Friday, 17 September, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Block The Third Wave



The Ministry of Health and Population has recently warned that third wave of the COVID-19 may make a resurgence around the start of October. Based on the calculation of concerned experts, it is also feared that nearly 200,000 new COVID patients may be added to the existing list within the next five months if the current trend continues. Many countries in the world have already confronted the third wave. Taking their cue from the patterns of the COVID-19 during its first and second wave, health experts have predicted about the third wave outbreak. Health experts in Nepal’s southern neighbour, India, have already warned of the resurgence of the third wave in near future. So, it is highly likely that the third wave will emerge in Nepal because the two nations have open border and close social, cultural and economic inter-mingling. Though the third wave is likely to hit the country, effective and prompt preventive response can prove the prediction otherwise.

The country has badly experienced the devastating second wave of COVID-19 from April in which more than 6,500 people have lost their lives. For one and half months, the second wave has been decreasing and phasing out. However, the number of COVID-19 cases is gradually increasing of late. As of Monday, the active caseload was recorded 27,908 out of which 2,815 COVID patients are receiving treatment at various health institutions across the country. A few days ago, the number of infected people had gone down to around 16 hundred. On Monday, the number went up to more than 3,400. It shows that the recent tally of the COVID-19 cases is consistently increasing. That has provided clues to third wave predictions.

The government was not able to handle the spread of the second wave. So, the present government should learn a lesson from any shortcomings and chart out a better plan for safety. The government is preparing to bring more than 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from various countries by the mid-April of 2022. According to the Ministry, as many as 32,300,000 doses of the vaccine would be brought by the deadline. Furthermore, the government has initiated the process to bring 6 million doses of the vaccine for children aged between 12 and 18. News reports say that the government would soon reach a deal with the Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company, Sinopharm to six million doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, the government has made preparations for keeping nine thousand oxygen cylinders standby in case the third wave spreads. The federal government will manage 2,000 cylinders of oxygen on its own while it has instructed seven provincial governments to manage one thousand each.

The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has mainly two prominent dimensions - first, the preparations of the government and second, the self-restriction to be adopted by the people. The new government has expressed its resolve to save people from the pandemic. It has focused its attention on procuring COVID-19 vaccines and managing thousands of oxygen cylinders for possible third wave. Increasing the ratio of health workers to treat the COVID-19 patients is a challenge for the government. The common people, on their part, should strictly follow the safety protocols and government measures to fight the virus. Controlling the movement across the border, maintaining social distance, and avoiding any sort of large gatherings are essential to stay safe and foil the third wave outbreak.