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BIG STORY                                                             February 19, 2021  |        The Indian Eye                          5

                         cOvid-19 pandemic: has india wOn?

        >> Continued from previous page...                                                                            coveries on Tuesday. Due to
        people by a diagnostic compa-                                                                                 the surge in coronavirus in the
        ny showed that 55% of Indians                                                                                 state, Maharashtra Chief Minis-
        may have already been infected.                                                                               ter Uddhav Thackeray directed
            The reason why millions  of                                                                               senior  officials  on  Tuesday  to
        Indians are asymptomatic — as                                                                                 take strict action against peo-
        survey numbers suggest — has                                                                                  ple  or  organizations  who  flout
        flummoxed  experts.  Theories                                                                                 COVID-19 guidelines.
        range  from  India’s  early  lock-                                                                                Also, in view of the recent
        down implementation to its                                                                                    surge in coronavirus cases in
        youthful population and an in-                                                                                Maharashtra, Shiv Sena on
        trinsic immunity among Indians.                                                                               Wednesday termed the situation
        Some say an open-air lifestyle in                                                                             as alarming and warned that the
        villages could have prevented a                                                                               Uddhav Thackeray government
        surge in rural India, where two-      One of the most crowded countries in the world, social distancing norms   would be forced to take some
        thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people                 have been rarely followed in India (ANI)                 harsh decisions including lock-
        live. But epidemiologists say find-                                                                           down to avoid more infections.
        ing the true reason will require                                                                                  In an editorial in its mouth-
        research that could take years.                                                                               piece “Saamana”, the Shiv Sena
            While  experts agree many                                                                                 expressed displeasure over peo-
        Covid-19 cases and deaths may                                                                                 ple  violating  pandemic  guide-
        be under-reported in India,                                                                                   lines and said, “The govern-
        available indicators like hospi-                                                                              ment has again issued a stern
        tal-bed utilization rates point to                                                                            warning to the people of the
        a falling curve.                                                                                              state to follow the corona rules
            Epidemiologists say a key                                                                                 and restrictions for the corona-
        factor would be how aggressive-                                                                               virus pandemic.” “Follow the
        ly India moves on its vaccination                                                                             rules -- otherwise the lockdown
        drive. “We have  administered                                                                                 will have to be imposed again.
        over 87,40,000 vaccine doses.                                                                                 The same warning has been giv-
        Out  of  this,  85,70,000  are  first                                                                         en by the State Health Minis-
        doses and over 1,70,000 are sec-                                                                              ter (Rajesh Tope) himself. The
        ond doses. These numbers are                                                                                  public should take it seriously,”
        increasing,” said Rajesh Bhu-                                                                                 it said urging people to take pre-
        shan, Secretary, Union Health         A girl looks at a mask as a gift shop decorated with gifts ahead of Valen-  cautions and warned of another
        Ministry at a press conference                         tines Day, in Mumbai on Friday. (ANI)                  lockdown if COVID-19 cases
        here. He added, “Active cas-                                                                                  continue to surge.
        es in the country are less than  dakh, Jharkhand, Assam, UP,  mandatory health protocol to be                     It further said the govern-
        1,40,000. Average daily deaths  Telangana, Tripura, Gujarat and  followed amid the COVID-19  ment is planning adequate mea-
        in the previous one week have  Goa, he said.                             pandemic.                            sures to curtail the spread of the
        also  decreased  to  93 and  the        Bhushan further stated that          In a joint drive with the  virus. “The public will have to
        cumulative positivity rate in the  the range of daily active cases in  BMC, the Mumbai division  avoid negligence and take nec-
        country is decreasing, as of now  the last 15 days has varied from  of  Railways  has  fined  2558  essary precautions. This is all it
        it is 5.27 per cent.”                12,900 per day to 9,000 per day.    passengers for not wearing a  takes to crush the head of the
            Bhushan also informed that          He also said in the last seven  mask in the train, informed the  corona again. This is the right
        the  first  doses  have  been  ad- days, India has recorded 56 new  Chief  Public  Relation  Officers  time to be cautious,” Shiv Sena
        ministered to over 70 per cent  cases per million population  (CPRO), Western Railway. A  editorial said.
        of the registered healthcare  and 0.5 new deaths per million  total penalty of Rs 3,28,500 col-                   Further reacting to the re-
        workers in Rajasthan, Sikkim,  population, which is significant- lected from them, CPRO said  cent rise in virus, Shiv Sena
        Jharkhand, Mizoram, Kera- ly lower than other countries.                 further. Meanwhile, the Central  said, “Most of the public is still
        la, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Hi-          But the threat is not over yet,  Railways informed that 2060  following the corona rules com-
        machal Pradesh, Tripura and  especially in Mumbai which was  passengers on Mumbai Subur- pletely. The question is of care-
        Bihar. Chhattisgarh, MP, Ut- the worst hit.                              ban Network were fined for not  less people. ...The rapidly in-
        tarakhand, Lakshwadeep and              Now, the Mumbai Division  wearing  masks  while  onboard  creasing number of new corona
        Tripura.                             of Railways and Brihanmumbai  and a total of Rs 1,21,600 have  patients is alarming. It cannot
            The second doses of the vac- Municipal Corporation (BMC)  been collected from them.                       be ignored.”
        cine have been administered to  have  fined  4618  train  passen-            This comes after Maha-               But even in the middle of
        more than 60 per cent of the el- gers between February 1 to 14  rashtra reported 3,663 new  such concern, India is making
        igible healthcare workers in La- for not wearing face masks, a  COVID-19 cases and 2,700 re-                     Continued on next page... >>

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