A fresh surge in Covid-19 cases reported from states like Delhi and Kerala raises questions about the handling of the pandemic. It seems little heed is being paid to the warnings of a second wave during the festival season, even as the crowds at election rallies in Bihar have demonstrated how caution has been thrown to the winds. The situation in Delhi had caused concern even earlier, prompting the government to set up a 10,000-bed facility. With the Union Health Minister, also the chairman of the WHO’s executive board, representing a Delhi constituency in Parliament, the Capital ought to take the lead in containing Covid-19. Whether the present spike is linked to air pollution, which worsens in Delhi at this time of the year, should be ascertained, but it is incumbent on both the Centre and the state government to ensure that a spurt in cases is averted for resumption of economic activities is intertwined with lives and livelihoods.
The directive of the Supreme Court to ban or regulate the use of disinfection tunnels and the spraying of chemical or organic disinfectants on humans is welcome, but it also indicates that there is no clear view on the preventive measures. While the easing of the protocol will help in the revival of economy, basic safeguards should be in place to ward off the infection.
Several countries in Europe have opted to impose fresh regulations amid the prospect of a second wave of infection. But lockdowns are said to be effective only if imposed early and require careful unlocking, which calls for deft handling of the process. That Covid-19 has become a political issue is evident from the BJP chief lauding PM Modi for his grasp of the situation while implying that Trump’s electoral setback was because of mishandling of the pandemic. It is all the more reason for the government to consult, coordinate and frame clear policies to put the country on the path of recovery.