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Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 11:45 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 06:14 [IST]

More roadblocks

Just when you thought that this rogue virus was finally slowing down, and the people were just about warming up to the festive season ahead, the news that we may not be getting rid of the coronavirus anytime soon is a dampener.

The Covid-19 cases across the world are increasing at an alarming rate with the last four days witnessing the highest number of cases yet, World Health Organization head TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus asserted on October 12. We're now seeing an increase in the number of reported cases of COVID-19, especially in Europe and the Americas, each of the last four days has been the highest number of cases reported so far, the WHO head said.

However, he warned that we cannot just wait for the Covid-19 vaccine but must save lives with tools we have at hand. The WHO secretary-general also pointed out that some cities had done well and were reporting an increase of hospitalizations. He said that there were many countries who have “successfully prevented or controlled widespread transmission with proven measures.” As per the latest tally by WHO, a total of 37.4, million cases have been reported to the organisation.

He said that the coronavirus pandemic has upended the world's health systems, societies, and economies and added, "Cases are increasing in the region, and all countries must remain vigilant. The virus is still circulating and most people remain susceptible."

What is unsettling is the fact that the WHO has strongly refuting the idea of herd immunity to fight Covid-19, saying that it has never been used as a strategy to respond to an outbreak in the history of public health, let alone a pandemic. Labelling herd immunity as 'scientifically and ethically problematic', WHO head said that it is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it. Herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached, he stressed upon.

First, we don’t know enough about immunity to Covid-19. Most people who are infected with the virus that causes Covid-19 develop an immune response within the first few weeks, but we don’t know how strong or lasting that immune response is, or how it differs for different people. We have some clues, but we don’t have the complete picture. There have also been some examples of people infected with Covid-19 being infected for a second time. Second, the vast majority of people in most countries remain susceptible to this virus. Letting the virus circulate unchecked therefore means allowing unnecessary infections, suffering and death, the WHO maintained.

The WHO recommended to prevent amplifying events, protecting the vulnerable, empower, educate and engage communities and persist with the same tools that the apex global public health agency has been advocating since day one: find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts. We don’t have any other choice. Not as of now.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi