05 Apr 2021  |   05:46am IST

COVID cases are shooting up; time to take more precautions

COVID cases are shooting up; time to take more precautions

The rising COVID cases in the country, especially in neighbouring Maharashtra are a matter of concern. On Sunday, Goa registered 265 new cases shooting the total active cases in the State to 2077. With a small State like Goa this number is too high compared to the day last year when the State was declared as “green zone”. So far there are no restrictions in Goa. Travellers and tourists can come and go freely without even been asked about a COVID test reports as against other neighbouring States.

On Sunday Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the COVID situation and the vaccination programme amid rising Corona virus cases. During the meeting, the PM directed that central teams consisting of public health specialists and clinicians be sent to Maharashtra in view of the high caseload and deaths, and likewise to Punjab and Chhattisgarh because of the disproportionate number of deaths being reported there.

India has recorded the highest single-day rise in COVID cases in the last six months with 89,129 new infections in a span of 24 hours, taking the tally to over 1.23 crore cases. Seeing this surge PM Modi has ordered experts to visit Maharashtra, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh to decode COVID and also a special drive on mask discipline will be monitored from April 6. However, it was expected that seeing the rise in cases PM would announce that all those who wanted vaccination would be allowed to do so and no age-bar would apply. This never happened.

The Covid-19 situation in India is getting worse every day as several States have been reporting their highest ever single-day spike in the number of COVID infections for the past few weeks. The daily count of COVID cases has crossed the critical 90,000-mark on Sunday even as the vaccination drive picked up the pace with India vaccinating all above 45 years from April 1. There has been a clamour to open vaccines for all age groups in order to limit the spread of virus infection. However, health experts and senior officials are of the view that ‘people flouting COVID protocols especially mask discipline and physical distancing', is one of the major reasons for the surge of COVID second wave in the country.

In India 93,249 new cases were reported on Sunday, taking the COVID tally to 1,24,85,509. On Saturday the country had reported 89,129 new cases, the highest single-day spike in the world, US (70,024 cases) and (Brazil 69,662 cases); out of India’s 89,129 cases, Maharashtra, the worst-affected State in the country, alone accounted for 49,447 fresh infections and it is the highest since the pandemic started last year. Maharashtra now has 4.01 lakh active cases, compared to 1.3 lakh cases on March 15, more than a threefold rise in just over two weeks.

In order to stem the rising cases, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday had warned of a possible lockdown in the State, urging everyone to follow COVID protocols. Thackeray had said that he would consult experts and political leaders in a day or two before taking a decision on restrictions and lockdown. The Maharashtra cabinet which met on Sunday has decided against imposing a total lockdown. However, as cases soar and the situation in the State remains ‘grim’, several more curbs are going to be put in place soon. Among these, the most prominent is going to be a full weekend lockdown which will be in place from 9 pm on Friday to Monday morning 7 am. But, will this help?

Seeing the recent election rallies on television, with hardly any COVID protocols being followed in such events, many citizens flouting all protocols, have become ‘brave’ and have dropped their guard and are taking the threat of virus as a ‘routine’.

No more white circles and no more asking for masks is being seen all over and people are brazenly flouting all COVID protocols which not only endangers their own lives but others too who come in close proximity to the protocol violators. There are hardly any fines imposed on violators. The concern is serious and it needs to be dealt with utmost urgency. Some people fear the law but a majority of them fear monetary fines, which could be a good source of the State governments to earn some revenue. It is time that common people must stay responsible not only for themselves but for others too who are adhering to the protocols set by the government.