: let’s not panic, but let’s also exercise utmost caution. There is need to ramp up infrastructure including the production and distribution of medical oxygen, while ensuring that health facilities have their own captive oxygen generation plants and storage tanks.

The focus at present has to be on the preparedness status of the entire spectrum of equipment, as also mock drills to ensure all preparations are in place before they are needed critically.

While it is true that cowering in fear of the virus can no longer be an option, as sustenance of everyday life has to be ensured, the government and people cannot take things for granted. For activities to continue, both the government and the public must not allow virus free run.

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