Fears of fresh wave of COVID19 pandemic loom large in Rajasthan

By Satish Sharma

Fears of Fresh wave of COVID19 pandemic loom large in Rajasthan
Jaipur, Mar 4: Warning from many experts and embattled corona warriors against another wave of the COVID19 pandemic is turning true in Rajasthan too amidst a surge in, at least five other states.
This is evident from the fact that the figures in the desert state have shot up overnight from a moderate 102 (new cases) on Tuesday to 215 on Wednesday.
Taking a cue from the resurgence in the infections in five states–Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab,  medical professionals/ administrators had sounded alert about the worrisome wave of the pandemic cases with a threat from more dangerous strains of the virus. 
Acclaimed doctors like, AIIMS Delhi Director Randeep Guleria, Dr. Tushar Shah and Dr. Shashank Joshi (both from Mumbai) had issued timely statements and messages almost a fortnight back sensing seriousness in spikes in cases in above mentioned five states.
Dr. Shah, one of Mumbai’s top doctors, who has done great work in COVID times, in his message of February 16,  had noted that the trail of some newly identified patients in the Maharashtra state capital were traced in Udaipur.
A few lines from Dr. Shah’s post::
“This is Dr. Tushar Shah and today (the date of the message) is the 16th of February 2021.

It is my opinion that *we should start preparing for another large wave of Covid-19 infections*.

*Avoid travel for holidays. * We have had quite a few cases recently of people coming back from Udaipur, Dubai, Maldives, Mahabaleshwar, etc.
This should have duly alerted authorities at least in districts of the Udaipur division comprising Mewar-Vaagad regions and the neighborhoods. They were supposed to take a cue from Dr. Shah’s reference about Udaipur, but, seemingly this did not happen. 
The result is, tribal-dominated Dungarpur in the Udaipur division yesterday witnessed a Corona blast-like situation with a single-day rise of 50 cases. Among other districts of the division, Udaipur identified 18 new patients, Rajsamand 16, Banswara 5, and the nearby district of Bhilwara recorded 8 cases.
The state capital also registered a big rise of 40 cases on Wednesday. Barring a couple of instances when Jaipur registered 20 to 30 new cases daily, the Pink City for the past several days saw the number hovering between 10-15.
However, this doesn’t mean that caution from experts and medical professionals had fallen on deaf ears. There are several sensitive and responsive leaders in the country to take a due call at ‘hour of need’.
Among them, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has been dealing with the situation in a truly professional manner from the very beginning, had immediately realized the seriousness of the warning issued by experts. He had subsequently alerted duly the authorities. 
Mr. Gehlot had exhorted the officials saying there is a surge in pandemic cases in neighboring states -Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat therefore, we should be vigilant and take all precautions.
The Delhi government also woke up, enforcing certain restrictions on the entry of travelers, commuters from the infested states. Maharashtra has ordered conditional lockdown in many pockets.
In Rajasthan, despite the caution by CM, something (seemingly) might have gone wrong with authorities at high or middle levels in the bureaucracy. The officials concerned should have, put in place due restrictions and curbs on people’s movement at least in the Udaipur division. That could have averted the rise in the cases.
Amid threats, there is a coincidence that is being sensed with worry. This is about mindset and approach witnessed in the politico-administrative sphere.
One must remember that when the pandemic was showing initial symptoms of spreading out in February-March last year, the governance providers and policymakers in the country were occupied with issues of higher priorities including the task of government making – toppling in Madhya Pradesh, holding a mega event of Namaste Trump in Gujarat and so on…
Now, when the viral threat is signaling the possibility of another phase of tough times, the nation is set to witness hectic activities related to holding the assembly polls in 5 states-West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Assam. 
Rajasthan is also scheduled to hold bye-elections for filling four seats to the state assembly.
This will be a crucial point in time as political cadres, including those holding constitutional posts and other offices in the governments in states and at the Centre, will be obviously having their own higher (political) priorities in the election times and pandemic situation, if worsens further, would warranty for the tasks otherwise.
On top of everything, the most worrisome fact is that people in our country are (excessively) daring by habit and do not like (willingly) to either wear masks or observe social distancing. Authorities, rightly or wrongly, avoid confronting people for forcing them to abide by the mandatory norms, rules, and health protocols.
So, shall we again leave it for almighty the God for defeating (for us) the deadly COVID 19 virus?
Hope, this time course of action and approach for fighting out the pandemic would be different. We all–people as well as sleuths of the law enforcing agencies-, would mend our ways to defeat the virus on our own without bothering God.


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