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Pandemic returns: Get jabbed, keep virus away

Remdesivir demand spikes as hospitals battle huge Covid cases
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Remdesivir demand spikes as hospitals battle huge Covid cases

Highlights

The coronavirus which appeared to be on the path of retreat a short while ago is again rippling across the country and the number of positive cases is on the rise

The coronavirus which appeared to be on the path of retreat a short while ago is again rippling across the country and the number of positive cases is on the rise. The main reason for the situation where the country is racing to contain the second wave is just negligence on the part of the people and the administration. Both almost concluded that the pandemic was over. The State governments stopped ensuring that the health protocols were properly implemented. Life was almost back to pre-Covid-19 situation.

Even in public transport system, no one insisted on using of masks. Till recently, people have been criticising that the scientific community had failed to invent a preventive vaccine. But now that vaccines have been rolled out, the same people are sceptical to go to a hospital and take the jab. They now seem to be thinking why it came so early.

Less than 3 per cent of the population has received the first shot of vaccine and this includes about half of the healthcare workers. At the current rate, it will take India about a decade to vaccinate 70 percent of its people. The State governments do not seem to be in a great hurry to create proper awareness on the importance of taking the vaccine and create confidence among the people that the vaccine is safe. The misinformation on social media that it is a big game to make money by the pharma companies adds to the apprehensions of common people about getting vaccinated. Lot many heated discussions, mostly based on half-baked personal perceptions pitting one vaccine against the other, has left the general public confused.

Some ask: Is it compulsory to take the vaccine? Well, there is no such obligation. But don't stop taking the vaccine by giving credence to rumourmongering. Every individual has two options. Seek authentic information that is available in the digital world or get infected with coronavirus. The greatest service they could do to the society is not to confuse those who are inclined to take the vaccine. While vaccinations were initially available only in public hospitals, now private hospitals have opened vaccination centres, and it is considering making them available in pharmacies, too.

Vaccination hours have been extended, and those eligible can register in person and receive a shot the same day, bypassing an online scheduling system. But still people are adopting wait and watch policy. Most of the State governments seem to be more concerned about their political prospects in by-elections and local body elections while a few other States like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have no time for any other issue except fighting the Assembly elections.

Agreed that vaccine is not a magical solution, but the fact remains that immense amount of work is put in in the development of vaccine. The least we can do is respect this temper. After months of relentless suffering, the global community is finally getting some hope. Isn't this what we all wanted? Let's not kill the hope.

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