Sunday, 22 May, 2022

Get masks and vaccines to beat Covid

We all better be careful as 12 districts are now marked as 'red zones' or highly risky, where infection is rising at an alarming rate of above 25 per cent. After a decline during the past several months, which had raised a false hope in the people that perhaps the infamous Coronavirus is going to be over soon, the Covid-19 infection and death rates are rising sharply once again. It is obvious that the Coronavirus is staying on longer than anticipated by many people, as also the WHO chief warns, "This pandemic is nowhere near over".

Rather the false respite of a few months caused people to let their guards down, which may have assisted the number of infections and death to rise at an alarming rate once again. If possible, things have been made worse by the advent of the Omicron - the most highly transmissible Covid-19 variant yet known to us.

To control the spread of infection and reduce the death rate in the country, in addition to mass vaccination drives, the government has issued 11-point directives which strictly stipulate that all must wear face masks at public places or else face legal consequences. Wearing of facemasks has not only been proven to be a highly effective deterrence against Covid-19 infection, it is also the most economical way to curb the spread of Coronavirus infection.

Other restrictive measures to curb infection are that people entering eateries must show vaccine certificates. It is imperative that people must be made to abide by the health rules if necessary by coercion, if we want the pandemic to be over sooner than later.

Strict enforcement must continue as despite mobile courts fining people across the country for not wearing masks in public places, many are found to be boarding buses, visiting markets and loitering outside without masks. It is appreciable that the authorities are fining public transport drivers for not wearing masks or being unable to show Covid-19 vaccine certificates. We hope this will ensure all drivers wear masks, and also make owners either hire vaccinated drivers or get their staff vaccinated as soon as possible.

The government's painstaking effort to control the pandemic will be of no use without cooperation of the masses. Effective public awareness of the life-saving benefits of masks and vaccines is required.