India became the second worst affected country by COVID-19: Is dense population and wrong oway of wearing masks is the real reason?

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COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly in India from past few days. According to the Indian Ministry of Health’s website data, the country is marking more than 75,000 cases daily that led the total cases in country nearly about 4.2 million cases. Death toll has increased to 72,775 after 1115 death cases were reported due to the infection in last 24 hours. India crossed Brazil and became the second country to have highest number of COVID-19 cases after the United States of America (6.3 million cases). Cities that were managing to bring down the figures of infection are noticing another round of drastic hike. Maharashtra remains the worst affected state for approximately having 24.77% of active cases, Andhra Pradesh with 12.64% of cases and then Karnataka with 11.58% of active cases.

In an interview given to the India Today, Dr. Guleria, the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) confirmed, “yes we are seeing a resurgence of cases. We can say that we are seeing some sort of a second wave in certain parts of the country.” And it is evident that cases will likely to increase in absence of vaccine.

Photo: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India/Facebook

Unlock Stage

Meanwhile India is practicing unlock procedure with all the proper guidelines under the government, Metro service resumed on 7 September after 5 months under the unlock stage in New Delhi, Lucknow, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad following Unlock 4.0 but were closed in several other cities – Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Nagpur due to the risk. Issued on 29 august 2020 by the ministry of home affairs, Unlock 4 was introduced and need to be followed up to 30 September 2020. Activities permitted during the unlock 4 period outside the containment zones –

  • School, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students up to 30 September 2020 however distance learning will continue.
  • Students of class 9 to 12 are allowed to visit schools in areas outside the containment zone only on voluntarily basis.
  • Metro rail will be allowed to operate from 7 September 2020.
  • Social/academic/sports/entertainment/cultural/religious/political functions and other congregations with a ceiling of 100 persons will be permitted with effect from 21st September 2020 with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, and provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer. However marriage functions should consist of people not more than 50 and for funeral rites, not more than 20.
  • Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and similar places will remain closed. However, open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21st September 2020.
  • International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.
  • Lockdown will remain imposed in containment zones till 30 September 2020.
  • No restrictions on interstate and intra state movement.
  • Protection of vulnerable persons, above 65 years of age and below the age of 10 years is advised to stay at home except for essential or health purposes.
Photo: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India/Facebook

As people are regularly informed from the beginning about the basic safety measures that needs to be followed during this pandemic like face coverings, social distancing, not spitting in public places, work from home and frequent sanitization, through television, newspaper, radio advertisements, campaigns, posters and by all possible means of media, but the rural areas are deprived from such frequent reminders initiated by the government and organizations, which is not helping in making them aware about the seriousness of pandemic.

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Spike in the cases of rural areas is the biggest challenge for the government. Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are states that are facing difficulties in practicing safety norms of social distancing. What more threatening is, country is stepping into the round of unlock due to the economic coerce.

In an interview with Dr. Kritika Trehan (MBBS Intern), she said, “People of India are responding very casually to this situation of spike in cases. We need to realize we are the most densely populated country and we cannot compete with safety measures taken by South Korea or New Zealand.” “People are not following the basic steps, WHO asked them to follow. Masks are worn below the nose. Social distancing is not being followed at all.” Quarantined in a hotel since she can’t give it to her parents, she further added, “People don’t understand the struggles doctors go through just because the they are bored and want to party or meet friends.” Some of the precautions stated by the Dr. Kritika Trehan (MBBS Intern).

  • Buy the right kind of masks – N95 duck shaped.
  • Don’t buy masks with respirators.
  • Don’t pull down your mask while eating and drinking and wear it again.
  • Keep a 70% alcohol sanitizer handy.
  • Keep up your immunity and have Vitamin C to boost up your immunity.
  • Don’t trust the infra-red thermometers used at entrances nowadays. They are usually incorrectly calibrated.
  • Try to eat homemade and avoid eating outside.
  • Stay at home
Photo: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India/Facebook

When people thought everything is going back on track with COVID-19 cases going down in New Delhi and government introducing new unlock guidelines every month, sudden rise in corona cases alarmed people. A primary school teacher of New Delhi Rukmani said, “I was thinking slowly and gradually, life is going back on track but now watching figures on television is just so scary and worrying.”

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Photo: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India/Facebook

Whereas a college student said, ‘people are so careless and are not going to understand until they experience it personally. I have seen lot of people without mask and avoiding social distancing that is affecting us indirectly. We are studying from home and it’s not easy.’

Since COVID-19 is a communicable virus, people are following social distancing, self-isolation and wearing face masks. But there are some people acting careless and not properly taking the precautions are making others life vulnerable.

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Shefali Ranawat is an Eat News correspondent in India. She want to be the voice of people. Also, she aim to be a war correspondent.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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