COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Sunday / Monday, Dec. 12-13


Tragically, IMO, refusing to wear a mask has become such a public symbol for the MAGAts that it’s probably impossible to enforce a mandate, at least at the federal level. Vaccinations, boosters, pop-up clinics, surge response teams, and sending more vaccines to the countries that need them most are “invisible” on a one-to-one basis, so yeah, it makes more sense to spend the money & energy where it’ll do more than stoke more angry social-media clips…

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During the second wave earlier this year, India was criticised for not telling the world early enough about Delta, which quickly became the dominant variant across the globe. What has changed since then?

“We’ve learnt a lot from that,” says Dr Priya Abraham, Director of NIV. “We know that the more we allow a virus to spread, the more the likelihood that we will have a new variant. I think we will be much more proactive now, much more prepared.”

Given the size of India’s population though, Dr Abraham says there are limitations…

More than half of India’s adult population is fully vaccinated. That still leaves hundreds of millions at risk. Doctors warn that if an Omicron-fuelled third wave hits, medical facilities could still be overrun very quickly.

“In the second wave, hospital capacity didn’t just get exceeded by a little bit, it was exceeded by several times what it was capable of. So even if we have a small third wave, which I think is definitely a possibility, it could still overwhelm our health system,” says Dr Swapneil Parikh, a physician in Mumbai…

The government says it is putting preparations in place. But Dr Parikh in Mumbai says more needs to be done.

“I think we really need to get as many people fully vaccinated as possible. Let’s also start rolling out third doses for the elderly and the clinically vulnerable, especially individuals who are immunocompromised, as also for healthcare workers and frontline workers,” he said.

“In this country, we’ve played pandemic roulette during the second wave, and lost. So this time, let’s do the opposite. Let’s over-prepare.”

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