India is nearing the one lakh per day mark in Covid-19 infections. Fatalities per day have crossed the eleven hundred mark, the highest in the world. In Uttarakhand, the number of corona cases per day has gone beyond eleven hundred. Deaths per day are averaging at twelve per day. All of these figures are showing a continuing rise. Of course, testing continues to increase, which is partly responsible for the rise in numbers, otherwise many asymptomatic people would remain unidentified, continuing to spread the infection. In comparison to other countries, the statistics are favourable with the fatality rate considerably lower than most, while the recovery rate is quite good. Unfortunately, being the second most populated country in the world, the total figures promise to be mind-boggling.
In comparison to many others, the capacity to deal with the pandemic is considerably poorer, despite the efforts that have been made to jack up resources. So, overall, the prospects are not very good for the foreseeable future. A major reason for the worsening situation, of course, is the pressure put by the unlock process on the preventive protocols. The only hope for stability is in people learning to create protective bubbles around them in their particular circumstances. It has been seen that the virus keeps popping up everywhere, hitting even those who would otherwise be thought to be in very safe environments.
Despite all this, there is a lack of responsible behaviour, possibly because of an uncaring attitude, or just fatigue. This is particularly the case with those involved in dealing with the public –health care workers, police, government staff, officials, politicians, etc. Sadly, many of them are taking the infection home to spouses, elders and children. The situation has provoked demands for re-imposition of a lockdown by a couple of MLAs in Uttarakhand in the hope that it would stabilise the situation somewhat. Perhaps, the decision taken under pressure by the state government to withdraw the weekend lockdown was a premature one.
A particularly grim aspect of the pandemic in Uttarakhand is the shortage of beds in hospitals for covid patients. There have been cases of patients being turned away from hospitals and dying without treatment. This indicates a failure to make adequate preparations despite the Chief Minister having targeted a much higher figure than the present one. This is despite the fact that earlier protocols regarding care of covid patients have been diluted considerably. Going by the present picture, the situation seems to be going out of hand. There is need for a determined push to harness all facilities available so that it does not turn into a bigger tragedy.