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Simple Strategy

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From the start, politics has clouded the narrative on the battle against Covid-19. That should not have been, as it is a fight to save the nation. Unfortunately, this has had an impact on the ground – in many ways slowing and obstructing the efforts of the Covid Warriors. Despite having seen the damage caused, the politics continues. Considering the fact that almost every party has a stake in one state government or the other, all should be prepared to take responsibility instead of attempting to pass on the blame. It must not be forgotten that health is primarily a state subject.

After more than a year of the Covid pandemic, it has become obvious that the strategy has to be three-pronged. Prevention, cure and vaccination are the way forward. The parallel effort, very importantly at the present, has to protect the economy as much as possible. This is why there has been so much reluctance to enforce the kind of lockdown being demanded by some.

It has been seen that prevention through the use of masks, social distancing and hand sanitisation has not been adopted as stringently as required by the populace. It is true that, in Indian conditions – particularly at the workplace – it is quite difficult to do. Even now, seeing the sudden spread of the virus, people are refusing to adopt the necessary discipline. It can be said that it is a tragedy of our own making.

When it comes to dealing with those infected, much of the protocol has been worked out. With most people getting the mild version, home isolation and treatment is working – particularly for those who can remain constantly in touch with doctors and have others’ support. Oxygen is required for the more advanced cases in hospital and ventilators for the serious ones. Unfortunately, the panic created has led to the rush on oxygen supplies, aggravating the shortage, temporary as it is. The same goes for steroids needed for advanced cases – people believe all patients need it, even though its wrongful use can prove dangerous. Profiteering from the situation by some is having murderous consequences.

A similar panic has been created regarding the vaccination drive. The purpose was to create a firewall by vaccinating the most vulnerable and exposed while the supplies were enhanced. Sadly, politics has unnecessarily created controversies even regarding this. With clarity on these points in the minds of governments and the people, the way forward should be simple and disciplined. That would be the mark of a civilised nation.