Covid-19 has reared its ugly head again. In the last 24 hours till 1700 hours on Tuesday, J&K reported 333 covid-19 cases, highest single day tally in over five months. In fact from the last few days, the number of covid-19 cases has seen an uptick. This has prompted the authorities to make use of face masks mandatory in public places in at least three districts including the summer capital of J&K. The global scenario is also worrisome with the World Health Organisation urging people not underestimate the virus.
The world body in the latest statement said that coronavirus cases have tripled across Europe in the past six weeks, accounting for nearly half of all infections globally. Hospitalisation rates have also doubled, the WHO underlined.
WHO’s Europe director, Dr Hans Kluge, described COVID-19 as “a nasty and potentially deadly illness” that people should not underestimate. He said super-infectious relatives of the omicron variant were driving new waves of disease across the continent and that repeat infections could potentially lead to long COVID.
WHO said the 53 countries in its European region, which stretches to central Asia, reported nearly 3 million new coronavirus infections last week and that the virus was killing about 3,000 people every week. Globally, COVID-19 cases have increased for the past five weeks, even as countries have scaled back on testing, the WHO noted.
The Government of India told parliament on Tuesday that given the emergence of variants of COVID-19 virus with variable transmissibility and other public health implications, Union Ministry of Health is closely following COVID-19 trajectory globally and in the country along with various Expert Committees. Union Ministry of Health provides requisite support to States/UTs to enhance preparedness and response capacities against COVID-19. Funding support has been provided to States/UTs for health system strengthening to meet any exigency due to resurgence of cases in the country through National Health Mission, State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF), Emergency COVID19 Response and Preparedness packages and PM – Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission. National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme is targeted towards vaccinating all those above 12 years of age. The government efforts are continuously needed amid rising numbers.
Such a scenario also demands strict adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, including masking and social distancing by people. Any slackness could prove dangerous. Lessons must be learnt from the devastation caused by the previous waves. There is no time to lose and no room for laxity.