Officials worry as more people let guard down

After the devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, social media platforms were awash with precautionary notes about preventing further outbreaks. And there is a good chance that you came across this message: “The first time, it was a mistake. The second time, it was a choice. The third time, it will be a decision”. Going by the concerns of Health officials over people’s casual attitude with regard to safety norms, it just might be a matter of time before teh situation spirals out of control again.

Large scale gatherings are back with people visiting family members and friends, and even taking part in festive celebrations. More alarming is the fact that even COVID-positive persons are ignoring isolation norms and stepping out of their homes, as revealed by Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao.

Besides indicating recklessness of a few people, the senior official stressed on the importance of masking up to stay safe. He also said that, in future, only those who are vaccinated might be allowed into hotels and shopping malls.

However, this is not the first time the issue has come into focus. During the peak of the second wave, there were reports of COVID-19 patients stepping out themselves to get medicines and visiting hospitals when their entire family was infected and there was no one to arrange medical help and run errands. Hospital managements had also pointed out this very issue.

On the other hand, political parties have resumed gatherings. Cutting across party lines, political leaders holding public events where several are seen without masks.

If an infected person ignores precautions such as wearing mask, and participates in any indoor or outdoor gathering, it opens up the possibility of clustering of COVID-19 cases.

Apart from masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing, senior officials from the Health department have advised vaccination to protect oneself from severity of infection, should one contract COVID.

Dr Srinivasa Rao said those who have not been infected so far and the unvaccinated population are more susceptible.

Delta Plus variants

Two Delta Plus variants of coronavirus had been detected in the State, both from Hyderabad, in mid-May, said Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao.

Samples collected from government and private hospitals are sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology for genome sequencing to know if any new variants of the virus are prevalent in the State.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:59:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/officials-worry-as-more-people-let-guard-down/article35658740.ece

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