For the first time in India in the year January 30, 2020, we were reported with the first case of COVID-19. It was found in a patient who was a student and returned from Wuhan. Only thereafter 2 more cases were reported. Subsequently, more cases came to the foreground in March and there has been a rush in the number of cases since the latter half of April 2020 leading to precautionary measures including lockdown to break the chain of this virus. All these precautionary measures helped in surging down the cases but then again, in the present year, 2021 in the first 10 days of May India’s reported count of covid-19 deaths was nearly 40,000, roughly accounting for a third of deaths worldwide during this period. It is a second wave that India is facing and it has been catastrophic, claiming far more lives each day than in any period in 2020.
India has a population of more than 1.3 billion people and it is a significant population density compared with the rest of the world however it lacks universal admittance to clean water and overall poor socioeconomic status. All this has posed a major challenge in India while fight with this virus. India has faced disastrous consequences with widespread cases and thousands of deaths that overpowered health care infrastructure.
With the second wave proven to be more challenging and aggressive than the first wave of the pandemic India battels with it and the state goes for lockdown. However, Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and election rallies have failed to compromise with an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Apart from it is we people too have been the reason behind such spread of Covid 19.
The impact of such can be seen across the country with piling up of bodies in the crematoriums and long queues of ambulances outside hospitals. We have faced a shortage of beds and oxygen supplies.
As of 22 April, nearly 1.85 lakh people have lost their lives to the pandemic in India. The country also reported over 3.14 lakh new coronavirus cases in a day, the highest-ever single-day count recorded in any country, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country to 1,59,30,965.
Now the question arises who is responsible for the catastrophic spread of novel coronavirus in the year 2021 in India?
Who Are The Spreaders Of This Second Wave
Despite all such severity in the health of people all these like election rallies and religious congregations especially Kumbh Mela continued raising questions over the gravity to confront the spread of the deadly virus.
Only after an appeal from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the organizers of the Kumbh Mela on April 17, 2021, urged people not to congregate in large numbers in Haridwar.
These two events merged as super spreaders with daily cases seeing a nearly 6,000 percent increase between 1 March to 22 April in poll-bound Bengal and by over 450 percent between 1 April when the Kumbh Mela started and 17 April when the religious congregation was called off.
In West Bengal, where election polling for phase six finished on Thursday, the state recorded its highest single-day spike of 11,948 covid cases and 56 fresh mortalities.
The cases have seen a jump of 3,489 percent in seven weeks. It has reported 198 cases on February 1, 2021, but on 16 April, it touched 6,910. Around seventeen people died from the virus on Friday. There has been an exponential rise in cases in Bengal and this situation is equally worrying in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam as well as the Union Territory of Puducherry. All of these have seen a spike in cases following campaigning for the Assembly polls.
In Tamil Nadu, the daily cases have jumped from 502 on 1 March to 8,449 on April 16, 2021, whereas in Kerala, daily cases have tripled from 3,459 on 1 February to 10,031 on 16 April 2021.
In Assam, the elections are held in three phases. The first phase was held on March 217,2021, the second phase took place on April 1, 2021, and the third phase happened on April 6, 2021. Because of these elections, daily cases jumped from 13 on 1 February 2021 to 573 on 16 April 2021.
Almost around 48.51 lakh people have jammed Haridwar, an imperative pilgrimage place for the Hindus, for Kumbh Snan, which happens once in 12 years after the planet Jupiter's transit in Aquarius (Kumbh) sign. Despite the best efforts by police, it could impose proper standard operating procedures on the prophets of akharas and the ash-smeared ascetics jamming Har Ki Pairi ghat on the two major bathing days due to stern time constraints. Almost 2000 people have tested positive for Covid in Kumbh Mela, fortifying fears that this world's largest religious gatherings may have contributed rapid rise in covid19 cases. When Kumbh Mela started the Uttarakhand was facing daily cases around 500 but by April 17, 2021, these cases have grown to 2,757. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the religious congregation should only see symbolic participation due to present crises.
On March 29, 2021, we had a festival of colors known as Holi. Despite many states constraining gatherings to avoid coronavirus most people did not follow the norms that were made for their welfare only and did not encourage staying home and this turning the festivities into super spreader events amid the latest virus surge.
Even though the guidelines have been passed by state governments in respect of the number of quests that can be present in a wedding. These guidelines have been forwarded to all the Banquets and hotels as well where all celebrations take place. But these banquets and people without paying any heed to such guidelines are taking up a booking for 500 guests at times when only 150 or 200 guests were. Most of the banquet was not allowing any booking below 500 quests even if people wanted it as per the guidelines issued. All this has been closing seen by me as well as my real sister had her wedding in this period of the pandemic.
The persistent spread of the pandemic could be seen in India because of negligence on the part of both the people of India and the government both central and state. World Health Organization has recently stated that the future of the pandemic will depend on how India handles it. So,it’s time for us to cooperate with the government by following whatever precautionary measures are brought by it. Only we the people of India can help the whole nation coming out of such catastrophic spread of novel coronavirus.