New Covid-19 strain: Future tense 

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Recently, India is seeing a drastic rise in the cases of coronavirus. The past few days saw over 60 thousand cases being reported in a day with Maharashtra going from bad to worse. Just when the nation thought that the virus was taking a backseat, after India successfully made the vaccine, the second wave hit the country and is now taking a grim shape with every passing day. Already the virus has proved to be menacing enough during the 2020’s 1st phase which saw lockdowns and deaths all over the nation. However, the lack of individual civic sense which came to light right after the government announced the unlocks, can be attributed to the state of affairs today.
People are still seen violating the advisories of the government. To add to it, new corona virus strains are being found and even double mutations have been found which are believed to escape immunity of the recovered or vaccinated. Having said this, a few states in the country are also up for elections and massive gatherings can be seen in various political gatherings. It seems that the government perhaps has forgotten its own directions and guidelines which were implemented back then during the 1st phase in 2020. Though the Prime Minister did call for an all chief ministers meet recently and advised them to enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour with more stringent measures to contain the second wave of Covid-19, it seems to be not having much of an impact in containing the rising cases of the disease.
Maharashtra is a glaring example of what can go wrong if people and leaders alike do not take the 2nd wave seriously. In this political pettiness and violation of the government guidelines Maharashtra’s condition deteriorated. If India cannot save Maharashtra it cannot prevent its catastrophic effect on the lives and livelihoods in the country. Mumbai is the financial and economic capital of the country. The state is the single largest contributor in the Indian economy with 15 percent in the national GDP. The Government of India has categorically said that 80 percent of the spikes were due to violation of the Covid-appropriate behaviour, while new Covid strains were responsible for only 20 percent of the cases. Maharashtra is now the worst affected state in the country closely followed by Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Though these states account for 78.56 percent of the new infections in the last 24 hours, Dr VK Paul, member-health of the NITI Aayog said, “The situation is going from bad to worse” in the country. Moreover, the health secretary of the Union of India has sent a letter to all districts in the country, irrespective of the level of surge of containment, to draw up a ‘district action plan’ with clear timelines and responsibilities to control the spread of infection. “The current rise of cases is of concern and has the potential of overwhelming the healthcare system, unless checked right now,” the letter read. It is high time the leaders sat down, irrespective of party affiliations, and draw a concrete plan to contain the virus before it blows out of proportion once again.

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