Right when we are pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps from the devastating second wave of covid-19, a new threat is now looming – The Third Wave. A recent govt serosurvey has found that two-thirds of the country aged above six years have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Even though that sounds like a reason for relief, it still means that there are 40 crore people who are vulnerable to the deadly infection.
Then there’s the new player in town, the ‘Delta Plus’ variant of the coronavirus. The new variant spreads more easily, binds more easily to lung cells and is potentially resistant to monoclonal antibody therapy, a potent intravenous infusion of antibodies to neutralise the virus. So, how can we prevent another wave from disrupting our lives again?
1. Vaccinate, Vaccinate & Vaccinate!
The current generation didn’t need a smallpox vaccine because the previous generations killed the disease by vaccinating in large numbers. Thanks to the advancement of technology, we have developed a vaccine for the coronavirus in record time in the history of humanity. The responsibility is now on the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
2. Continue Following Safety Measures
The greatest threat to a virus is depriving it of a host to latch on to. This is easily achievable by following the safety measures that were adopted since the start of the pandemic. That is, maintain adequate social distancing, always wear face masks (if possible, even double mask!), and wash your hands regularly with soap or sanitiser. All non-essential travel needs to be avoided. Leave your homes only when absolutely necessary. These measures greatly deter the viruses’ ability to go from one host to another.
3. Opening the Economy in Phases
Overcrowding must be avoided as much as possible in order to prevent a third wave. This involves the staggered opening of marketplaces and offices. Companies & institutions should look forward to continuing work from home policies in order to prevent people from gathering in workplaces especially if the workplace involves staying indoors. Studies have shown that Covid-19 spreads easily in indoor settings compared to outdoors. If opening up of the economy causes an increase in covid positive numbers, measures must be taken to deal with that quickly and effectively.
4. Targeted Testing & Quarantining
‘Test, Track & Treat’ has been the mantra of health agencies worldwide. But India has not been keeping up with the number of tests per capita as that of the developed countries because of various reasons. Even then we have to make sure new clusters are quickly recognised and micro containment zones are created to make sure the public isn’t inconvenienced while trying to stop the spread. The quarantined covid patients can keep in contact with a doctor through online medical consultation.
5. Understand Symptoms & Know How to Act
Even after following all the previous measures if we still fall sick, we need to know how to take care of ourselves and prevent the further spread of the virus. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, have an online video consultation with a doctor and get tested at home to make sure you are diagnosed without having to go outside. If you test positive, isolate yourself, make sure you have food delivered, and constantly keep track of your symptoms.
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