Senior doctors on the Bengal government’s committee for management and containment of Covid-19 have urged people to continue adhering to the protocols strictly because the coronavirus is still active even though the number of cases is going down.
The doctors said vaccination of healthcare workers and frontline workers, which is on, should not be a reason for the rest of the population to feel complacent about the pandemic.
It is still a long way for the rest of the population to be vaccinated against the disease and the coronavirus continues to remain virulent, they said.
“We haven’t eradicated the coronavirus and it is still a long way for everyone to get vaccinated. So there is no alternative to adhering to the Covid-19 protocols because we are still admitting patients who have tested positive,” said Ajay Krishna Sarkar, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Peerless Hospital.
“This is also the time when several other strains of viruses and bacteria remain active and the coronavirus finds it easy to infect those who are immuno-compromised.”
Till Monday, according to figures from Swasthya Bhavan, around 5.53 lakh health-care workers and frontline workers were vaccinated, out of a total of around 13.32 lakh.
Which means around 42 per cent of the two categories of workers have been vaccinated.
Senior officials said there was still no specific directive from the Centre about enlisting the next category for inoculation and the entire population would not be covered anytime soon.
But that obviously didn’t matter to many.
On Tuesday, on the occasion of Saraswati Puja, a large number of people on the roads across localities and markets in Calcutta were not wearing masks or wearing masks
on their chin. According to Lalbazar, 45 people were booked across Calcutta for not wearing masks till Tuesday noon. But officers admitted that such action contributed little to spreading awareness on the Covid protocols.
Experts from the state’s Covid-19 management and containment committee described the situation as scary and appealed to the people to stick to the basics of wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and sanitising hands.
They said strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols would not only keep the coronavirus at bay but protect people from a host of seasonal infections as well.
“We have made it clear to all that there is no immediate winding up of the arrangements for Covid-19 across all facilities that are under the state health department. It is still not the time,” said Gopal Krishna Dhali, the head of the Covid-19 committee and also the gastroenterology department at SSKM Hospital.
“We might be scaling down the arrangements a bit but there is no reason to believe the battle has been won.
So please continue to abide by the Covid-19 protocols.”
Senior doctors of the committee said they would start visiting medical colleges and other hospitals in Calcutta from next week to ensure the post-Covid clinics keep functioning properly.
They said this was important since it was still unknown how the coronavirus would react after entering the human body and which organs it would target.