The daily increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Jamshedpur is a cause of worry. Earlier it was thought that the sudden spurt may have been a temporary consequence of migrant labourers coming in from other states. However, there has been no respite from the daily increase in positive cases.
While it is true that even now most of the cases being found positive are those who have had a travel history, the regularity with which new cases are being found is a cause of worry.
Most of the positive cases found in the city, up till now, have had a travel history. And this raises a hope that we are still far away from community transmission stage. However, the way this Covid-19 outbreak has progressed in other parts of country as well as elsewhere in the world, nothing can be said in definite terms.
While there are some positive indicators in India’s fight against Covid-19, the fact remains that we have been not very successful in containing the spread of the disease.
The WHO Situation Report says that the number of deaths per lakh population in India has been the lowest. In India, the death per lakh population is 1, while the global average exceeds even 6.04.
However, this is not something that can be guaranteed to remain constant and we cannot bank on the fact that the death rate has been lowest in India. We cannot draw consolation from low death rate. Even if the death rate remains low, the consequences would be disastrous if most parts of the country slip into community transmission stage.
We have a population that exceeds 1.3 billion and even a very low death rate would mean millions of deaths. We just can’t afford to reach that stage.
In our own city of Jamshedpur, we have been luckier in the sense the disease reached us late and the preemptive steps taken by the local administration has helped the city in thwarting rapid spread of the disease to some extent. However, we also have the dubious distinction of having the highest number of total infected cases in the state.
There is also a sense of fatigue among the citizenry which is palpable at every level. While wearing masks in public places is mandatory and people general seem to be complying with this norm, the sense of alert and concern that was visible in the initial phases is missing now.
As businesses open and the city crawls back to normalcy, the disease would tend to spread its tentacles fast.
And this is the time when we all should join forces to defeat it. Corona can be contained and defeated with public participation and solid administrative measures.
This has been proven in many cities within our own country. Dharavi, the biggest slum, has been able to contain the scourge to a large scale and the growth rate of the disease there has come down dramatically.
We too can defeat Corona. But for that, we must continue to take precautions and help authorities to implement their containment strategy.