How is the World, Including India, Taking Actions to Combat the Deadly Second Wave of COVID-19?
The number of new COVID-19 cases across the globe has nearly doubled over the last two months, with the highest infection rate ever since the pandemic. India is the worst hit country due to the second wave of COVID-19. Various countries across the globe are taking measures to curb the spread of the contagious virus.
At the beginning of the new year, the world seemed to be doing well in managing the COVID-19 crisis and people were seeing the crisis to end soon. Things were nearly getting normalized across the globe until the second wave of COVID-19 hit hard. Experts had already predicted the second wave of cases, which is a pattern commonly seen in other virus pandemics. With the cases rising uncontrollably, the death rates are going up and world’s economy is noticing a decline.
India: The Worst Hit Country
India is the worst hit country due to the second wave of COVID-19. The health ministry of India recently releases data on genome sequencing of about 10,787 samples from 18 states which showed 7.1% (771) cases of known variants. Of these, one case had Brazilian variant, 4.4% were the South African variant, and 95.4% were the UK variants. A new variant of concern, which is a double mutant with two mutations L425R and E484Q were found in 206 samples from Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat, and Punjab.
A number of Indian scientists from the most renowned research centers and institutes have studied and suggested the distinctive factors that can be used to trace this sharp and sudden rise of active COVID-19 cases in India.
- A New Mutant Strain – One of the reasons for the significant rise in coronavirus infection is the double mutant variant of the virus. According to scientists, this strain is about 70 times more contagious than the previous one and it may even reduce the efficacy of vaccines.
- Opening of Workplaces, Colleges, and Schools – Schools and colleges had largely opened in several parts of the country, along with offices. Though such institutions are following the necessary COVID-19 protocols given by the government, there has been no proper control over people following protocols during public transport. This has led to a huge number of asymptomatic carriers spreading the deadly virus.
- Vaccination – The process of vaccination is being carried out everywhere across the globe as well as in India. People now seem to have become more carefree and worry less about the virus. Many people in the country had stopped wearing a mask and public gatherings, festivals, celebrations, & parties had become normal. However, vaccines can only protect people to some extent, and it is necessary to still maintain the COVID-19 specific rules & regulations. The country has now ramped up the production of vaccines and have also stopped its export to neighboring countries.
Most Affected Indian States and State Government Measures to Curb the Surge
The worst-hit states due to the increasing new cases of COVID-19 include Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, and Haryana. These states are at high risk despite the extensive vaccination drives and rapid testing being undertaken by the government. The daily record of infected people is exceeding the count of last year. The state governments have started taking actions to take control over the situation in many ways.
- Maharashtra – The state has been experiencing a shortage of ventilators and injections. With the spike in number of new cases, the government has recently decided to speed-up the safety measures by announcing 15 days of lockdown with strict new restrictions. Non-essential travel and public gatherings of more than four would be banned in the state.
- Karnataka – The state government has made certain travel restriction in order to effectively control the spread of COVID-19 infection. For instance, anyone entering to the state must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate. If anyone doesn’t have a certificate, institutional quarantine of 2 days is mandatory within which COVID test report should come negative.
- Delhi – The Chief Minister of the national capital has approved a proposal to impose a night curfew in the state along with COVID-19 rules and restrictions. Also, Delhi is considering opening up vaccination for all age groups.
- Other States – Some of the measures taken by other states of India to combat the deadly second wave include fines for not wearing a mask, a limited number of people at public places & public gatherings, a negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 for people travelling to other state via road or flight, and barring of festival celebrations.
How the Rest of the World is Dealing with the Second Wave in India?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of new COVID-19 cases across the globe has nearly doubled over the last two months, with the highest infection rate ever since the pandemic. New cases and deaths are continuing to surge at worrying rates, and certain countries that had formerly avoided widespread transmission are now witnessing steep increases in infections. Some of the countries dealing with the second wave are listed below.
- U.S. – The second wave of COVID-19 in the U.S. in October 2020, and now more than half of U.S. states are witnessing a noteworthy decline in new coronavirus cases after 6 months. According to the federal health officials, the trajectory of the virus is improving, but still the uneven distribution of vaccinations is bringing challenges in the nation. New York is all set to end a longstanding curfew in May that forced restaurants and bars to close early in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- France – The country has enforced new entry restrictions on people travelling from India in order to fight an infectious coronavirus variant spreading in the country. The restrictions come in addition to those earlier announced regarding four other countries including Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Chile. France is expected to lift its ban on domestic travel as planned on 3rd May but will uphold its nighttime curfew from 7 pm to 6 am. Non-essential shops will remain closed and won’t reopen before mid-May. The country has also ramped up their vaccination campaign.
- Germany & Italy – The countries have imposed a travel ban on countries with widespread occurrence of coronavirus variants of concern. Transport companies, e.g. railway companies and air carriers, may not transport any persons from COVID-19 affected countries to Germany & Italy. Moreover, it is no longer permitted to provide overnight accommodation for tourism purposes in Germany.
Which Markets are Witnessing Booming Growth During Pandemic?
Though the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected many industries and markets, there are some markets that are flourishing during the crisis. The healthcare, banking & finance, and ICT & media are some of the industries that are booming in these unprecedented times due to increasing demand for ventilators, face masks, digital banking, and many more. For instance, according to Research Dive, the global protective face masks market was estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% from 2020 to 2027 before COVID-19 crisis, and now the market is predicted to rise at a CAGR of 10.8% and generate a revenue of $ 2,467.5 by 2027 after the pandemic.
The global digital banking market is projected to grow at a 10.0% CAGR and generate a revenue of $1,702.4 billion by 2026. The market has witnessed a 1.0% spike in growth rate after the pandemic as compared to earlier predictions.
Moreover, most of the world is working from home, which has increased the demand for employee communication software market. The global employee communication software market is expected to witness a whooping growth rate of 15.2% after the pandemic, increasing from 10.8% before the crisis.
As the world is facing the threat of a deadlier and devastating second wave of the coronavirus, people need to be more careful, rise up to the occasion, give each other more space, physically, get vaccinated, and be masked at all times to combat this severe disease. It is critical to remember the need of being responsible along with being positive during the crisis. Let’s hope that the crisis ends soon.
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