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Is India ready for a second wave of pandemic?

Is India ready for a second wave of pandemic?Representational picture
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As the country prepares to shift gears to lift the lockdown in a graded manner and the States too revisit the virus picture and the grim economic situation, it is imperative upon the population to understand what the lifting of lockdown exactly means to it

As the country prepares to shift gears to lift the lockdown in a graded manner and the States too revisit the virus picture and the grim economic situation, it is imperative upon the population to understand what the lifting of lockdown exactly means to it.

To understand the same, we need to have a look at the plight of South Korea which successfully battled Covid-19. After battling the first wave of deadly coronavirus, South Korea detected 102 new cases linked to a night club in capital Seoul, local media reported on May 12. Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern that new infections connected to bars and clubs may further rise.

The coronavirus was found in a night club located in Seoul's multicultural district of Itaewon after a 29-year-old person infected with the coronavirus visited five clubs and bars on May 1-2. South Korea had almost zero cases until the new cluster was found early in May. Earlier, 98 cases were reported in a call centre cluster in the city's southwestern ward of Guro. The South Korean health officials said 102 confirmed cases were traced to the Itaewon group of which 64 were reported in Seoul – the biggest coronavirus bunch in the capital. Yet another aspect that should be kept in mind in this case is that the Korean health officials identified that most of the patients were in their 20s. Of these 92 were men, while 10 were women.

The authorities have intensified contact tracing process and have checked around 10,300 people. South Korea has so far identified 10,936 coronavirus cases since the first case was identified in January. 258 people have died due to the infection. The country has conducted 680,890 tests to determine the coronavirus cases. The new cases have brought fears of a second wave of infections in a country acknowledged globally as a coronavirus mitigation success story.

South Korean authorities are combing through mobile phone data, credit card statements and CCTV footage to identify people who visited nightclubs at the centre of the capital's biggest novel coronavirus clusters. Imagine what would happen to Indians when the second way - mind you, the first one itself is not yet over - hits them. There was a time when it seemed possible for the world to contain Covid-19.

That time is over. What began as an outbreak in China has become a pandemic, and as a growing number of countries struggle to control the virus, talk of "flattening the curve" is increasing. That is, a lot of people are going to get sick, and delaying infections as much as possible is imperative, so that cases occur over a long period of time and health systems aren't suddenly inundated. We have not yet reached the peak which is nearly a couple of months away. Will we be in a position to trace all the infected people when such a situation arises? Will the governments be serious enough to tackle the second way just as they did the first one? With politics being our priority, will our governments follow Centre's diktats at all in case of a second wave?

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