Open House: Should authorities enforce preventive measures to keep Covid-19 infection rate in check ?

Take timely action, spread awareness among masses

Open House: Should authorities enforce preventive measures to keep Covid-19 infection rate in check ?

A number of residents without face masks at Heritage Street in Amritsar. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Avoid exposure to virus, stay indoors

Cities are centres of economic growth and innovation. However, it makes them vulnerable to various diseases such as Covid-19. If restrictions are imposed, people’s jobs will be jeopardised, but if we do not enforce limitations, their health and life will be in danger. A delicate balance has to be maintained while imposing restrictions, which shouldn’t jeopardise either people’s health or their livelihood. It is well said that prevention is better than cure so the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed or exposing others to this virus by practicing simple hygiene. Wearing masks in public, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces can also help slow the spread of the virus. Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalisations and death. Getting vaccinated is the best way to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Prabhneet Kaur


Ensure all are vaccinated

The government should step forward and ensure that every office whether government or private should have temperature assessment devices to check the spread of virus. Sanitisers and masks should be made available at the entrance of every public building. It should be ensured that every individual in the city is fully vaccinated. Covid testing should be geared up among people showing even minute symptoms of the virus. Persons found infected should be kept under proper care and given adequate medical help. Patients should be quarantined. Covid protocol should be re-enforced properly in the city by the authorities.

Manveer Kaur


Always be ready for the next wave

Seeing the overall pattern of the Covid-19 pandemic we should always be prepared for the next wave. The disease is becoming more of an endemic. The National Institute of Disaster Management’s report on next wave preparedness is quite worrying, but the biggest concern is for the children because they are unvaccinated. This report also refers to specific general projections such as the one that India can witness six lakh cases per day, compared to the peak of around one lakh in first wave and around four lakh in the second wave. The report also reminds how the second wave caused havoc in the country. The government shouldn’t repeat these mistakes. Advance preparation on multiple fronts, from masking and social distancing to oxygen and medicines can make all the difference when the next expected wave surges. If we do things rightly the direst warnings for September-October will not come to pass, so let us do things right. Also the reality to be faced is that there are and will be too many people unmasked in public spaces, especially in the festive season. As such there is no real alternative to rapid vaccination to stay ahead of virus resurgence in any of the next Covid-19 waves. It is also crucial that the Centre and state/district administrations play a coordinating role to ensure interstate movements of medically needed goods aren’t affected. There is a dire need for preventive measures like social distancing, washing of hands, keeping unwashed hands away from the face and strict use of mask in public places. All such measures can minimise the risk of transmission.

LJ Singh


A youth gets vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Enforce preventive measures strictly

Preventive measures are necessary, but what is more necessary is their strict enforcement. There may be many regulations, but they are of no use if not implemented strictly. Preventive measures for Covid-19 are necessary, but what is more required is the collective will by both the authorities and people to follow them. The infection rate is slowly rising and the authorities should issue the required guidelines to keep it in check. People should also do their part and comply with the precautions against Covid-19 to contain its spread.

Jatinderpal Singh Batth


Take remedial measures beforehand

It is an old saying that prevention is better than cure. We should move in this direction collectively with the participation of government and people together. Instead of putting restrictions just on the public, the Central Government should be more active on the vaccination front. In the past three months, only 1.3 per cent people falling in the age group of 18 to 59 received the third dose of Covid vaccination. The reason for such a poor performance was gap of nine months between the second and third dose of vaccine. In the first week of this month, the government reduced this period to six months. The government should monitor the situation more carefully and take remedial measures at the earliest. Similarly, the Central Government should also be very strict while screening the international passengers at the airports in the country as this had been the main source of spread of the deadly disease everywhere in the world. The government guidelines in this regard should be strictly followed. At the same time, people in general should take precautionary measures not only from Covid, but from all sorts of diseases. Though smallpox was eradicated in 1980, now monkeypox has appeared. People should keep their environment neat and clean to avoid any sort of disease. Cleanliness is next to Godliness is the mantra that should be followed by all.

Naresh Johar


Prevention is better than cure

Yes, it is time that the authorities should enforce preventive measures to keep the infection rate in check. The spurt in Covid-19 cases in the past one week is alarming for all. Prevention is essential at this stage as it will result in decline in Covid-19 cases. For this purpose, wearing of face masks and social distancing at public places should be ensured by the authorities concerned. As it is said, “Prevention is better than cure, the authorities should definitely take timely action and enforce preventive measures.

Sanjay Chawla


Make wearing of masks mandatory

No doubt that Covid-19 is raising its ugly head again, with the steady rise in cases in Maharashtra, Kerala and other states. Similar is the situation in Punjab, too, especially in Jalandhar and Kapurthala. Streets and markets are crowded with people, who seem to have thrown the caution to the wind and are seen without wearing masks. Even though the government has vaccinated a large chunk of population against Covid-19, and even asked everyone to get another booster dose, the deadly virus has not been totally eliminated. Since the virus mutates, the infection, too, rises. Going by the experts’ advice, we have to learn to live with this virus. So, the government should make it mandatory for people to wear masks while going out of their homes. Those who don't comply with these orders should be fined or even jailed. Such strong measures will certainly make public aware of the dangerous virus and force them not to let their guard down. The best thing would be to make school and college students aware of the dangers of the spread of this disease. The police should be actively involved in this work, the way they were during the outbreak of Covid-19.

