Telangana

‘Public involvement key to preventing third wave’

COVID-19 incidence in Nalgonda district, which was one of the highest in the State during the second wave with infection rates hovering around 30% before implementation of lockdown and nearly half after that, has reduced to below 3% of late.

However, people’s response and preparation against the attack, in the possible event of a third wave, appear casual, say officials and observers.

Even though many lives were lost, going easy on masks and distancing shows people are not serious, says Waseem, a shopkeeper in the usually bustling Prakasam Bazaar. He calls it “living with short-term memory”.

According to Jayaprakash Reddy, a popular general physician and IMA leader in the town, the younger population is more reckless in not wearing masks. He observes the violation to be about 40%.

A COVID-19 survivor himself, he says public gatherings, whether political or religious, should be checked as a preparatory measure to tackle a possible third wave. “The Election Commission must ban all gatherings for election-related purposes. Leaders could go house-to-house, booth-wise and distribute pamphlets,” he says.

Nalgonda has been seeing more cases in towns, say health officials.

“Government measures and public advisory are a continuous process, but public involvement remains key. More people are coming forward without hesitation for vaccination now. However, the target achieved is a little more than one-third. Masking and social distancing are still the preventive medicine; people shouldn’t be negligent,” says District Medical & Health Officer A. Kondal Rao.

There are 43 vaccination centres in the district and on an average, about 5,000 persons are inoculated daily. As of the current week, four lakh of the target 12 lakh population have been vaccinated.

According to Mr. Kondal Rao, there is no shortage of vaccine in the district, and about 10,000 to 12,000 vials of Covishield are received every alternate day. Starting July, Wednesdays and Sundays were being observed as vaccine holiday.


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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:19:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/public-involvement-key-to-preventing-third-wave/article35658696.ece

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