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When the coronavirus pandemic started early in 2020, experts were not sure if there would be waves of cases, a pattern seen in other virus pandemics. Some locations that saw an increased number of coronavirus early on, followed by a decline, are having a “second wave” of increased cases. The course that the graph of the daily new cases in India is has been similar to that in other big countries which have seen ensuing waves of the pandemic as well. This has been seen in the US, the United Kingdom, Italy and Russia. With the states and countries reopening for business in order to boost the economy, it looks like the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic is quite inescapable.
SHARP INCREASE IN CASES
Experts have informed that the second wave of any pandemic has always been grinding and it goes up with the onset of autumn and winter. The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most dreadful pandemic in recent history. The second wave of the pandemic started coming in October-November which was much more widespread and fatal than the first wave.
Time will tell how the case course in India moves, but data from various states shows that the cases there have started to increase in the last fortnight. These states are Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Union territory Chandigarh has also shown a moderately increasing trend in daily new cases. These states are home to nearly a quarter of India’s population. Three of these states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan — were among those that took the first wave of the pandemic in the country. A sharp increase in cases in these big states bound to increase the national case tally.
HOW DREADFUL WILL THE SECOND WAVE BE?
India is far better prepared to handle the second wave of Covid-19 cases than it was when the virus first started transmitting. The country also has more measures for testing. The world in general is now better acquainted with how to handle the symptomatic and asymptomatic cases and how treatment works. India’s monthly case mortality rate has been decreasing over time: It was 3.24% in April but fell to 1.15% in October. But even as the country may be better prudent and more aware, an increase in cases and the second wave of the pandemic could overload the country’s health care infrastructure and thereby lead to higher mortality rates. This makes it all the way more prominent to take precautions such as wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing norms.
Controlling the more dangerous part should not be a challenge this time around, because doctors and hospitals by now are aware of the disease in a much better way. If we compare the starting months of the lockdown, our healthcare landscape has gone through a change since the pandemic first hit India earlier this year, when the hospitals were overloaded with patients suffering a new, mysterious illness and healthcare professionals were clueless how to deal with it.
1. WHO warns of deadly second wave of Corona virus across Middle East, available at
3. India’s Covid-19 Cases Have Plummeted. Many Fear a New Wave, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/world/asia/india-covid-19-infections.html