It’s a time for ‘Festivals’ in India. Festival of democracy, elections are going on. Festival of cricket, Indian Premier Lague (IPL) has started. Festival of faith, Kumbh Mela is on the peak with millions and millions of devotees and in between all of this, Covid-19 aka Corona has also started to celebrate its own festival, by spreading so fast and furiously that all the governments at center and states are looking clueless.
The year 2021 started with new hopes with the world’s largest vaccination drive began in mid-January in India. Records were created by giving jabs to millions, India also started sending vaccines to other countries under the vaccine diplomacy mission. But, this happiness was short-lived. By the mid of Feb, cases began to rise.
On 25th March 2021, exactly after one year of lockdown, India saw more than 59 thousand new cases, more than 250 deaths from the virus. But, this was just the beginning. April heat brought the wrath of the Covid-19 virus. On 4th Apr, the first time in India daily active cases crossed 100,000 marks. It didn’t stop there, barring 5th Apr, which counted around 96 thousand daily new cases. All days after that have seen more than 1 lakh new cases per day. Nearly 1.7 lakh daily cases were registered on Apr 11th.
The number of fatalities is also increasing at a high rate, 904 deaths to be exact on 11th Apr.
From financial capital Mumbai to the national capital Delhi, the corona is back with a bang. Other cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, etc are registering record cases. The situation is now so grim that hospitals are running a shortage of beds and medicines. In some places, the last rites of the deceased are getting harder to perform, as the number of dead bodies coming every day has increased drastically.
So, is Lockdown-2.0 on the anvil? This is the big question in every Indian’s mind.
Partial lockdown and night curfew have been imposed in a large number of cities in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh. The list keeps on increasing every day. Migrant workers have already started to move to their native places.
Though, fortunately, those heart-wrenching images of migrant workers walking back to their native places are not seen yet. Maybe, most never returned to work, they stayed home, when the unlock happened. Experts believe that a complete lockdown will send the economy in tatters. But, who knows what tomorrow brings.
New orders are coming thick and fast, stating what’s permitted and what’s restricted. That actually is the need of the hour too. Recently, Uttar Pradesh’s Yogi Adityanath’s government also released the guidelines regarding places of worship too. According to this, not more than five people would be allowed in temples, mosques, etc. That is a good move, I think, keeping in mind Navratra and the month of Ramzan. But, this also reminds me of the ongoing Kumbh in the holy city of Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Millions are taking a dip in river Ganga, and sadly scores of people are getting corona positive every day. Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Teerth Singh Rawat, was himself tested covid positive.
In the meantime, God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar was found Covid-19 positive. Bollywood superstars Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar along a large number of film and TV personalities were tested positive too. So, it was, and now it’s more clear that this virus is not going to differentiate on the basis of caste, religion, or even social class.
Mask and social distancing are still touted to be the best defense against this unseen enemy. But, how religiously it is followed, that is the big question. Because when we look at West Bengal, one of the states where Assembly elections are in full flare, strange questions come to mind. Huge election rallies are going on, on the basis of ignorance about the mask, sanitizer, social distancing, etc. These rallies are led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and their star campaigners from all over India, who want their party to win at any cost. On the other hand, the Chief Minister of the state, Mamta Bannerjee, and her party are also organizing big rallies. So, what’s really happening there? Are the numbers hidden or Mamta Bannerjee should be given credit to control the spread in her state. Or, the political heat is just hiding the corona wave! Let’s wait and watch till 2nd of May, the results day.
Nowadays in India, the popular saying is ‘If you want to stop corona, declare elections in whole country.’ But, jokes apart, experts say that this second wave is caused by new and mutant strain. Although, a second wave was never kept out of question. But, after last year September, the curve had shown remarkable downward movement. With daily cases going below 10 thousand. After the vaccination drive started, it looked like the virus would be tamed, but, it’s not. This time even the kids and teenagers are getting attacked by it.
If we keep India’s huge population in mind, and poor medical facilities, this growing number is a serious issue. Another problem is that, that the people, in general, seem to have forgotten the protocols. Rush in markets looks uncontrollable. Looks like people just don’t care, or they have given up their luck in almighty’s hands.
Not enough vaccine is a reality and till the cure is in our hands, being scared is wise. Mask Up, because Covid-2.0 is much stronger than it was thought to be. Be a hero in the Mask.
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