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DC Edit | Covid isn't over, be cautious


Published on: March 23, 2023 | Updated on: March 23, 2023

File photo of a medic conducting COVID-19 test. (Representational Image/PTI)

After lying low for quite some time, the Covid-19 virus has started rearing its head again in the country. The daily caseload which came down to two digits towards the end of the last year has of late been crossing 1,000; as per the health ministry data, India logged 1,300 new cases, the highest in 140 days, on Thursday while the number of active cases has increased to 7,605. The country also records deaths, though in single digits, of affected people.

The numbers are going up across the globe, too: Over 6.65 lakh new cases and 4,178 deaths were reported in the last seven days worldwide. While the US alone accounted for 1.7 lakh new infections and 1,887 deaths, China reported more than 55,000 new cases during the period.

It is against this background that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has warned the country that the Covid virus is far from over. After a review of the situation, he has directed the authorities to ensure genome sequencing of the virus and observing of Covid-appropriate protocol, two scientific ways to ensure that the disease does not impact lives and livelihoods again. While genome sequencing will ensure that medical science is updated about the mutations in the viruses and take early preventive steps if there are new variants, the Covid-appropriate protocol has, for all practical purposes, not been in vogue in most part of the country and the people no longer adhere to it. It would be a tough task for the government to cajole people into returning to the protocol.

It is important that the government takes steps for the effective and close monitoring of IRI/SARI (severe acute respiratory illness) cases, and testing for influenza and SARS-CoV-2 so that they are kept in check in time. It is also important that the government review the preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics as well as the status of the vaccination campaign.