Hyderabad: As the state government lifted the clampdown on the movement of people and vehicles from Sunday, the city erupted in joy with residents rushing out in the open, without caring two hoots about a possible third wave of the pandemic of which experts have been warning for quite a while.
These unmindful assemblies of crowds in restaurants, malls, community halls and small gatherings in apartments and complexes create an ideal environment for proliferation of SARS-CoV-2, the Coronavirus that causes Covid-19, said experts. Majority of people who are out on the roads claim that they are vaccinated hence not wearing masks properly or following social distancing.
With the second wave on decline, economic considerations led to lifting of lockdown but the manner in which unnecessary activities are taking place has caused concerns among the authorities and medical fraternity.
Despite being vaccinated, the protection is only 80 per cent and there are concerns already being raised by scientists on the emergence of new variants.
The delta variant which was highly transmissible in the country leading to a large number of cases still exists around. Dr Prabhu Kumar C., a senior Covid-19 specialis, said,. "The virus is an organism looking for survival. When people get vaccinated, it looks for means to fight the vaccine and escape it. This means that it evolves with another combination to survive. This survival mechanism of the virus gets a boost when there is opportunity provided by humans — both vaccinated and non-vaccinated. With innumerable host bodies available, their opportunity to survive is much better leading to an increase in their numbers."
Experts state that variants from the virus are expected but if the behaviour of people is lax, it gives an opportunity for a stronger variant.
Rushab Shah, a businessman, explained, "Unlocking has been for overcoming the economic crisis and livelihood challenges. But we are seeing luxurious weddings in community halls with more than 100 people participating. No masks and no social distancing. These are super spreader events which have already started."
Interstate travel and movement of people from one part of the country to another also lead to movement of the virus giving it the opportunity that it requires for further strengthening itself.
Experts state that only the most necessary and important activities must be allowed while the secondary and luxurious activities must be curtailed till the full population is vaccinated. Dr Minhaj Nasirabadi, general secretary of Indian Psychiatric Society, Telangana branch, said, "The main reason for this behaviour is that people want to come out and enjoy themselves. They are confident not to be infected with the virus as they were previously infected.”
He said that those who have been vaccinated are confident that it will protect them. “With the government lifting the lockdown, they believe that everything is normal and they can go out. The point is that there must be proper awareness on the need to use masks and social distance for their safety and of the community to protect health and also revive the economy. Practical implementation must be the target which will be easy to follow."
Experts are of the opinion that livelihood challenges are a consideration but luxurious super spreader events can be avoided till the situation improves....