Vaccination Down, But Cases On Rise: Gujarat Headed Toward A Fresh Covid-19 Wave? - Vibes Of India

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Vaccination Down, But Cases On Rise: Gujarat Headed Toward A Fresh Covid-19 Wave?

| Updated: November 16, 2021 11:13

The threat of the Covid-19’s third wave still looms large on the streets of Ahmedabad as usually-chipper lanes are now marked by heavy police presence.

This, police personnel say, is because of the laxity given to the residents during the festive season, the mood of which is yet to diminish from public memory. The laxity led to complacency which in turn made people forget the risks and danger associated with a Covid-19 infection.

“People are roaming around unnecessarily during curfew hours. They have all but forgotten about Covid protocols that are still very much in place,” a police official deployed near Shyamal Cross Road said. 

The Covid calculator

Gujarat, along with the other parts of the country, is seeing a rise in coronavirus cases. The state health department eased restrictions post-July as cases seemed under control.

Vaccination trend in Gujarat (Source: CoWIN)

But as vaccination gained steam, people began to become more comfortable in getting out of their houses. For Diwali, the state government relaxed the night curfew and imposed it only from 1 am to 5 am. However, as the festivities came to a halt, a spike in cases began to show. Gujarat on November 10 recorded 42 cases — its highest daily tally since July 11. The state on November 11 registered 40 cases, while the patient count dipped to 21 on November 12. On November 14, Gujarat reported 37 fresh cases, of which 10 were in Ahmedabad.

On November 11, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation identified one micro-containment zone in a residential society in South Zone. The residential colony has a population of 85. The Corporation, a day after, identified another micro-containment zone in West Zone, where around 76 people have been quarantined. The AMC in its press release mentioned that the process of identifying more micro-containment zones is ongoing.

While there were no casualties on all three days, Ahmedabad Civil Hospital admitted a Covid positive patient on Friday, Dr Kamlesh Upadhyay, HoD of Medicine, Civil Hospital, added. “This is the first admission in months,” he said

Empty Covid ward at Sola Civil Hospital in June, 2021

Though the numbers might not look substantial at the moment, experts say the chances of it rising in the coming days is extremely high. The trend of vaccination in the state, as well as the country, is also seeing a decline. 

In an email response on November 10 , Dr Madhukar Pai, a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Health at McGill University, said that he was worried about the fall in Covid vaccination numbers across India.

“We know two doses of the vaccine is essential for protection against the delta variant, and only 25% of the population is fully vaccinated. This increases the risk of break-through infection and re-infection, and also leaves India highly vulnerable to any new variants that might emerge within the country or come from other parts of the world. To add to this, it is very worrisome to see people behaving as if the pandemic is over. It is far from anywhere in the world. No country should declare success early and we learnt that lesson the hard way,” he said. 

He said there must be a massive information campaign to warn Indians of the risks of being only partially vaccinated, and every effort should be made to take the vaccines closer to where people live, work and study. 

“All barriers to vaccination must be removed to make it easier for people to get their shots. Celebrities can help by promoting key messages via TV, radio and movies,” Dr Pai said. 

K. Sujatha Rao, former Union Health Secretary, Government of India, said it was too early to confirm any trend at present — be it decline in vaccination numbers or rising cases. ”The gap of 84 days between the two doses of Covishield might have a role to pay in the declining trend,” she said. 

“A lot of calculations need to be made before we reach any conclusion. I would say definitely the complacency has increased, and there is an urgent need for people to follow Covid-appropriate behavior,” Rao said. 

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