Essay Topic: SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19
The second phase of Covid- 19, which is more infectious, is supposed to be due to likelihood of fast mutation of coronavirus. Two variants, the UK variant (B1.1.7) and the Indian variant (B.1.617) are being blamed for a sudden spike in the cases, which has shaken the entire country. India has overtaken Brazil and has become the second-most affected country globally by the coronavirus.
The drastic effects of the second wave have overwhelmed the health care sector. RT-PCR test is failing to detect the double-mutated virus. India is considered to be responsible for more than half of the world’s daily Covid-19 cases, also setting a record-breaking speed of more than 350,000 a day. This wave has different characteristics in terms of symptoms, and age-profile.
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Recent symptoms of the mutated virus are listed below:
- Abdominal distress
- Pain above the eye-lids
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Hearing impairment
Previous symptoms need to be kept in mind as well. These include body ache, fever, persistent cough, loss of smell and taste, breathlessness, extreme fatigue, restlessness etcetera.
The duration of symptoms varies according to people. Usually, it takes 7-14 to subside the severity. Some people are affected with no symptoms while others may require hospitalisation to treat the symptoms. In some cases, the symptoms may persist a little longer once a person is tested negative for Covid-19.
Intensely affected age group due to second wave of Covid-19:
The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is targeting 20-40 years old people more as compared to the first wave seen in 2020. The affliction is comparatively less among 40 to 60 aged. The explanation behind this trend could be more engagement of younger ones in earning livelihood. Youngsters are more exposed to open areas, while older ones are supposed to remain inside the doors due to surge in cases. Moreover, priority of vaccination given to the older generation has also plummeted the severity of Covid-19 illness.
According to last month’s government data, nearly 80,000 children were tested positive for Covid-19 in worst affected cities like Delhi, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka. The reason behind the inflation among children is reported by health care experts. According to them, most toddlers were asymptomatic during the first wave and were left undiagnosed although they were exposed to coronavirus. The entire focus during the first wave was on severe cases.
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Situation of healthcare sector during the second wave of Covid -19
The current crisis illustrates that hospitals of India lack the facility to accommodate sudden rise in patients caused by coronavirus. In most of the institutions, there is a crunch of space and resources that are required to treat the patients. System of the health care department seems to be failing. As the cases are rising on a daily basis, the country’s health infrastructure has cracked as there is a dearth of oxygen-supported beds, ICU beds, ventilators etc. Chief ministers of most states are seeking help from other states and nations, thus expressing their helplessness in handling the situation.
Most people get panic once they test positive to Covid-19 and rush towards hospitals. They undergo an unnecessary CT scan. It should be done when oxygen level dips below 94, between the 5th and the 7th day. Need of hospitalisation is there only when oxygen level drops below 92 per cent in the elders and when they start feeling breathless.
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We are responsible for second wave of Covid-19: Indian Government
During the first wave of Covid-19, scientific experts warned the nation about the deadly second wave. Still, a combination of lack of political accountability and arrogance of power by the government of the nation has hit the Indians. The front page of newspapers of most nations is flooded with poor governance in handling the disaster. No concrete measure was taken by the prime minister, Narender Modi. In the last one year, the priority has been given to political rallies, religious rallies like Kumbh Mela, commercial gains over people’s health and well-being. India reported more than 65 lakh cases in April and is considered as the worst month since the outbreak of Covid-19. Death toll is continuously rising and dead bodies are being piled up in mortuaries, crematoriums and burial grounds. Most of the patients are dying in the hospitals due to lack of oxygen. Government should have set up oxygen plants in the last one year as oxygen is the only medicine for the lung patient. Even no plan has been announced about fulfilling the requirement of the vaccine in the coming weeks. The Central government has also relinquished the authority of vaccines to the states. Now the state government is directly responsible for procuring vaccines without any mechanism. Instead of taking full onus in production of more vaccines, the central government has abandoned the duty to vaccinate people and is only blaming states for the failure.