Covid is down, but it is not out Disturbing Delhi report

Covid is down but don’t mistake this with the virus being out. Since the end of February, the daily count has been well below the three digit mark and it has been on a decline ever since with Manipur returning a figure of only six new cases on April 16 (with the report carried on April 17 and hitting the 18th April edition). Manipur has also not added to the death count due to the virus in the last many days with the total number of deaths staying put at 2120. And the figure has been the same for the last many days. Taking the reality into consideration, the State Government did away with all Covid restrictions with the advice that the people continue to follow basic measures such as avoiding large crowd and wearing a face mask when one steps out of one’s house. True the number of fresh infections has seen a drastic cut in the last couple of days but this should not be taken to mean that the virus is out. It is down for the moment but to equate this with being out would be missing the trees for the woods and nothing could be more catastrophic than this. Just remember the brief lull when the first wave ebbed and the  second wave hit the people with such ferocity. Now with experts predicting that India could see a fourth wave, nothing should be taken to chance. This is where the prognosis of the Health Minister of Karnataka K Sudhakar that India is likely to witness a fourth wave of the pandemic in August this year gains significance. One does not know the background of the Health Minister of Karnataka and one is inclined to believe that the Health Minister is definitely not an expert in this field, but remember such a statement could have been given only after consulting experts in different fields. Moreover the Health Minister made the comment while addressing the Legislative Council of the southern State. There have been others too before Sudhakar and judging from reports coming in from different parts of the country, there is every reason why the people should not throw caution to the wind. The detection of the sub-variant of the Omicron variant, the BA.4 and BA.5 is cause for concern, according to the World Health Organisation and as it said, to protect the future, one must protect the present and this is the reason why it is incumbent on everybody to continue to stick to the protocols laid down by WHO and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
The findings by LocalCircles a Delhi based firm that Covid spread has shot up by 500 percent in the last 15 days in Delhi and NCR should be cause for deep concern. The statistics was arrived at after a survey covering 11,743 residents of Delhi and NCR and while the samples may not be all encompassing it is nonetheless disturbing and all the more reason why people should not let their guards down. Adding more substance to the findings of LocalCircles is the report that has come in that India recorded a sharp spike in new cases, up by 89.8 percent in the past 24 hours as on April 18. Moreover deaths too saw a sharp rise at Kerala and if not for nothing else, at least these statistics should tell something significant. This is where the Government at Imphal and the Health Department may once again look at the social behaviour of the people. With cases seeing a sharp dip in the last many days, with no deaths reported, it is not uncommon to see many throwing caution to the wind and moving about as if the virus has finally been reined in. However statistics tells a different story. It continues to infect, best reflected by the daily news of fresh infection, even though it may be in single digit. The virus is still alive and kicking though the force of the kick may be weak. It is just a matter of time for the virus to regain its strength and the past has shown that it is tricky and deadly. If it is BA.4 and BA.5 the sub-variant of the Omicron that is driving the fresh infections, no one knows whether it will mutate further or not. Don’t let your guards down should be the call of the hour.