Are we ready for another Wave of Corona?
By Tridib Raman
THE deadly pandemic of the coronavirus is increasing in many countries including India.
Cases of Covid-19 have traversed more than 80 lakhs all over the world and the official death toll has crossed 4.4 lakhs. India is in the top 3 countries where the asymptomatic infection is spreading. The number of infected in India has reached close to 3.4 lakhs. The death toll here is more than 9 thousand.
After the fierce onset of such a massive number of corona positive cases, now the fear of its second wave is shooting up. Many experts worldwide have speculated about the second wave.
The corona cases have resurfaced at Beijing in China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and some pockets of the United States. Places like Texas, California and Florida have seen confiding outbreaks weeks after their re-openings.
If we look at the current situation of India, it is now moving from lockdown to unlock the phase. Therefore, the very first question that comes to light is what will happen if the second wave comes and how terrible will it be. Because we lifted the unplanned lockdown by and large and started doing business without evaluating the current situation.
During the lockdown, we did not scale up the process of testing and contact tracing which was the need of time. Japanese financial research firm Nomura has put India on the list of 15 countries where coronavirus cases could see a rapid increase after lifting the lockdown.
The report states that after removing the lockdown, there will be two types of situations – good and bad both. In the good situation, the cases of coronavirus cases will recede because of herd-immunity, a condition when the virus may infect a huge portion of people in most areas, giving them immunity from re-infection.
The business will resume. So fear will decrease in the people and regular activities will increase. But in bad circumstances, cases of the coronavirus will return in the second wave.
The reason for recurring this second wave is still not clear but health experts are linking it to reopening of economic activities after lockdown. South Korea, who has been applauded for rigorous 3T formula (trace, test and treatment), when started easing its social distancing measures in April, new cases emerged.
At that point, South Korea suspended plans for relaxation till June end. And again it began the painstaking method of testing, contact-tracing, isolating to stop a cluster from growing into a wave. New cases of infection have even emerged in Japan and Germany, which dealt with the coronavirus through effective strategies during the earlier wave.
After the fierce onset of such a massive number of corona positive cases, now the fear of its second wave is shooting up. Many experts worldwide have speculated about the second wave
Resurface of the virus through local outbreak has been termed as a second wave although it is not a scientific term with well-defined parameters. The significantly severe surge in infected cases happens after the original number of infected cases has been quelled in a particular region.
Experts believe that in such circumstances infection is caused by a renewed strong virus that a large number of people have no immunity against and resulted in an outbreak.
A similar condition has been witnessed in China. Scientists are still finding new information about this novel virus. They discovered that the virus can be found in the saliva of an affected person for up to 30 days.
And in India spitting in public places is very common. Therefore, countries have imposed a fine on spitting in public places. So, there is a need to bring a change in India. In this scenario, you cannot believe that this battle is won by merely treating your patients successfully.
You have to be more vigilant, and this is the only option. The WHO has already warned to avoid speculating that the virus will disappear completely.
The organisation states that the coronavirus may persist among us, and a lot of effort will have to be taken to control it. It has also recommended the lifting of lockdown in stages to test the effect of each before moving to bigger openness.