Covid 3rd Wave Coming: Are We prepared?
As the speculation goes on, the third-wave is already at the threshold of a fresh beginning with the gruesome aftermath of second-wave in the background.
Insight Bureau: “The present situations were unthinkable. The year 2020 was the unfolding of the nightmare that our generation was truly and completely unfamiliar with. And the appearance of the scourge in the death pang of lockdown was appalling; my business was fully shut, rendering me unemployed without a penny. I was compelled to look for a job and work as delivery boy. As I was returning home, I could sniff the burning of flesh in the crematorium at Satya Nagar of Bhubaneswar and there was a long queue of dead bodies”- recounts Madan Mohan Mishra, who works as a delivery body of essential commodities and for him Covid-19 is completely a bolt from the blue.
As the speculation goes on, the third-wave is already at the threshold of a fresh beginning with the gruesome aftermath of second-wave in the background. The Director of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Dr. CBK Mohanty has already hinted that the state may have almost 14000 cases every day. And the cases might rise up to 19,000 during its peak. The department of health has speculated that the wave would last for 75 days.Although there is no confirmed news about the exact date for the beginning of the scourge, the possibility of its spread among the small children keeps everyone on the tenterhooks.
Like the earlier occasions, the government of Odisha has reiterated its commitment to fight off the deadly effects of the third wave. Adding fire to the assumption, the health department confirms that there is likelihood of spreading of infection among 12 per cent of children, while 5 per cent would need hospitalization.
“The third wave is a statistical representation of the Public Health Department. Chances of spread of infection among the children up to 10 years are really less, while the chances are more for the age group of 10 to 18. The vaccination for the said group has already begun, which leaves no space for worry. Proper sanitization and social distancing are the needs of the hour. We need to remember that it is a war-like situation and the government is working on the equal footing”- Says Dr. Arabinda Mohanty-the eminent pediatric of Odisha.
The Third Wave emergency might necessitate a preparation of 6000 hospital beds and the health department has already readied 3000 for the occasion. As the need for Oxygen was acutely felt, the government is seriously preparing for the establishment of oxygen plants in all the districts of the state. While there are extensive preparations for setting up ICU Oxygen beds in all the districts of Odisha for the kids, testing goes on the full scale for the specific age-groups of the children.
“The speculation about the third-wave is absolutely correct. And this will definitely take the children in its fold. Just imagine about a population of 140 crores and out of which, 20% of it consists of age group below 20. And imagine, the festival season is beginning from the month of September. The people will start intermingling, throwing all the restrictions of social distancing to the winds. Usually, the children do not show symptoms of infection as we do not take cold and cough in them seriously. There is very likelihood that it will spread fast from them to the elderly persons. Take the example of Onam festival in Kerala and it acted as a super spreader. About 10% of children infected in the third-wave spread, there is every chance that 5% would succumb to the fatal killer wave. As a core member of the Covid medical team, I would stress upon early testing and diagnosis of the flu and earliest treatment. As the vaccination for the children is going on at a snail’s pace due to the over-sized population, social distancing and earliest treatment of the Covid symptoms are the true needs of the hour”-Says Dr. Yogesh Chetty- an experienced doctor, who has so far successfully treated hundreds of pandemic patients.
Are we prepared to handle the Covid 3rd Wave? The Odisha Government looks confident. They believe that they can face the challenge with adequate number of beds and facilities for the children. During the first two waves of Covid surge, children were not affected much. That was a relief for all. But, if more children are infected during the 3rd wave, there could be chaos and panic everywhere. The Government must not lower its guard under any circumstances.