Context:

The rise in case numbers has been exponential in the second wave – it has shaken the country and is more devastating than the first wave.

Relevance:

GS-III: Disaster Management

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Points regarding the Second Wave of Covid-19
  2. Reasons for the Spike of the Second wave of Covid-19

Key Points regarding the Second Wave of Covid-19

Like the 1918-20 Spanish flu, the second all-India surge of the Covid-19 pandemic has been more devastating than the first.

  • A combination of a large asymptomatic population and the presence of more infectious variants of the virus during the second wave, which is much steeper than the first wave that peaked in September 2020, continues to transmit the virus even to those who are staying indoors.
  • The infection is spreading at a faster pace in every age group. At present, there is very little data that shows how long immunity lasts in the younger population.

Reasons for the Spike of the Second wave of Covid-19

  1. When cases started declining, people just broke out of the protocol of wearing a face mask, washing hands regularly and maintaining social-physical distance. – Gatherings began becoming large particularly January 2021 onwards.
  2. Rules were relaxed. Penalties were not enforced. The pattern was seen across the country allowing the novel coronavirus to create a second and possibly stronger wave.
  3. The queues outside polling booths and gatherings at the election rallies of all the parties defied Covid-19 protocol. This sent a confusing message to the public and also the grassroots-level functionaries of the government. It weakened the vigil against the pandemic.
  4. India has recorded over 1.2 crore cases of Covid-19 yet the pandemic is still mostly concentrated around cities, especially the bigger cities. These cities have greater mobility giving more opportunities for the virus to spread from one person to another when the guard is lowered.
  5. In the current wave, the marking of the containment zone has been less strict. In cities, the government has asked civil authorities to adopt micro-containment, with perhaps just a floor or a house defined as a containment zone.
  6. Besides the human factors, the evolution of coronavirus is among the major reasons for the second wave. Scientists have detected numerous mutations in the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Some of these mutations have produced what they call is Variants of Concern (VOCs).
  7. Increased testing is another reason why India is detecting more cases in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  8. Asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) person, who carries the virus, would have spread the infection. In India, 80-85% of the population are asymptomatic.
  9. India also failed to seize the opportunity to augment its healthcare infrastructure and vaccinate aggressively.

-Source: Indian Express

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