How to Prepare for third wave

Coronavirus pandemic is certainly not over. It is very much predicted that the third wave will be upon India sooner than later. Countries like the U.K. already faced the onslaught of the third wave.

  1. What should be our course of action then? It is much advised that we should prepare for it, so that we should not be left in lurch once the number of cases and fatalities start rising once again
    1. Fast tracking vaccination coverage. Central government has changed its vaccination policy. Now the Central government will procure 75% of vaccines, itself for the age group 18-44yrs and 45yrs and above, which will be provided free of cost. To fast track vaccination coverage, government should work on the following count
      • Bottom-up Micro planning at Panchayat & ward levels. For that vaccination camps & door to door vaccination should be tried. Government already has network for ASHA’s & auxiliary nurses and midwives working at the grass root level
      • Address vaccination hesitancy among rural & other populations, who are reluctant to get jobs. For this address all misinformation and disinformation 
      • Address issue of digital divide which is hindering vaccination of vulnerable population, which is unable to access vaccine through common portal
    2. Disease Surveillance 
      • TO better prepare, India should engage in aggressive testing & keep a close watch on Test Positivity Rate(TPR). TPR of less than 5% indicates that the disease is under control
      • Another component of disease surveillance is genomic sequencing. India needs to scale up its genomic sequencing, which according to the original plan was supposed to cover 5% of confirmed COVID-19 cases. We still know very less about the Delta variant first reported in  —–Maharashtra( B.1.617.2).Other alpha variant which was first reported from Kent, England. Delta variant is 60% more transmissible & also more resistant against prevailing vaccine according to Public Health England 
      • Genomic sequencing of variants, interest and variant concern would be crucial if presently available vaccine
      • COVAXIN & COVISHILED are to remain effective. It is also important of we want to strategize either to cover vulnerable population with both doses or one dose to everyone
      • Early identification of clusters and theru constraining for this develop a standardize definition for minimum cases to be detected is any area to define it as cluster
      • 3. Adopting COVID appropriate behavior to held transmission. These include avoiding mass gatherings, closing schools, quarantine those infected.
    3. Behavioral change model should be followed to induce appropriate behavior at individual level like double mask wearing, social distancing. E.g Communicate effectively why masks are important in preventing transmission and how to wear them accurately.  For general public, scientists and doctors are most trusted sources of information, while local health workers for rural people
    4. Effect of attitude change of people who refuse to wear a mask by using CAP model of attitude change e.g Change belief system of person by using testimonials of person who effectively evaded infection by regularly wearing mask. And change effective component of attitude by making mask a symbol of respectfulness, responsibility and compassion towards other people who may be vulnerable
    5. Leader at all level form national level to local level can also influence our behavior by being an ideal example