Plenty of deliberations, interim orders and the inadvertent exponential rise in COVID positive numbers in this Third Wave, the Rajasthan Government has finally come out with optimized restrictions.
Restrictions imposed by the government and the administration in the last two sessions of the COVID wave in 2020 and 2021 were albeit extremely strict but necessary. This time around, however, the learning curve has stabilized substantially, allowing the government to take a more rational approach. The effect of the last two knee jerk reactions on business, health, education and psych has been kept in mind and state governments across the country are coming up with justified regulations.
Now that the markets have begun to get back to their new normal, it will be unwarranted that the same restrictions be repeated. Moderate restrictions like keeping the schools in online mode for another month, having weekend curfew to avoid unnecessary crowding, curtailing the market timings to more rational hours and imposing Section 144 in addition to curtailing the number of persons in social and religious functions, etc will ensure a substantial restriction on physical interactions, while at the same time ensuring that there is continuity in education, administration, trade and commerce.
In Udaipur, as in hundreds of cities across the country the third wave is on its rampage. Much expected, but this time the administration and health department is equipped to deal with another onslaught. With vaccination efforts of the central and state government beginning to bear fruit, all that needs to be ensured is that us, the people take extreme care in handling our day to day activities. Social distancing norms are being followed in many places but are largely being ignored in sensitive places, like shopping zones, grocery stores, railway stations, bus stands and airports, where the clusters are voluminous.
The positive cases in Udaipur, which were averaging between 5-6 per day in December and first two days of January, have shot up exponentially to more than 300 per day over the last two days. The sampling count remains stable but the positivity ratio has gone up from under 1% to 12% in one week. With no admissions in hospital (moderate to severe symptoms) a week ago, the number of hospitalized patients stands at 28 on 10 January.
While there have been no restrictions placed on interstate or intrastate travel, home quarantine and vaccination controls will ensure that regular holiday makers as well as Indians flying back home for reasons apart from work are also not restricted in their travel. Here it will be important that self-health management and discipline on movement is ensured rather than sneaking out and breaking the regulations – for the safety of one and all. After all it is we who are responsible for the health of others and vice versa.