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Amid Unlock In Delhi, Doctors Warn Of ‘Worse Than Second Wave’ Of COVID-19 If Norms Not Followed

The remarks from many doctors come after visuals of various crowded markets in Delhi surfaced in reports and on social media, showing Covid-appropriate behaviour not being followed by many people, like wearing of masks or maintaining social distance

Amid Unlock In Delhi, Doctors Warn Of 'Worse Than Second Wave' Of COVID-19 If Norms Not Followed
Highlights
  • Dr Suranjit Chatterjee from Apollo Hospitals urged to follow safety norms
  • Dr Chatterjee called for strict enforcement in case of violations
  • Dr Richa Sareen from Fortis hospital urged to ‘be disciplined’ and ‘wise’

New Delhi: With close gathering of shoppers in markets and restaurants resuming business amid phased unlock in the national capital, doctors on Tuesday (June 15) cautioned that Delhi could face a “worse than second wave situation” of COVID-19 if people do not adhere to safety norms or lower their guards. The remarks from many doctors at leading government or private facilities here come after visuals of various crowded markets surfaced in reports and on social media, showing Covid-appropriate behaviour not being followed by many people, like wearing of masks or maintaining social distance.

Also Read: Delhi Government Sets Up Vaccine Centre For People Travelling Abroad For Work, Studies

Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant at Apollo Hospitals here, warned that if safety norms are not followed by people and if there is no strict enforcement in case of violations, then “we are in for a trouble again”.

The way cases have come down from over 28,000 at peak in April to 131 cases reported yesterday, it is such a dramatic fall in numbers. And, if lockdown was the primary reason for it, then we have to tread very cautiously now with the restrictions being slowly eased, he told PTI.

“But, if people show laxity by not wearing masks or wearing it inappropriately or violate social distancing norms, and if law enforcement agencies do not penalise and ensure violations do not increase in quantum, then we are certainly in for a trouble. And, the next wave could be worse than the second wave situation,” he said.

Medical experts in mid-May had concurred that it was lockdown majorly that had brought down the count of daily cases, while cautioning that the severity of cases was still the same. Dr Richa Sareen, consultant of pulmonology at Fortis hospital here, who recently lost her immediate family member to Covid, said, “The threat of the third wave hitting is quite real and not a hypothesis.”

Also Read: Delhi CM Launches ‘Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination’ Campaign To Vaccinate All Above 45 Years Within 4 Weeks

And, we had similar threat in February when everyone had started going on a vacation or doing house parties or socialising in public places. Now, that the second wave has done so much damage and claimed so many lives, we need to realise that we have to be disciplined and tread with caution,  she said.

The pulmonologist emphasised that in the second wave, at least one member in every household here was either infected by Covid, or the families knew of someone who had been.

We hoped that people will learn lessons from the second wave, but seems we are not being wise as common people. Situation will be worse than during the second wave if we do not wise up. A government cannot keep a lockdown forever, but, we can choose to be disciplined and go out only when needed, she said.

Dr Chatterjee, Dr Sareen and many doctors of government hospitals, also underlined that unlike in the UK and Italy, where third wave indications are coming from despite a significant portion of the adult population vaccinated, in India, the vaccination figure is “very miniscule”, and, therefore the “threat of the next wave becomes imminent”.

Delhi had been reeling under a brutal second wave of the pandemic that is sweeping the country, claiming a massive number of lives daily, with the recent oxygen supply shortage issue at various hospitals, adding to the struggles.

Also Read: Delta Variant Counted For 60 Per Cent Of Delhi COVID-19 Cases In April: Study

Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up. A lockdown was imposed by the government on April 19, however, in the last two weeks, several restrictions have been eased, like metro services with 50 per cent seating capacity from June 7, restaurants with 50 per cent capacity from June 14, besides the market and the malls resuming business.

Since the imposition of the lockdown, a large number of people have been penalised for violating Covid safety norms, and the Delhi government while announcing phased lockdown easing had said that the restrictions will be imposed again if cases begin to rise. According to a data shared by Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal, a total of 1,33,143 challans have been issued from April 19 to June 14. Out of these, 1,12,265 challans were issued for mask-related violations, 19,153 for violating social distancing norms, 1,532 challans for holding large public gatherings and congregations, 72 for spitting in public and 121 for consumption of liquor, pan, gutkha, tobacco, etc, according to police.

