EDITORIAL | Surge in COVID cases and Elections
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:
The spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in India has triggered apprehension amongst a few concerned citizens who fear a second wave hitting the country, prompting lockdowns and various preventive measures.
Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is over 3,45,000, which comprises 2.96 per cent of the total positive cases.
India reported over 40,715 fresh cases in the past 24 hours, taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore sixteen lakh.
Meanwhile, the country’s COVID-19 recovery rate is at 95.67 per cent with a total recovery of over 29 thousand patients in the last 24 hours.
The Health Ministry reported 199 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to over one lakh 60 thousand across the country.
As worrying as this may sound, nothing is going to change the election mood across several states in the country as people, both political leaders and supporters, are moving around, holding rallies without adhering to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
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Take a look at Assam and Tripura. While Assam is prepping for three-phase assembly elections starting on March 27, Tripura will elect a new executive committee to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) on April 6.
As witnessed from pictures and videos of election campaigns and rallies, we see thousands of people gathering at one place with utter disregard.
To impose strict measures at this moment would be difficult, if not impossible, and the only thing that can prevent another wave from hitting these poll-bound states is adherence to protocols at an individual level.
But we can’t just talk about election-bound states. It is not like the virus will only attack rally-going electorates.
Unlike the initial days when the virus hit the country, people no longer bother about wearing masks or maintaining social distance.
Why? I guess because many people now think they are immune to the virus.
This complacent behaviour of citizens is worrisome.
The “I don’t care” attitude of some leaders is disturbing, though expected. The hesitance to be vaccinated is a matter of concern.
What the country needs is more awareness.