What to Know About COVID-19 Crisis in India?
Published On Dec 21, 2021
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Like many nations, India too, has been suffering from the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic for the past almost two years. It especially suffered during the deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which hit India at the beginning of 2021. There have been vaccines that have been introduced and while the population is getting vaccinated steadily, the threat of new waves and infection surges still looms large over the nation.
The Status of the Omicron Variant in India
The omicron variant was detected just a few weeks ago in South Africa. This new variant of the coronavirus is raising concerns due to its high transmissibility rate. It not only led to a surge in cases in South Africa, but also rapidly spread to other nations as well. In India, too, Omicron cases have already been found in many states and new cases are being detected every other day. Over 30 cases have been recorded so far across various states. The new variant is mostly being discovered in those COVID patients who are foreign or Indian nationals who have come to the country after recently being abroad or those who came in contact with them. Rigorous testing and surveillance of positively tested as well suspected individuals is currently being undertaken. To prevent the spread of the variant more than it already has, the government is placing increasing importance on tracking and tracing individuals.
The Status of Vaccination in India
In India, all individuals above the age of eighteen are eligible to be vaccinated. There are currently three vaccines that are being given out in India, the Covaxin, the Covishield and the Sputnik V. While the Covaxin and the Covishield are both administered via two doses, the Sputnik V simply requires one dose per individual. Vaccines are available at both government facilities, where they are given out for free and at private facilities where there are standard charges. To get the vaccine and vaccine certificate, one must register at the COWIN website, which is run by the government of India and contains information on the availability of vaccines near you as well as provides you with the vaccination certificate. The current vaccines have been stated to be effective by the WHO. Top WHO officials have stated that the vaccines will most likely work against the omicron variant. However, research is still ongoing on this variant. Even if the vaccines do not nullify the chances of getting COVID-19, they have been seen to reduce the chances of death from the coronavirus and reduce the severity of infection.
The Government’s Stance of the Pandemic Currently
With the emergence of the omicron variant, government officials have first and foremost urged citizens to not panic. They have been requested to stay alert and to diligently follow the COVID-19 regulations such as use of sanitizers, social distancing and most importantly, wearing of masks. Since the symptoms from the omicron variant are mild, there are very limited possibilities of a lockdown. Like many other nations, India too, has placed travel restrictions, especially on international flights and passengers. However, WHO has stated that only relying on travel restrictions is not enough and everyone must continue to follow the regulations that have been developed throughout the pandemic.
Crucial steps that are being taken right now include, first and foremost, the vaccination of everyone. Moreover, tracking, tracing and surveillance of infected individuals, especially those who have returned back to the country recently is being diligently undertaken by responsible administrative bodies.
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.