BMC issues new Ganpati festival norms – No pandal darshan, curbs on yatra participants across Mumbai

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India on Wednesday witnessed a sharp single day in a spike in the new coronavirus cases with the daily caseload soaring to 37, 875. Of the total cases, over 25,000 infections were reported from Kerala. The health ministry bulletin also said that there was an increase in terms of Covid deaths also. The official data says that 369 people died due to viral infection across India. There was a slight dip in the number of active cases in the country. The bulletin says that there are 3,91,256 active Covid-19 cases in the country. The national recovery rate remains static at 97.48 per cent.

In terms of daily vaccination, India has made a solid recovery. In the last 13 days, the mass vaccination drive has seen over 10 crore jabs being administered. While in terms of numbers, this is possibly the biggest vaccination figure in the world. However, when one looks at this in terms of percentage, the population covered is still just 17 per cent. For the size of India’s mega billion-strong population, this is just a start.

What is the status of India’s preparedness against the possible third wave of the novel coronavirus? The latest Reuters report highlights two key factors – a: an overhaul of the health infrastructure and b: a high level of immunity via vaccination and natural infections. If we look at the country’s health infra, efforts are being made to better the availability of hospital beds and medical oxygen. In Delhi, hospitals such as Sir Ganga Ram are working to get their own supply of medical oxygen. Other hospitals and health centres are also being advised to do the same. While the Centre has said that special focus should be on paediatric care, the latest dengue outbreak in Uttar Pradesh and poor rural health infra exposes the claims by the state governments.

Now, let’s look at the immunity factor. As of today, 17 per cent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated in India. When we talk about the first dose, the figure stands at 57%. With a high vaccination rate coupled with the relatively lesser prevalence of new strains of Covid-19 in India, the situation looks encouraging. Eminent virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang has also said that India may not face any new wave of coronavirus ‘if’ the country doesn’t see any new mutated strain of coronavirus. However, this caveat needs to be understood.

It was the same time last year when the scientists had detected what the world today knows as the Delta variant. With the upcoming festive season and scant regard for Covid norms may upset India’s recovery story.

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