The infection of COVID-19 has not shown a sign of subsiding since the outbreak of the second wave about a month ago. Fatalities have not gone down significantly though there have been fluctuation of figures time and again. This tendency calls for aggressive response against the pandemic on multiple fronts such as expanded medical facilities, better supply of medical oxygen, stricter adherence to safety rules and conducting vaccination drive throughout the country. With a view to breaking the chain of transmission of the deadly virus, almost all the districts across the nation are under prohibitory order. Making of gatherings and movement of people from one place to another are the medium through which the virus spreads.
Accountable citizens need to remain fully aware that the safety protocols are not for mere show or formality. It is essential to know that virus can spread and infect a healthy person when people come in physical proximity and make direct contacts. When an infected person is sneezing or coughing, tiny virus-infested droplets coming into air from mouth or nose can easily infect other persons nearby. The incoming virus can enter a person’s body through mouth, nose or eye. The virus can swiftly multiply and turn deadly when it gets into the respiratory system. Its entry into the lungs and uninhibited fecundity can cause pneumonia and breathing difficulties.
At such a situation, giving medical oxygen can save a life while its shortage can prove to be fatal. It is for this reason that access to medical oxygen has become a matter of life or death for COVID-19 patients in serious conditions. Those who were lucky to have the supply of medical oxygen have come back to life from critical conditions while the ones who could not be rushed to the medical facility on time or could not get oxygen have lost life in hospitals or home isolation. One of the key features of the virus in the second wave is that it causes pneumonia, breathing difficulties and death within a short span of time. Thus, the demand of oxygen, intensive care units, high dependency units and ventilators has increased. Due to rising number of patients, the demand of oxygen and ICU are not being met. Therefore, availing these lifesaving items and facilities has been a matter of challenge and acid test for the government.
On the part of the common people there is an oft-repeated blame that the restriction orders enforced by the government are not being followed at the satisfactory level. There have been mass infections after attending wedding ceremonies. Brides have died days after the marriage. Safety measures are not obeyed on the pretext of cultural rites and festive celebrations. Morning market places opened for essential supplies often neglect the health norms and allow unexpected crowds. In this context, Minister for Health Hridayesh Tripathi attributed the uncontrolled cases of the virus to ineffective implementation of the restriction orders. Citizen awareness and administrative monitoring are essential to deal with this situation. The price of defying the health rules can be much higher than what we lose by staying at home and avoiding unwanted mix-ups.