Dr JS Wadhwa


Can’t let our guard down

India’s cumulative vaccination drive against Covid-19 has crossed the milestone of administering 200 crore doses. It is a great feat and positive step towards curbing the menace of Covid. Those vaccinated with the mandatory two doses are feeling safe. Now the government has announced free booster doses to make us feel even more secure. But that doesn’t mean that we, the citizens, should relax and shun Covid-appropriate behaviour. Besides, the authorities need to once again vigorously involve non-governmental organisations and hold mega vaccination drives daily at railway station, bus stands and other prominent public places. Also, the administration must take a conscious call on enforcing preventive measures against Covid-19. It’s also time to carry out fogging in streets and residential areas to curb the menace of dengue.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru


Upgrade existing health infrastructure

The Covid-19 cases are again increasing, indicating that the pandemic is going to stay in our lives and we have to quickly accept this uncomfortable fact. Consequently, the government also needs to upgrade the existing health infrastructure to meet any emerging situation. The people, in their own interest, will have to adapt to changing circumstances and take all preventive measures as a way of life. The government should continue making the public aware of all Covid-control measures, such as wearing of masks, avoiding public gatherings, maintaining general cleanliness and personal hygiene in particular. The vaccination coverage should also continue to expand and all eligible groups must be administered the required two doses. The recent decision of making the booster dose available free of cost at the government centres up to certain period was welcome. The administration must ensure that the facility is property utilised by all eligible persons.

Jagdish Chander


Need to implement Covid guidelines

Surprisingly, after a little respite from the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of positive cases in the last few weeks has shown upward trend once again, drawing the attention of the authorities for an urgent review. Whenever it seems the things are getting under control, the deadly virus gets the better of us. After a long lockdown and stringent restrictions, the nation got back to the normal and people returned to pre-Covid life. The decision to relax strict curbs was taken in the larger public interest and to get the economy back running. Schools and colleges, which were shut and forced to adopt online curriculum under the pandemic scare, were allowed to be opened for offline studies. In the meantime, the government also made an all-out effort to get vaccinated as many citizens as possible against the Covid-19, even if that meant lowering the inoculation age. Consequently, the government recently attained the milestone of administering over 200 crore doses to keep the infection in check. Even then the virus threat looms. It seems we all have to learn to live with the virus. While the government may not take the risk of imposing the stringent measures, such as the lockdown, it can surely force people to return to Covid-appropriate behviour, like wearing of masks, following social distancing norms, etc. Alongside, it can continue to vaccinate more and more people and upgrade health infrastructure to ward off the constant threat from Covid’s new variants.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath


Increase testing, tracking & treatment

No doubt, India has achieved a milestone of administering 200 doses and vaccination drive is still on, but many states, including Punjab, are again witnessing a steady rise in Covid-19 cases. It is the collective responsibility of the government and the public to make concerted and collective efforts to keep the infection in check. Besides shunning Covid-management fatigue and complacency and updating the rickety public healthcare infrastructure, the government should increase testing, tracking and treatment. It should enforce strict implementation of health and safety protocols at market places, cinema houses, educational institutions and other crowded places. If anyone is found violating the mandatory precautions, stern action should be taken against him/her. The government should develop the capacity for genetic sequencing in order to achieve herd immunity. People should shed vaccine hesitancy and visit nearest health centres for getting jabs and help the administration achieve the target of 100 per cent vaccination. They should adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour, wear masks, maintain social distance and hand hygiene, and avoid indoor gatherings to stave off the spread of the deadly virus. Responsive and responsible human beings will ultimately learn to live safely in the foreseeable future.

Simran &Tajpreet S Kang


People should act responsibly

Despite several constraints, India has succeeded in reaching the 200-crore vaccination mark, courtesy coordinated efforts by the Central and state governments, healthcare and frontline workers, scientists and responsible citizens. However, the emergence of fresh cases of viral infection in the state in the past week has raised serious concern. While the government is fully prepared to tackle any emergency, the public should cooperate with the official efforts to keep the virus at bay. The state has already suffered a severe loss of lives during the earlier Covid-19 waves, primarily due to vaccine hesitancy, non-availability of doses and their wastage. Though hospitalisation and fatality rates are comparatively low, there is still no room for complacency or laxity. The government is giving booster doses to all. Moreover, it should implement the precautionary protocols strictly to check the further spread of the virus. The public should also understand the gravity and magnitude of the disease, shed vaccine hesitancy and adopt Covid-appropriate behaviour — wearing masks, sanitising hands, maintaining social distancing and avoiding crowded places — to ultimately eradicate the pandemic.

DS Kang


QUESTION

The CBSE did not assign first, second and third divisions to students in the recently announced board exam results. Do you think by doing away with merit lists, the unhealthy competition among children can be prevented?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to amritsardesk@tribunemail.com by Thursday (July 28)

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