In eight months, the new coronavirus has infected more than 25 million people and killed at least 850,000. These statistics are alarming, and what’s more worrying is that the pandemic has shown no signs of abating. Some regions of the world are also witnessing a second wave of infections.
COVID-19 has ravaged countries, rich and poor. Worse, countries with advanced health care systems have been overwhelmed by the pandemic.
Now is time to be more careful. We have to wear masks, practise hand hygiene and observe social distancing to keep out the coronavirus. Only then will the slight bump in cases remain an aberration. Together, we have to flatten the curve
How do you explain the inability of the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain to cope with the virus? While some of it was attributed to the sluggish response of governments, the fact remains that no disease has strained health care systems so much in recent times.
The US, with more than six million cases, has suffered the worst. Part of the problem is the refusal of a large percentage of people to follow safety protocols. Experts say wearing masks itself might have prevented a lot of deaths. The situation in Brazil is similar, but its health care system is more vulnerable.
On Sunday, there were 78,761 registered coronavirus cases in India, the highest single-day surge in the world. The spike was attributed to the easing of restrictions to help the sputtering economy. Still, a tally of nearly 3.7 million cases underscores the country’s struggle to rein in the spread of the virus.
The silver lining has been the low death rate. India’s confirmed case fatality rate is below 2 per cent; around 5,500 deaths have been recorded so far. That’s much better than a lot of countries, including the US.
But it also raises the doubt whether many deaths have gone unreported, or unrecorded. Given the size and population of India, and limited access to some parts of the country, it could be a possibility.
A second wave of infections
While the US, Brazil and India are still struggling with the initial onslaught of the virus, France, Britain, Germany and parts of Spain have been lashed by a second wave of infections.
The cases are in the thousands, and this is a direct fallout of easing of restrictions. When lockdowns are lifted, people should follow safety measures more diligently. That hasn’t happened.
In the UAE, most employees have returned to offices, and businesses have resumed operations. Schools too have reopened with some preferring a hybrid approach of distance learning and classroom learning.
Now is time to be more careful. We have to wear masks, practise hand hygiene and observe social distancing to keep out the coronavirus. Only then will the slight bump in cases remain an aberration. Together, we have to flatten the curve.