New Delhi: India can thwart future waves of the pandemic if people strictly follow coronavirus restrictions and stick to certain key steps, says Dr Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO). In an interview with the Gulf News, she said that a crackdown on the pandemic would depend on how each individual, local, national, and international bodies act.
"What people call a 'wave' is not something coming at us; rather, it is coming from us," said Soumya. Though a third wave is unpredictable, India's current transmission rate can be controlled, she added.
The second wave has swept India by force. However, the authorities can limit the spread by bringing in some changes to existing measures. Boosting the vaccination rate, testing, tracking, tracing and enabling quarantine measures to those who have been in contact with positive coronavirus cases as well as reducing social mixing, are such measures.
"Only 15 per cent of people will need hospital care and oxygen, but it is important that you or those caring for you know how to monitor the course of an illness and seek care at the right moment," Soumya said, adding that hospital care will depend on the symptoms of complications such as chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, persistent fever, nausea and vomiting. She advised people to take local care and support before resorting to hospitalisation.
The pandemic crisis, in general cases, is usually levelled up by mostly adverse human behaviours of social contact, gatherings in places with poor ventilation, negligence in wearing masks and washing hands. Keep yourself away from 3 Cs, i.e. Crowded places, Close contact with others, and Confined places with poor ventilation, Dr Soumya pleaded.
"We need to be patient. We have the tools to overcome this viral pandemic, and it is only a matter of time," she added.