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India stares at 2nd wave of Covid-19 as winter approaches, warns NITI Aayog

Officials stress the need to take more precautions during the winters and warn people not to host any gathering during festivities. Epidemiologists observe high chances of an increase in cases. I & B ministry informs about the people’s participation campaign (Jan Aandolan), an awareness campaign to mitigate the corona spread because of the upcoming festivals, winter season, and opening up of the economy

New Delhi (IANS): The NITI Aayog has warned that the second wave of Covid-19 is impending over the country, because of the winter season and festivities around the corner.

Dr. V.K. Paul, member (health) and head of the national Covid-19 task force, warned today that India will see another storm of Covid-19 cases.

“However, the mortality will be much lower as our healthcare system is now prepared for the fight,” he added.

“Observing the nature of the respiratory virus and the significant rise in cases in Europe and the United States of America (USA), we can assume a rise in the cases of the Covid-19,” Dr. Paul said.

“The tendency of the respiratory virus is that it thrives during winters. Since SARS-Cov-2 is a respiratory virus, we assume that its infectiousness will increase during winters. The study of pandemics of the Influenza virus reveals that the cases were increased during winter phases, more than the earlier phases,” he explained.

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Image: epithinktank.eu

Second wave of Covid warning for winters:

Paul also stressed the need to take more precautions during the winters and cautioned people not to host any gathering during festivities that may turn into a super-spreader event and face second wave of Covid.

“Now it’s clear that patients of Covid-19 start shedding the virus 2-3 days before the arrival of symptoms. Such patients are innocent as they do not know about the status of their health. However, their innocence may turn criminal if they are invited to a gathering. The infected person can pass on the disease to many and chains would be formed,” he explained.

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Image: WHO

Viral incidence rises in winters:

Epidemiologists also observed high chances of an increase in the case burden of the viral disease in the coming days.

“All viral diseases increase during winters. In most of the cases, the viruses die at high temperatures but they multiply in low temperatures. While the Sars-Cov-2 has shown no such trend, it has spread during summers as well. But banking upon the evidence of the second wave in many countries where winters have started, we can assume that India is staring at the second wave,” said Professor (Dr) Prabhakaran Dorairaj, director, Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

He also cautioned that that condition of pollution would worsen the already bad situation of the Covid-19 spread.

Also read: Isolation and stress in the time of Covid-19

“Besides, the behavior of people during winters would also impact the infection spread. They huddle together for warmth where chances of coming in contact with an infected person fare higher,” Dodairaj added.

“The only way to dodge the contraction is to step out only when necessary, avoid overcrowding, wear a mask and maintain hand hygiene all the time,” he advised.

People’s participation campaign

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) informed about the people’s participation campaign (Jan Aandolan), an awareness campaign to mitigate the corona spread in view of the upcoming festivals, winter season, and opening up of the economy.

The campaign was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 8 to encourage people to adopt Covid-appropriate behavior strictly. The campaign would run for two months, the whole of October till November end.

“The core of the campaign is three simple messages: Wear a mask. Wash hands and follow physical distancing,” said Amit Khare, Secretary, I&B ministry.

He added that the ministry has engaged frontline workers, beneficiaries of government schemes such as MNREGA, PM AawasYojna, and private sectors, trade associations for the massive outreach of the campaign.

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