With the rising cases of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, the Centre warned the Maharashtra government on Tuesday that the state is witnessing the beginning of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the government to focus on containment strategies.
This comes following when the central team had visited Maharashtra last week and observed that the state is undergoing the second wave of COVID-19. Issuing a letter to Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan urged the state government to scale up the pace of the vaccination campaign, especially in districts witnessing a sharp increase in infections.
“Maharashtra is at the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to track, test, isolate cases and quarantine contacts are limited there with no adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour among people both in rural and urban areas,” Bhushan mentioned in the letter.
The state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state of COVID-19. Afternoon Voice spoke to several doctors and commoners about the beginning of the second wave of COVID-19 – What do they think about the current situation, are they prepared for Lockdown or night curfew, and what suggestion they would like to give the government, here is what they have to say!
Dr. Gurjot Marwah, a Dermatologist by profession told Afternoon Voice, “Yes it is true that the cases in Mumbai and Maharashtra region are rising exponentially. This similar case was seen in many European countries where the second and third waves of COVID-19 made the people and government worried. Where it’s good to know that the vaccines are administered, but people need to know that the immunity only kicks in the body after 15 days of the second dosage of the vaccine. People still need to keep their guards up, wear masks and maintain physical distance in public.”
Dr. Rajanshu Tiwari, who is a Practicing clinician for 8 years said, “Yes even I feel that second wave of COVID-19 can take place in Maharashtra as the number of COVID-19 cases is rising in the state since the four days. As a doctor, I think prevention is the best cure for COVID-19. And rather than suggesting the government, I would like to tell people that this is a disease that spread from people to people. If the proper precautions are taken then the transmission of virus will decrease.”
“Talking about the government part then I think the government should try to instill into the common man rather than creating fear of the disease. As a clinician, I think it’s not the severity that is bad (Although In some cases it does get worst) it’s basically the fear that causing havoc around. The only suggestion I want to give the government that the awareness program is lacking and once that develop in the population then COVID-19 can be managed”, added Dr. Tiwari.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar told Afternoon Voice, “I have been saying this since the beginning of the pandemic that wearing mask and following the social distancing norm are the only solution to deal with COVID-19 but they (Citizens) are not listening. The cases are rising in Maharashtra since last week. Almost half of the population including some political leaders is not wearing masks. If the situation continues we will be forced to implement lockdown or night curfew in the city.”
Aditi Bairolu, Chief Operating Officer at OYE (Organization for Youth and Elderly) said, “We have seen the repercussions of lockdown in the year 2020. Economic activities being affected the most and the mental health of citizens became a topic of major concern. Many socioeconomic issues surfaced during the last lockdown. The citizens are aware to a certain extent of the gravity of the situation and are taking precautions. Many are flouting rules and regulations too. Every person is accountable for whatever happens in the domain of health and development. If we as citizens realise our responsibilities, we will be in a position to face the second wave. With proper awareness, literacy and precautions, we can overcome the pandemic by supporting our frontline workers.”
Advocate Vivek Agarwal asserted, “Maharashtra already facing the heat of the first lockdown. Just now situation became normal after local train opened for common citizen but second lockdown will put everyone on a stretcher and it will be very difficult to pull economy back to normal stage. I would prefer containment zones be declared and precautions taken accordingly.”
Shivani Lokhande a HR executive by profession told Afternoon Voice, “I think people are ready for covid 19 because now everyone is aware about the do’s and don’ts. Though some strict rules and regulations are needed. But I really do not think a complete lockdown is necessary, said Shivani Lokhande is HR executive.”
“As a citizen, I feel we have come a long way since last year lockdown and many people have realised the importance of following hygiene and standard norms. But, yet we see many people breaking these rules, and only wearing masks to avoid fine. Is this really helping people? Educated ones should teach illiterate ones but the store here is different. Many of us have followed COVID guidelines irrespective of the fine as we care for one another. I wish everyone to do the same. Let’s follow the guidelines for some more duration and kick this virus out of our lives. Also, I feel it’s not too late to awake ourselves. Let there not be any other lockdown situation, hunger issues, mental health issues. Let’s impose some laws else we might have to go down the narrow lane.” said Isha Sharma , a Marketing manager at Conscious Food.
Reema Lobo, a biology teacher cited, “The year 2020 had a drastic change in the lives of each and every person in the society. Though with the help of the government and medical expert guidelines we learned the do’s and don’ts required to tackle the pandemic. Gradually the citizens adapted to the “state of art” culture and the number of cases too dropped down. People started living leisurely and all the “new normal” era began to subside hence there was a spike in the cases again and it feels like the consequences that occurred in 2020 is about to replay, the society is well aware with norms of the Virus but again going back to square one (the phase of lockdown) is going to be a dilemma for many people mentally as well as financially.”
It’s also been reported that the state government is likely to announce a slew of new restrictions to curb the newly spiking cases of coronavirus in the state. Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Tuesday recorded 16,620 new COVID-19 cases with 48 new deaths.