Letters to the Editor — November 29, 2021

It’s Omicron now

The world is still grappling with the existing wave of SARS-CoV-2, and the advent of a new mutant, Omicron, is a development that will set alarm bells ringing. Amidst vaccine hesitancy and the slow pace of vaccination drive, the threat of any new variant would certainly pose formidable challenges in combat strategies. Existing surveillance and screening mechanisms must be strengthened. The people who are slowly drifting into the ‘COVID fatigue stage’ need to be monitored to ensure that they scrupulously adhere to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. The Government needs to ramp up the vaccination drive and even explore possibilities of making vaccination mandatory. As many countries have already pre-emptively begun administering booster doses, it would be prudent to consider a similar option in our country, and start with frontline health staff.

G. Ramasubramanyam,

Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh

As the new variant has been identified in a handful of countries, it stands to reason that it could have spread well before the alarm was sounded. It is better that the Government of India reviews its decision to resume most international flights from December 15. India has already faced enough damage in the first and second waves due to international passengers.

T. Kailash Ditya,


One of the most probable reasons for the evolution of a variant of concern is the presence of a large number of unvaccinated individuals. The vaccination rate in Africa, including sub-Saharan Africa, is remarkably low. There are also reports that the G20 countries have acquired doses of COVID-19 vaccines that are far in excess when compared to sub-Saharan Africa. Vaccine inequity is the world’s biggest obstacle to ending this pandemic.

Dr. Sambhu Ramesh,

Pala, Kottayam, Kerala

The new variant is a warning sign to all countries to err on the side of caution. The central government needs to regulate international travel. Moreover, citizens of our country ought to put off their travel plans. The Government should boost the vaccination drive.

Aanya Singhal,

Noida, Uttar Pradesh

There have to be swift measures such as ramping up vaccination, screening flight passengers and genome sequencing. The Centre and States must synergise steps.

M. Rishidev,

Dindigul, Tamil Nadu

As the existing COVID-19 situation is under control to some extent, people have begun to get a bit lax as far as steps such as wearing face masks, observing social distancing and adhering to other specified precautions are concerned. A special drive is imperative to enforce these precautions.

N. Rama Rao,


More scientific data is required to fathom the clinical, epidemiological, and pathological features of this new variant. Vaccination still remains our best weapon in preventing severe disease. Increasing genomic surveillance, focusing on getting the eligible population fully vaccinated, strengthening public health measures, health infrastructure, and adhering to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour even after vaccination can cushion the impact of an eventual third wave.

Dr. Biju C Mathew,


The ground situation in India is not very encouraging. People are under the misconception that once vaccinated, they are safe. We should follow the basic protocol of wearing masks at least, though social distancing may not be practical in a country like India. Let us not invite a third wave. People and the economy are both tired of lockdowns.

T. Anand Raj,


Call for discretion

I felt amused that President Ram Nath Kovind advised judges to exercise utmost discretion while making utterances in courtrooms (Page 1, November 28). It is odd that during the function to mark Constitution Day celebrations, he did not deem it fit to make any mention about keeping intact the sanctity and honour of the Constitution in a spirited manner which was quite topical and relevant a theme for the occasion. He could have impressed upon the CJI to adjudicate and decide expeditiously, cases where constitutional validity is under challenge. The undermining and the subversion of constitutional institutions and the casting away of democratic norms should have been highlighted by the First Citizen of India.

P.K. Sharma,

Barnala, Punjab

Tragedy on the tracks

The report, “Loco pilots booked for elephant deaths” (Tamil Nadu, November 28), only leads to more questions. The loco pilots claim to have observed all the rules. Instead, the Forest Department officials can think of putting up concrete walls on both sides of the tracks where visibility of the tracks as far as loco pilots are concerned is poor. The Indian Railways should also put up additional ‘train whistle boards’ to scare away animals.

J. Eden Alexander,



The Amul model

The article, “Indian agriculture needs a Verghese Kurien” (Editorial page, November 27), took me down memory lane. I am from a village in Kheda district and the fact that I was able to complete my studies was only because of Amul as my mother was a member of the co-operative society of Dharoda village. The income that Amul generated was not only good (it was more than enough for me to pay my post-graduate fees) but it was also an excellent programme as far as enabling the status of women was concerned.

Mahendra Makwana,


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 12:54:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-november-29-2021/article37742566.ece

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