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Telangana govt’s Unlock decision: Too much too soon?

Given that the second wave of the pandemic which hit the country badly was a result of people being careless during the earlier unlock phase, some are calling the total unlock decision a hasty one, while others fear that lowering the guard could result in a repeat of the earlier scenario, and give rise to a third wave of COVID-19 infections. The fact that many who have received both shots of the vaccine are also contracting the virus is a particular cause for concern. Here’s what experts have to say:

COVID-appropriate behaviour essential

Dr Rajib Dasgupta

We have to be careful during this ‘unlock’ phase. Governments need to focus on investing a lot more in behavioural research, risk communication and community engagement strategies to sustain COVID-appropriate behaviour. Protocols need to be framed to make indoor workplaces (including educational institutions) safer.  — Dr. Rajib Dasgupta, Chairperson, Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health, JNU, New Delhi

No incremental benefits

We need to understand that lockdowns beyond a period of 5 weeks will not fetch any incremental benefits. The incubation period of the virus is around 12 days, so it will take around 10 days to pass it on to family members; but generally, transmission doesn’t go beyond three generations. So, the government’s decision to not continue the lockdown is the right one. However, what is required is to avoid mass gatherings, including religious ones, till Dasara, and for people to follow all the health protocols. — Gudlavalleti Venkata Satyanarayana Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Hyderabad

Gudlavalleti Venkata Satyanrayana

Unlocking is a scientific process

I have no issue with lifting all the lockdown restrictions at one go, but I want to know on what scientific basis the government has arrived at this decision. Unlocking is a scientific and organic process, where a system should be in place. The government should be prepared with facilities like paediatric beds, paediatric ICUs, etc, and then unlock the state, else the whole purpose of a lockdown is defeated. So, the Chief Minister’s decision is a populist measure that doesn’t have any scientific basis.    — Professor K. Nageshwar, Political analyst

Professor K Nageshwar

Kids under threat

I am curious to know who the advisors behind the Chief Minister’s decision are. The government could have relaxed the restrictions after people got vaccinated, which is the need of the hour. With majority of the population not having been vaccinated, lifting the lockdown completely could be dangerous. Kids have very little immunity and with the looming danger of a third, will the government be accountable if anything untoward happens — Dr Vidyasagar, Senior Consultant and ENT Surgeon

Dr Vidya Sagar

Another spike on the cards

I expected that the government would at least retain night curfew. Unlocking the state at one go could prove counterproductive as it may result in a surge in cases again, especially as many people will come from neighbouring states like Maharashtra, which was the epicentre for the second wave. Also, I think it’s too early to reopen schools. Maybe towards the end of July would have been a safe option. — Dr Sanjeev Singh, Vice- President, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Telangana State

Dr Sanjeev Singh Yadav

Vaccines – a life-saver

The second wave was caused because people did not wear masks, sanitise hands or maintain social distance. So, it is highly likely that a third wave will occur if we repeat these mistakes. Hence it is high time people got vaccinated. Research studies show no deaths and low severity of disease in those who have received both vaccine doses. You can still get COVID-19 after two doses, but those who are vaccinated will develop antibodies and that will save the lives of the people.  — Dr Santosh Kumar Kraleti, Senior Public Health Specialist and Member, National Medical Commission

Dr Santosh Kumar Kraleti

Source:

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