Expect Covid third wave attack by July-end, need to gear up without delay

'It's high time a COVID shot is treated like any other vaccination.' Image courtesy: IANS

Though the second wave of Covid is in a gradual retreating phase, it is important to keep a watchful eye on the much dangerous third wave that is likely to strike by the end of July. Reports say there could be a slight variation in the time scale when phase three will occur. Hence it is important to take effective steps to build a strong defence to keep the virus at bay without much delay.

One thing for sure, the reins of third phase attack is secure in our hands, for the spread solely depends on the opportunity we create to allow the virus to infect humans. So gear up well in advance to ensure that the third wave effect is never felt at all. It's time to be on your toes and stack all ammo to blow out the third wave. Yes, we can defeat the pandemic, for sure!

Well, to begin with, immunization is the primary step towards the goal. Kerala, India and other world nations should take a massive effort in eradicating the vaccine imbalance occurring globally. It is not an impossible mission for a state like Kerala to take up mass production of vaccines. The state, with a realistic perspective, can work on the feasibility of undertaking the greater responsibility of alleviating vaccine crunch.

It doesn't matter much if it is not possible to locally manufacture vaccines. Instead, there has to be an urgent and bold intervention for rigorous procurement of vials as early as possible and inoculate the maximum number of people. But at times such strategies demand tactical gambit to bring the desired result.

Scientific reports back the practice of administering a different vaccine for the second dose saying it would not affect the immune response system of the person. Hence there is nothing wrong with mixing vaccines to address the second dose crunch.

The norm of a 30-minute observation period at the hospital after taking the shot can be done away with. Such a guideline could have been framed out of concern about patients developing an allergic reaction to the medicine. Since it is extremely rare for such health reaction, it's high time a Covid vaccine shot is treated like any other vaccination. Moreover, the absence of a post-vaccination observation norm can help in controlling the intense rush at vaccination centres.

It is assumed that a good number of people in the health sector and frontline workers are yet to take the Covid jab. They should be inoculated at the earliest, and their family members included in the priority category. People in the medical field who has to deal with infected patients are putting their family members also at risk, and hence the situation demands priority for safeguarding their health as well.

Under the existing circumstances, a soft lockdown should continue in the state as long as the average test positivity rate in a week does not touch 5. However, the World Health Organisation has stipulated TPR to be below 5. Extensive researches conducted in the field of Covid infection control play a pivotal role in suppressing the spread of the pandemic.

The available Covid data pertaining to India and Kerala should be subject to a detailed study on a war-footing in order to stay vigilant and mitigate the impact of the third wave and curb the mortality rate.

The treatment guidelines have to be revised with immediate effect and updated every two weeks based on prominent studies happening daily.

A decentralised approach in Covid control measures and treatment, as mandated by the WHO, would help turn the tide against the pandemic.

The mortality rate is the most critical part of dealing with the crisis. The statistics should not after all end up as a death trap. Delivering the exact figures on deaths would help address the problem of rising deaths to a great extent. Hence, both India and Kerala should adhere to the international guidelines in reporting Covid deaths. This would help to chalk out effective measures to bring down the mortality rate.

The misreporting of death figures at the global level has been in the spotlight, with discrepancies being reported from even China and the United States of America. The third wave can be successfully kicked out by rectifying the errors and accurately analysing the figures as per international guidelines

It is estimated that the available financial resources are insufficient to take on the pandemic. At least 5 per cent of the GDP should be earmarked for the health sector in the coming budget. That's not all. We need doctors and health workers of the highest standards to treat and build a strong defence against COVID-19

Treatment methods solely rooted in evidence-based scientific facts need to be encouraged. Mind you, it's not easy to drive the third wave of the pandemic past the boundary. So, waste no time. Pep up for the game with a good amount of preparation, training, and hard work. With a persevering spirit, we can strike back at the pandemic's third wave.


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