Also Read: Any Death Or Hospitalisation Following COVID-19 Vaccination Cannot Be Automatically Assumed To Be Due To Vaccination: Centre

We have directed the market welfare associations to ensure compliance of COVID appropriate behaviour in their respective areas. This is not a full opening. Anyone violating COVID norms will be liable to be prosecuted by the Delhi Police, said Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police’s Public Relations Officer.

Market association representatives and management staff at malls claimed, all precautions were being taken and Covid safety rules being adhered to. Major markets which draw big crowds on regular days, include, Connaught Place, Khan Market, Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar Market and Rajouri Garden market.

In a market like ours, it is feasible to maintain social distancing and traders are ready to abide by all norms. There is a definitely a problem with the hawkers, which we have raised with authorities too, but the stores in Connaught Place can follow COVID protocols smoothly, said Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders Association. Sanjeev Mehra of Khan Market Traders Association, echoed his views saying the markets cannot be kept closed the whole year.

“In such markets, the rents are high and there is no relief in tax, and other bills charged by the civic bodies. They have no option other than abiding by norms and going ahead with life,” he said.

A mall management staff at DLF Emporio in south Delhi, said,

We are checking temperature of all customers, and wearing of mask is mandatory. We have also ensured that all our staff here are vaccinated. The entire mall management crew is working, but the restaurants at the mall are functioning at 50 per cent capacity as per the norms.

Also Read: If You Extend Intervals Between The Vaccine Doses, You May Become Vulnerable To Variants: Dr Anthony Fauci To NDTV

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,06,78,961Cases
20,23,40,977Active
3,34,39,331Recovered
48,98,653Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,06,78,961 and 48,98,653 have died; 20,23,40,977 are active cases and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 4:17 am.

India

3,40,81,315 13,596Cases
1,89,6946,152Active
3,34,39,331 19,582Recovered
4,52,290 166Deaths
In India, there are 3,40,81,315 confirmed cases including 4,52,290 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,89,694 and 3,34,39,331 have recovered as on October 18, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,91,697 1,715

32,230 994

64,19,678 2,680

1,39,789 29

Kerala

48,54,321 7,555

88,186 3,292

47,39,270 10,773

26,865 74

Karnataka

29,83,459 326

9,479 58

29,36,039 380

37,941 4

Tamil Nadu

26,87,092 1,218

14,814 208

26,36,379 1,411

35,899 15

Andhra Pradesh

20,60,472 432

6,034 159

20,40,131 586

14,307 5

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,028 9

119 10

16,87,011 19

22,898

West Bengal

15,80,530 624

7,421 24

15,54,132 634

18,977 14

Delhi

14,39,390 32

320 6

14,13,981 38

25,089

Odisha

10,35,077 443

4,542 68

10,22,250 508

8,285 3

Chhattisgarh

10,05,654 16

183 2

9,91,901 14

13,570

Rajasthan

9,54,390 2

42 2

9,45,394 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,290 10

207 6

8,15,997 16

10,086

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,684 5

84 12

7,82,077 17

10,523

Haryana

7,71,076 15

123 9

7,60,904 6

10,049

Bihar

7,26,026 5

48 4

7,16,317 1

9,661

Telangana

6,68,955 122

3,924 55

6,61,093 176

3,938 1

Assam

6,06,468 205

3,436 46

5,97,082 245

5,950 6

Punjab

6,02,035 27

227 8

5,85,264 16

16,544 3

Jharkhand

3,48,430 7

122 1

3,43,173 8

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,756 9

178 1

3,36,181 8

7,397

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,062 95

843 12

3,25,793 107

4,426

Himachal Pradesh

2,21,437 131

1,303 5

2,16,414 125

3,720 1

Goa

1,77,522 60

604 6

1,73,572 62

3,346 4

Puducherry

1,27,396 52

585 13

1,24,961 64

1,850 1

Manipur

1,22,737 104

1,422 0

1,19,418 102

1,897 2

Mizoram

1,12,848 249

11,633 1,143

1,00,829 1,389

386 3

Tripura

84,321 16

104 4

83,401 12

816

Meghalaya

82,953 55

845 32

80,673 86

1,435 1

Chandigarh

65,302 3

25 3

64,457 6

820

Arunachal Pradesh

54,987 7

140 30

54,567 37

280

Sikkim

31,749 4

174 8

31,184 12

391

Nagaland

31,611 40

248 12

30,689 28

674

Ladakh

20,878 2

36 10

20,634 12

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,676 1

4 1

10,668

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,641

9 0

7,503

129

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