Covid-19: Here’s what Indian authorities are doing to control third wave

resr 5paisa Research Team

Last Updated: 13th December 2022 - 08:04 am

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Is India in the throes of a third Covid-19 wave? While that cannot yet be said, what is clear is that the number of infections is on the rise again, giving state and central government agencies sleepless nights. 

The situation appears grim especially as the World Health Organization has warned countries worldwide of a “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases because of the rapid spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.

While everyone in India is hoping that the devastating second wave, which ravaged the entire country from March to May, does not repeat itself, the rise in the Covid-19 positivity rate is alarming. This has forced administrations across the country to clamp down on Christmas and New Year festivities, and impose night curfews in several areas. 

Authorities in Mumbai and Delhi started to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent mass gatherings at parties and public venues ahead of new year celebrations as the nation sees a spike in Covid-19 infections.

How many new cases did India report on Wednesday?

There has been a sudden spike in the number of cases. The country reported 13,154 new Covid-19 cases and 268 deaths in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, with urban centres reporting a big jump. It was the highest number of daily infections since October. Cases of infection by the Omicron variant rose to 961 across India.

What is India doing about vaccinations?

Earlier this week, India accelerated vaccine distribution by approving Merck’s Covid-19 pill and two more vaccines for emergency use.

This came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the month said the country will administer third booster doses to vulnerable groups like senior citizens and frontline workers, including medicos and government officials. 

How badly is the financial capital Mumbai likely to be impacted?

The Maharashtra government is alarmed by the massive spike, which has seen the number of active cases in the state go up from 6,481 to 11,492 between December 14 and December 28. In the same period, Mumbai has seen its active case load go up from 1,769 to 5,803. 

The Times of India said in a report that the state government has already provisioned for Rs 4,235 crore to provide for medicines and medical infrastructure. Of this, while the state itself will contribute Rs 1,100 crore, the Centre will pitch in with Rs 1,185 crore. The remaining Rs 2000 crore will come from SDRF and DPDC, the report said. 

Maharashtra estimates that the peak case load could cross the 13-lakh mark, which will be 150% over the 8.63 lakh peak caseload mark that the state had seen at the height of the second wave. 

What are big cities like Mumbai doing about it?

NDTV reports that Mumbai Police has prohibited public gatherings of five or more residents until January 7 as it recorded a sharp jump in cases with 2,510 infections, the highest daily increase since May.

“Social gatherings are going on in an unrestricted manner with people flouting all social distancing norms...we are trying our best to control the spread of the virus,” said Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra’s health minister.

The report, however, says state governments are finding it difficult to limit crowding in markets, religious sites and holiday destinations as they were allowed to remain open. 

What has the national capital done?

The Delhi government has mandated private offices to work on 50% attendance, and also limited the capacity of the Delhi Metro to 50%. Moreover, all schools and colleges in the capital will remain shut and no more than 20 people will be allowed in weddings and funerals.

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