COVID Norms Flouted During Polls, Festival Led to Surge: AIIMS Dir

The Quint
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When the vaccination began, COVID cases went down significantly in January and February, but people stopped following COVID-19 protocol, which led to the mutation and rapid spread of the virus, said All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Saturday, 17 April.

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is causing widespread panic as India is now the second worst-hit country in the world, after the United States of America.

On Friday, India reported its highest-ever single-day spike of COVID-19 cases with over 2.34 lakh new cases and more than 1,300 deaths.

Also Read: Weekend Curfew in Delhi Amid COVID Surge: Here’s What’s Allowed

‘COVID-Appropriate Behaviour Should be Followed’

Dr Guleria pointed out that the surge in cases has overwhelmed the Indian healthcare system and that there is an urgent need to increase the number of hospital beds, equipment and medicines.

While the vaccination definitely helped ease the pressure on hospitals, he explained that no vaccine is 100 percent efficient. So, people need to continue to follow the protocol.

He pointed out that one of the main reasons is violation of social distancing norms, including wearing masks, during public meetings and election campaigning as well as the Khumb Mela being held in Haridwar – that has already seen over 1,700 devotees and 30 Sadhus test positive for COVID.

“We must understand lives are also important. This is also a time when a lot of religious activities are happening in our country and polls are also underway. We can do this in a restricted manner so that religious sentiment is not hurt and COVID-19 appropriate behaviour can be followed,” he added.

Also Read: WB COVID Surge | Hold Remaining Poll Phases in One Go: CM to EC

Delhi, One of the Worst-Hit Cities

With around 24,000 new cases reported in Delhi on Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has pointed out that there is a shortage of oxygen and Remdesivir.

Around 50 healthcare workers have tested positive for coronavirus at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the hospital authorities have decided that only urgent procedures and surgeries will be done in its operation theatres.

Dr Guleria said that the national capital has been hit in terms of health infrastructure and containment and the administration needs to take the initiative that they did earlier during a surge.

Also Read: CM Kejriwal Holds Meet to Review Delhi’s COVID-19 Situation

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