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All of us responsible for this spike in Covid cases

Alarming rise in Covid cases in Srikakulam
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Alarming rise in Covid cases in Srikakulam

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All this resulted in the current variant of coronavirus to spread fast forcing many states like Maharashtra and Delhi to go in for Corona curfew

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All this resulted in the current variant of coronavirus to spread fast forcing many states like Maharashtra and Delhi to go in for Corona curfew. The virus this time was affecting young adults and children below 10 years of age.

Second wave of Corona will start receding by end of April or maximum by May say astrologers. Sounds music to ears. But then don't blame the astrologers who predicted so on the eve of Ugadi or the committee of experts drawn from IIT and ISI who also said that it will reach peak between April 15 and 20 before it starts waning.

While the astrological predictions are based on the stellar movement, the expert's predictions are based on a super model which they had developed to study the pandemic sweeping across the country based on Indian conditions. They said the number of spike in cases indicates a sharp slope, but when it starts receding, it would be very fast and the slope would be much sharper. In fact, it could be a dramatic reduction. Let's pray and hope so.

But then, this prediction comes with a word of caution. This number may again start rising and push us into third wave if proper practices of wearing a mask to protect us, (not to please the policeman or escape from fine of Rs 1000) disinfecting premises, keeping hands clean, tracing, testing, and following quarantine procedures strictly are not followed. One should not say "Mask kaiku, Corona mar gaya na, Scientists ne bol diya."

When the pandemic played havoc with the country last year, this group of experts predicted that by February 2021 the pandemic would almost disappear from country. Yes, to a great extent they were right. The number of cases had drastically come down. All sectors of economy except hospitality were back in full operation. The fear of Corona was gone and both the political executive across the country and the people concluded that all is over and started ignoring all health protocols. The political parties went ahead with elections from Lok Sabha to State Assemblies and local body polls as if Corona never existed. They never bothered to follow the Covid-19 protocols.

All this resulted in the current variant of coronavirus to spread fast forcing many states like Maharashtra and Delhi to go in for Corona curfew. The virus this time was affecting young adults and children below 10 years of age. According to medical experts, these youngsters seem to be having a new strain and are suffering from 104 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, body ache and are suffering from breathlessness and restlessness.

The Centre and State governments need to be blamed for the sudden spike in cases as they delayed taking firm decisions to stop the increase in cases for the sake of their political gains. They seem to be thinking governments are by the people of the people but not for the people. They perhaps feel people are for them and dole out some cash incentives in form of note for vote and freebies and they can come to power or retain power. "Wahi hoga jo Manjoor-e- Khuda hota hai," lets bother more on decimating Opposition or defeat the ruling party seems to be attitude of all political parties.

Sermons and lectures from the level of Prime Minister to the state chief ministers on Corona management has begun now as the election fever has come down. But it is like holding leaves after you burn your hand. It also looks ridiculous that the in some States including the two Telugu States, governments consider holding urban local body polls as more important than containing Covid.

In Telangana hours after the government decided to close schools, the SEC announced the poll schedule. Interestingly, Government decided to promote Class X students without examination and postpone exams for Intermediate students but does not want to lose money form pubs and bars. It sounds funny that the government issues guidelines asking pubs and bars to follow protocols like wearing masks and sanitise hands. When will our leaders start thinking logically?

It hardly makes any sense to send SOS to Centre saying that there is shortage of vaccine or oxygen or medicines when the disaster has struck. There should be something called foresight and advance planning in any kind of management. But in India, all advance planning is towards coming to power and retaining power not real welfare of people.

No point boasting about welfare measures taken by their governments. Real welfare should be in form of ensuring that the country has a healthy human resource and not the one which keeps looking for cash doles from the government. That amounts to promoting slavery not empowering the poor.

We find that during election campaigns, chief ministers accuse the Centre of failing to help the states and claim that all intelligence lies only with state-level leaders and hence next time it will be their 'sarkar' in New Delhi. But when it comes to crisis management in their own States, they turn a blind eye to recommendations like going in for limited lockdown in hotspots, where volume of cases are very high along with micro plan which entails extensive testing of people and also extensive contact tracing of people who have got in touch with positive people to prevent spread of the virus.

While politicians are known to shed their responsibility and focus more on political and economical gains, people too are to be equally blamed for the second wave. Despite experiencing how dangerous Corona Virus could be, they have failed to learn any lesson.

They apparently faked that they had gone back to their roots and have learnt how important certain age old practices were. Once the cases started coming down, they dropped their guard against the infections and even when second wave has struck, they refuse to take it seriously.

On the other hand, the opposition parties try to utilise such situations to go hammer and tongs against the government but on their part, they do nothing. They also ignore following health protocols. They don't practice what they preach. Even many chief ministers and ministers do not use masks. They never bothered to tell people or even tell themselves that they should continue to follow the precautions and maintain social distancing.

See what has happened we are now struck by a second wave. Even when the vaccination started, neither the politicians nor the people had shown any interest and on the other hand the social media played a dirty role by raising all kinds of doubts on the efficacy of the vaccine. The social media run by political parties also did not bother to promote vaccination.

It's time the governments and the people realise that there is need to take these precautions at least for one year, restrict community participation and citizens should continue to follow social distancing. People should get themselves tested. All these efforts will help in preventing people from contracting the virus. These precautions will also prevent us from more waves. The virus has not gone away, it is still lurking.

It is time the bureaucracy shows courage and gives correct and timely advise to the political executive on the steps the government needs to take to contain spread of such deadly virus or for that matter any infection. They should realise they are IAS not 'Ayya Yes'. They need to take the lead and convince the political bosses that its time to revise the action plans and on what issues the government needs to focus most. Let's hope once again the officialdom will rise to the occasion. May be some former bureaucrats of yesteryears should try to narrate challenging situations they faced during their tenure and how they advised the then governments. They should become role models for the present genre of officials.

All this is necessary because, it is difficult to give an exact time period as to when this viral infection will go, it seems, the growth in cases will flatten by the end of July or beginning of August. A decline will come to this viral infection, but it does not mean that people should drop their guard.

Statistics indicate that large number of cases are in 10 cities. One should not take things easy thinking that the number is much less compared to other countries like Europe, Spain, Italy or any such country. Study by expert committees show that 70 to 80 per cent of the cases are from areas where people in lower socio-economic status live. These sections live in small places and there is lot of mixing of people. Government needs to lay special attention in all such areas and identify cases at an early stage.

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