Just when it seemed that Covid-19 was about to bid Goodbye from India, minor breaches in Covid-19 protocols lead to a more destructive second wave of Covid-19. Started in around the second half of March 2021, it spread rapidly in some states of India like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh. At a time when Covid-19 vaccine stock is nearly empty, the second wave has brought back the fear of Covid-19 as it was at the beginning of 2020.
The way people have been ignoring Covid-19 protocols, a second wave seemed inevitable. Firstly most people have stopped wearing masks, and among the few people wearing masks, very few really care to cover the mouth and nose. Most people have forgotten to wash their hands regularly and apply sanitizer. Reports state that 90% of the public are unaware that some Covid-19 restrictions are still in place.
The Governments are also to be blamed. Elections are taking place in 4 states and one union territory. Though the election commission did well to prevent crowd gathering and provided good sanitization, rallies and meetings were very common in pre-poll days. Kumbha Mela gatherings in Haridwar proved to be a super-spreader of the virus where at least 2000 people have been tested Covid-19 positive. The reopening of schools has backfired, with many students and teachers being infected with the virus. The shopping malls, restaurants, cinema halls, gyms account for the additional spread of the virus in big cities like Mumbai and Delhi.
Now comes the outcome. India is recording record high Covid-19 cases every day. Not only the number of Covid-19 instances, but the number of deaths per day has also risen all-time high. Big cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi are facing a shortage of isolation wards in hospitals. There is a shortage of vaccine and well as oxygen in hospitals.
Shopping malls, cinema halls, gym and yoga centres, and tourism has been the worst sectors to face the pandemic situation. Revenue generated in these sectors has gone down by 50% to 70% in most parts of the country. Shortage of vaccines may trigger a shortage of medicines, shortage of food supply, and unemployment unless the Government takes a new stand around the corner.
Among the new steps that the Government of India or the State Governments are taking, the oxygen train is one of the much-needed steps. Goods trains are used to transport oxygen to places where there is a shortage. The production of coronavirus vaccines has been increased with multiple laboratories and research universities permitted to manufacture the vaccine. Also, night curfews are on in most cities, and in the daytime, restrictions have been e forced in public movement. However, according to scholars and critics, these measures are too little too late to stop the second wave of Covid-19.