by the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
There is a lot of anxiety about the Covid situation in China, what seemed like the end of the pandemic only a few months ago, is now looking like a worst-case scenario. Though there may be a couple of pointers that we may not see carnage like a second wave again, we have to be cautious.
Without a doubt, the covid situation in China should set alarm bells going, in fact, it was surprising that the Indian government reacted so late when there were clear signs of warning since the last couple of weeks if not months. Ideally, we should be doing more testing at international airports and not just 2% of all international passengers. What seems surprising is that we are still allowing flights from China and other countries where cases are increasing day by day. This shows we do not have a plan in place despite facing two waves and after two years of the pandemic. You cannot expect regular traffic on flights when there is a threat of a pandemic. We should have had a plan in place for managing the number of flights coming in and going out of the country. In fact, given the overcrowding and congestion at Delhi airport, there is a risk it might become a spreader site.
The same goes for essential medical supplies such as medical oxygen, critical care infrastructure, injections, lifesaving medicines, and hospital beds, why the government has only woken up now to take a stock of the oxygen supply and covid preparation is concerning. The enthusiasm that governments and politicians show in organizing rallies and campaigns should also reflect in making important healthcare decisions. If we can learn anything from past experience is that we cannot depend on the government to save lives, we have to take our own precautions to save ourselves from Covid be it by getting the vaccination or wearing a mask in public places, or washing our hands regularly and testing in case of any symptoms. This is especially important since many will be traveling during the holidays to new places, places at the risk of becoming a spreading ground for the variant in question.
Though because of vaccination and exposure to various variants, the immunity of the general population can be considered robust but the speed at which the BF-7 variant is spreading, it should not be taken lightly. In China the harsh and draconian ‘Zero Covid Policy’ resulted in a practically unexposed populace to different variants. No wonder they had it coming.
We cannot rely on the government’s fifty-six-inch chest to prevent another covid disaster, we are on our own.