No unusual national Covid-19 surge in 1st phase of festivals: VK Paul
There has been no unusual surge in Covid-19 cases over the past couple of weeks, contrary to what was feared before the start of the festive season, says Dr VK Paul, member (health) Niti Aayog, while warning that there’s still a week before the actual impact could be felt.
“First stage of festivities is over and the data that is before us tells us that people have shown a lot of restrain. Having said that there is still some time before the total impact could be seen related to disease transmission during Navratri, Puja and Dussehra. The government is closely watching the situation as it takes 10 to 14 days for the cases to get reported,” said Paul.
The festive season has not ended yet and more festivals such as Diwali, Christmas etc. are coming up; which is why it is important not to drop our guard and adhere more strictly to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour,” he added. Experts say mask provides the ultimate protection, and wearing a mask must be strictly adhered to. “Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is most cost-effective. The cost of a mask is miniscule; same goes for washing hands and maintaining physical distance, which is also the most cost-effective measure,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, director general, ICMR.
Doctors treating Covid-19 patients also echoed similar views. “These three— winters, pollution and ongoing festivities, together is a killer combination for the spread of Covid-19. Coming weeks will pose a huge challenge and the only way to prevent the disease from spreading is by taking maximum precautions,” said Dr GC Khilnani, former head, pulmonary medicine department, all India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.