Covid world corona
COVID spike: The situation is not alarming but warrants abundant caution Image Credit: Gulf News

After a two-year battle with COVID-19, life around the world has moved closer to normality. It still hasn’t reached the pre-pandemic levels, making it imperative to continue following the safety protocols. For, another COVID wave will push us back to the dark days of 2020: a time when we were confined to our homes, away from our friends and relatives. Certainly, an avoidable scenario.

The new coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) is no longer as deadly as it was in the days of the Delta variant, but the threat lingers as it still infects people and even kills patients with underlying health conditions. A slew of vaccines has helped blunt the impact of the pandemic.

In a populous country like India, the test positivity rate has dropped below one per cent. Yet, that’s not reason enough to drop the guard as the risk remains. The virus is still around, and mutant strains have made it more transmissible. New infections have cropped up in Europe and Asia, persuading several countries to reintroduce safety protocols.

The UAE has asked residents to limit Eid Al Fitr gatherings to members of the family and relatives. The National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) on Wednesday urged people to reduce contact during the celebrations. The advisory comes when some countries have ramped up testing and employed preventive steps.

China, which had successfully contained COVID outbreaks, is leaving nothing to chance. A lockdown in Shanghai and mass testing in several districts of the capital Beijing are part of efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed COVID control measures during a meeting with chief ministers on Wednesday. Some states, including Delhi, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, have made it mandatory to wear masks.

The situation is not alarming but warrants abundant caution since the World Health Organisation reported a seven per cent increase in worldwide cases. Although it’s encouraging to note that death rates have declined, WHO insists on increased surveillance to prevent the upsurge in infections from Delta and Omicron strains.

So, we have to keep wearing masks, sanitise our hands frequently and adhere to the safety protocols. That’s necessary to prevent another COVID wave.