Monday, December 6News That Matters

Covid surge in Haryana

THAT there is no scope for laxity in combating the coronavirus is evident from the rise in Covid cases in Haryana over the past fortnight. Though the health authorities have sought to underplay it by describing it as only marginal, what is worrying is that the increase in cases has been reported from districts like Gurugram, which is urbanised and attracts migrant population in large numbers. Incidentally, Gurugram has the highest rate of first dose and second dose vaccination in the state but seropositivity rate in the district is still not 100 per cent, leaving a pool of people who can be infected. The spike in cases in Gurugram is also worrying and needs attention because it is an important centre for business ventures such as the hospitality and aviation sectors. Failure to prevent an increase in cases could have a disruptive influence on efforts to restore normalcy.

The Union Health Ministry wrote recently to the union territories of Ladakh, Puducherry and Jammu amp; Kashmir, and also to the states of Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam, asking them to ensure that basic public health strategies are followed which entailed adhering to the regimen of testing, tracing, treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccination. The health authorities in Haryana should also ensure that the protocol is followed in all districts of the state. While the vaccination drive should cover the whole population, cases of breakthrough infection like in Gurugram imply that testing and tracing also need to be stepped up besides containment measures.

The Centre claimed that the single-day spike in the country was the lowest in 538 days on Tuesday, and the recovery rate stood at over 98 per cent, the highest since March 2020, but states will have to take steps at their own level to rule out negligence. After the first and second waves, it is clear that variants and virulence of the virus determine the severity of the disease. Precautionary measures are best called for to fend off any further outbreak of the disease.

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