Upto 86% Rise In Covid-19 Cases Shock India; Govt Asks States To Take Action
The Centre has raised alarm over the sharp spike in Covid cases across the country.
It has urged states to take immediate action to “avoid increased mortality” driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant.
Implementing Delhi’s GRAP model across the country is also being considered.
Those Worst Hit
The government’s Covid Task Force chief VK Paul said that the Centre has written to 8 states including Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala and Telangana.
Omicron is already spreading like wildfire, with 961 cases across 22 states.
These include Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Bengaluru Urban, Gurugram, Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Chennai, Ranchi and Delhi.
Maharashtra In Trouble
The worst affected are Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala and Telangana.
Delhi and Mumbai have shown the maximum spikes but other cities are catching up such as Gurgaon, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad
Mumbai logged 2,510 cases over a 24-hour period on Wednesday, an 82% jump.
Thane, Pune and Nagpur are also seeing a surge, which calls for intensified testing, contact tracing, setting up of containment zones and rapid hospital preparedness.
Delhi’s GRAP Plan
Delhi reported 923 cases on Wednesday, a spike of 86% from Tuesday.
It imposed restrictions under the Yellow Alert — part of the city’s four-stage Graded Response Action Plan or GRAP.
The four levels are Yellow, Amber, Orange and Red.
The restrictions will be based on three parameters: positivity rate, cumulative active cases and occupancy of oxygen beds.
Yellow is the lowest level of alert and Red is the highest which means complete lockdown.
However, the city will go under a lockdown in the case of orange alert itself.
The plan was approved by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority in July as a preparatory measure for a possible third wave.
Are We Ready?
Paul refrained from calling the surge a third wave and expressed confidence in the country’s readiness to tackle the situation.
He said that we “have the massive shield of vaccination.”
But it is up to us to control the spike in cases which we can do by following basic steps such as mask wearing and social distancing.
Do Vaccines Help?
Indian Council of Medical Research director general Balram Bhargava said that vaccines modify the disease but do not prevent infections.
But it does help reduce the severity of infection, hospitalisation and deaths.
The Number To Keep An Eye On
India’s R-naught factor is 1.22 right now, which represents the number of people a single infected person can transmit the disease to.
The figure needs to be under 1 for active cases to decline.
The government maintained that the dominant strain in India remains Delta.