The Assam government is yet to take the spread of Covid-19 seriously even when a definite rise of positive cases has been seen in several states of the country during April.
During the past 24 hours the country recorded 3,545 fresh Covid-19 infections with 1000 new cases detected in New Delhi alone. Positive cases have breached the 3000 mark for the third consecutive day on Thursday. In fact, India has recorded 32,300 new infections during the past 10 days.
However, the Assam government is yet to awake from its slumber as it had withdrawn all Covid-19 restrictions ahead of the Bihu celebrations and the municipal elections in the state in the hope of garnering more votes.
While there is a high possibility of a curfew being imposed in New Delhi with its positivity rate reaching 7.64 per cent, the Assam government does not have any concrete plan as of now as to how to prevent spread of infection if cases rise here too.
State health minister Keshav Mahanta recently said that the government may impose restrictions if cases increase.
It is indeed shocking to see a certain minister publicly declaring Covid-19 being no longer in the state and that people can do away with their masks ahead of the festival season. This is a highly irresponsible statement to make considering the fact that the virus is constantly mutating and becoming more virulent, forcing many nations to again enforce restrictions to curb its spread.
Currently, no passenger is being screened in any airport, bus terminal or railway stations for Covid-19 even when flights and trains are arriving here from affected states. As such there is every possibility of the highly infectious Omicron variant again raising its ugly head here.
According to government data, only one lone fresh case was detected in Assam on Thursday, while the total number of positive cases stands at six. It is a bit to believe considering the fact that many people, especially school and college students have claimed to have contacted the virus in the past few weeks.
While vaccines have been made available for minors in the age group of 12 to 17 years, certain restrictions are necessary as kids are yet to be vaccinated. The state government’s casual attitude has also encouraged people to put down their guards. In fact even in crowded public places only a handful of people can be seen wearing face masks and hand sanitizers. Many parents can also be seen taking their young ones outside sans masks.
The festival season has witnessed huge crowds, which provides a haven for the coronavirus to spread. It is time the government takes cue from the huge death toll that the country had recorded last year and at least enforces mandatory wearing of masks and maintaining distance in public places to avoid a similar situation again.
If this virulent variant is to spread again in the state requiring curfew or a lockdown like situation, the already frail economy will never be able to revive and push lakhs of people towards unemployment and poverty. This has to be avoided at all cost together with saving lives.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) has claimed that Indian has downplayed the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in 2021 and 2022. It estimated an excess of 47 lakhs such deaths during these two years in the country. However, the Indian government and the medical fraternity refuse to accept this.
While the official death toll due to Covid-19 is 4.84 lakhs in India during these two years, WHO estimates this figure to be 10 times higher.