In a violent outbreak of cases across the country, India added over two lakh new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, taking its toll to over 1.4 crore. As hospitals and health infrastructure in urban pockets comes under siege, yet again, there has been a worrying increase in the number of deaths with crematoriums reporting an overwhelming load.
What does the current wave spell for the weeks ahead? In a deep-dive conversation with Mitali Mukherjee, Professor Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), said India was facing an alarming situation as the current virus has a higher load and was causing more deaths.
He also emphasised the breakdown in discipline and enforcement that had caused an escalation in cases, alongside irresponsible statements by politicians and some members of the health community around “herd immunity”. Reddy said he was deeply saddened by the recent mass gatherings at election rallies and the Kumbh Mela.
He believed that a vaccine shortage was certainly coming and it was essential to impose stringent restrictions on gatherings, movement outside of homes and strict enforcement of wearing masks.