Third Wave Threat Seems Real; Odisha Spells Out 4-Pronged Approach To Tame COVID

Bhubaneswar: Odisha began the unlocking process on Thursday by providing a bigger window for business activities in 17 western and southern districts, where the test positivity rate is 5 per cent or less.

While making the announcement on Wednesday, Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra warned against complacency and urged people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour.

Reiterating the same at a press briefing on Thursday, Angul SP Jagmohan Meena said that COVID-19 third wave is ‘inevitable’ and a ‘real threat’ for us.

Giving an insight into first, second and third wave cases in other countries, he said that Italy saw the peak on March 20, 2020, with 5650 cases during the first wave and it touched 34,775 on November 20 later that year during the second wave while the third wave saw the highest of 23,211 cases on March 21, 2021. “The intensity of the second and third wave was much more than that of the first wave,” said the SP.

To drive the point home, he cited the example of France and Germany, which saw a similar trend. “Cases are also rising in South Africa during the third wave,” he added.

The SP said that Odisha has begun the unlock process, but there is no room for any kind of complacency. “The fear of the new variant of COVID continues to loom large. The cases will again shoot up if we throw caution to winds and flout the COVID protocol by not wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing and crowding market places,” he said.

He then cited examples of countries – Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, that have been able to tame the virus. “New Zealand had reported 12 cases per million population during its peak. In South Korea, it was 20 cases per million population while japan had reported 50 cases per million during its peak period,” he said.

The SP said that they could achieve this by strictly wearing masks and maintaining social distance. “Mask is a part of everyday life in Japan. They used to wear masks even before the outbreak of COVID-19. South Korea went for aggressive social distancing,” he said.

To replicate their success stories and keep the third wave under control, Odisha has to follow the four-pronged approach of wearing mask properly, maintaining social distancing, not moving out of the house unless is absolutely essential and vaccination, he added.

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