In view of the winter season and festivities around the corner, the NITI Aayog has warned that a second peak of Covid-19 is possible in India. Dr VK Paul, member (health) and head of the national Covid-19 task force, cautioned during a press briefing that India will see another storm of Covid-19 cases. However, the mortality will be much lower as the healthcare system is now prepared for the fight, he added.
“Observing the nature of the respiratory virus and the significant rise in cases in Europe and the United States of America (USA), we can assume a rise in the cases of the Covid-19,” Dr Paul said.
He elaborated that the tendency of respiratory viruses is to thrive during winters.
“Since SARS-Cov-2 is a respiratory virus, we assume that its infectiousness will increase during winters. The study of pandemics of the Influenza virus reveals that the cases were increased during winter phases, more than the earlier phases,” he explained.
He also stressed the need to take more precautions during the winters and cautioned people not to host any gathering during festivities that may turn into a super-spreader event.
Epidemiologists, too, have observed high chances of an increase in the case burden of the viral disease in the coming days.
According to Prof Prabhakaran Dorairaj, Director, Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), viruses multiply in low temperatures, hence the increase in its spread during winters.
“While the Sars-Cov-2 has shown no such trend, it has spread during summers as well. But banking upon the evidence of the second wave in many countries where winters have started, we can assume that India is staring at the second wave,” he said.
He also cautioned that that condition of pollution would worsen the already bad situation of the Covid-19 spread.
“The only way to dodge the contraction is to step out only when necessary, avoid overcrowding, wear a mask and maintain hand hygiene all the time,” he advised.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) launched an awareness campaign to mitigate the corona spread in view of the upcoming festivals, winter season, and opening up of the economy. The campaign was launched by PM Narendra Modi to encourage people to adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour strictly. The campaign would run for two months, the whole of October till November end.
“The core of the campaign is three simple messages: Wear a mask. Wash hands and follow physical distancing,” stated Amit Khare, secretary, I&B ministry.
He also informed that the ministry has roped in frontline workers, beneficiaries of government schemes such as MNREGA, PM Aawas Yojna and private sectors, trade associations for the massive outreach of the campaign.
As of 14 October, India has had 7.1 million cases, 6.2 million recoveries, and 110,000 deaths.
READ ALSO: 1 in 10 in the world may have had COVID: WHO