As Indian States are Looking Forward to Lifting COVID Restrictions, Concerns Among Doctors Rise
Sushmita Panda. Sputnik International
05:43 GMT 08.06.2021
After the devastating impact of the second wave of coronavirus on India, several states of the country are planning to ease their COVID-19 lockdowns as cases are decreasing. However, doctors and health experts are concerned about a possible third wave, saying it's "too soon".
As the number of COVID-19 cases is declining, several Indian states are moving towards the relaxation of lockdowns. Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra are among the regions that have eased lockdown restrictions, which were re-imposed from mid-April as the second wave hit the country.
However, some doctors and experts feel it's "too soon" to go ahead with this relaxation.
"As far as removing the restriction on the lockdown is concerned, there is no right or wrong answer. The debate of life versus livelihood is at the heart of this problem. A calibrated approach and gradual easing of restrictions are certainly advisable. However the difference between the past and today is the early availability of vaccination which all reports seem to suggest is highly effective in reducing the severity of the infection and the mortality," Dr. Vispi Jokhi, Orthopedic surgeon & CEO at Masina Hospital, told Sputnik.
Dr. Jokhi also said that all pandemics including the Spanish flu had multiple waves with multiple mutants and this virus is not likely to be an exception.
India has battled a second COVID wave that has crippled the country's health system and led to shortages of oxygen supplies. Meanwhile, the Chief of the Indian Council of Medical Research said earlier this month that districts with a high rate of infection should remain locked down for six to eight weeks to break the chain of transmission.
However, health experts have warned India could face a third wave of infections in the coming months, and many states are unable to vaccinate those under age 45 because of a lack of supplies. Experts and doctors are warning against a possible third wave and its impact on children.
"Genome testing studies and detection of mutants will help in combating the third wave. To answer the question about recklessness and indiscipline, we all seem to lack civic sense and a consideration for others. To overcome that suddenly is a herculean task. It is important for celebrities and leaders to lead by example and ensure Covid protocol behaviours. Universal vaccination cover and universal protection guidelines and its implementation is the key to finally say goodbye to COVID-19," Dr. Jokhi said.
Delhi will next review the COVID situation on 14 June while Maharashtra on 15 June. The Uttar Pradesh government has lifted a curfew in all districts except Meerut, Saharanpur, and Gorakhpur.
Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal extended the ongoing lockdown but announced few more relaxations. He said that from Monday markets and malls would be allowed to open on an odd-even basis from 10 AM to 8 PM. The Delhi Metro will operate at 50 percent capacity, while, government and private offices will be allowed to reopen with 50 percent staff.
On Monday, India reported 100,636 new Covid-19 cases and 2,427 deaths, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. The total number of coronavirus cases has now reached 28,909,975 while the death toll rose to 349,186. There are 1,401,609 active cases in the country while as many as 27,159,180 people have recovered from the disease.
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