Friday, 21 January, 2022
E-paper

Do not invite another wave

While the new variant of coronavirus, Omicron, is threatening the entire world compelling many of the European countries to bring back restrictions and at least three persons have already been identified with this highly contagious variant in our country, the common people seem to be reluctant to follow the proven and simplest health guidelines like wearing facemasks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing. Such types of apathy may fuel a surge in virus infection and turn out to be very costly.

It is evident now that Omicron is spreading significantly faster than the previous variants and more likely to infect anyone, no matter whether that person is vaccinated or was infected with other variants of coronavirus earlier. For, some European countries despite vaccinating a large number of their citizens are witnessing a higher number of infections every day and are almost on the door to impose fresh restrictions as spiralling cases of the Omicron variant loom over the festive holiday period marking Christmas. Unfortunately, we are failing to take lessons from either looking at them or our experience of the previous waves of the pandemic. The fact is not applicable for the common people, but also for the authorities concerned, especially the health ministry.

We are still as loath as we were when the epidemic began or the delta variant hit the world and what was the consequence would just be a cliché. Like the previous times, the authorities concerned seem to be less enthusiastic to ensure quarantine for the people coming back from different countries, though ‘screening in ports has been intensified’. Any visible step of advance preparation is yet to be taken from their parts, i.e. enhancing medical facilities. The law enforcement agencies are also found to be less active in enforcing health guidelines strictly. Public gathering in different tourist destinations during recently concluded Victory Day holidays was noticeable, while health guidelines were largely neglected by the people. Maybe we all are just waiting for the virus to hit the country massively.

The current stable coronavirus situation in the country may be discouraging people to follow safety protocols, but a continuation of such breach of health rules may turn the situation serious anytime like many other countries of the world. Therefore, we all should act responsibly and accordingly so that Omicron cannot take a huge toll because of our stupidity.