Experts warn of second Covid wave in Telangana

Health officials warn of possible surge in Covid cases as economic activity picks up across State

Hyderabad: After fighting the Covid-19 pandemic for several months and succeeding in flattening the virus curve, a majority of European countries including UK, France, Spain and parts of Italy and Germany are now experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak. In India, at present Kerala is witnessing a second wave of Covid-19 outbreak.

A few days ago, Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja, who had received a lot of praise for Covid containment strategies, acknowledged that certain sections of the population in the State did not follow Covid guidelines properly, which led to such a situation. Senior public health officials in Hyderabad are wary of having to face a similar surge in Covid cases in the form of a second wave or at least localised outbreaks in the form of clusters, as economic activity picks up across Telangana.

With unlock guidelines coming into full force across the State, there is a lot of inter-district and inter-State mobility of individuals that could cause a surge in infections or trigger a localised cluster of Covid-19 cases. “If we do not continue to take preventive measures, then a surge could happen at any time. A cluster of cases at one or two geographical regions is also a possibility. There is a dire need to avoid mass gatherings, political or religious meetings etc.

The local body elections in the near future could lead to a lot of gatherings in public areas. While there is a hint of reduction in cases, caution on the part of the general public is much needed,” Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao, said.

The senior health official during a recent media interaction pointed out that commercial outlets like bars, restaurants and cinema theatres, which are permitted to operate also have the potential to become superspreader venues.

“In the coming months, vaccines for Covid-19 will hit the market, but we are not sure how efficient they will be. The only way one can achieve 100 per cent prevention is by using masks, hand hygiene through sanitizers and physical distancing. Only these measures can protect individuals,” Dr Rao said.

So far, people in all walks of life in the State have cooperated well in wearing masks. However, this is not the time to relax but to continue to take precautions at every level, the senior public health official said.

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