15th May 2021 11:05:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

After official confirmation from ICMR-RMRC Dibrugarh, it’s now beyond any doubt that the highly contagious B.1.617.2 lineage of SARS-CoV-2 virus has been active in Arunachal Pradesh for quite some time and this explains the alarming rise of cases as well as deaths in the state. However, at the very outset it needs to be realized by all stakeholders, especially by the state’s citizens that there’s no need to give space to panic at this finding. Viewing it strictly through the lens of medical science, it needs affirming that the entire country actually is in the variant’s grip and for the state it’s perhaps a blessing in disguise since it will help in rolling out strategies more appropriate for the new challenge. It would have been a much greater help if the report came a bit earlier. However, after going through a vast array of medical science literature on the subject, the conclusion which can be reached is that there’s really no new prescription right at the moment. Rather, the old one which underlined the dos- strict observance of each and every Covid SOP and fast vaccination remain valid and more forcefully so.
By now, after multiple analyses and publication of the findings in peer-reviewed medical journals, it’s a consensus in the medical fraternity now that the B.1.617 strain first found in India sometime in October 2020 is more lethal than its predecessor that heralded the first wave. This is the reason why the WHO characterized B.1.617 as a Variant of Concern (VOC). Since then it has seen three sub-variants namely B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3. Interestingly, so far from analysis and genome sequencing efforts made in India, the first two have been found to have a substantially higher growth rate among all the circulating variants. It will be easy to grasp the gist for a layman even- how massive the ‘explosion’ has been. While it took 32 days for doubling of daily caseloads (from around 137,000 cases on February 14 to around 273,000 on March 18 last), very shortly thereafter, the momentum was so large that all doublings took just 11 days or so from then onwards. It’s not that there were no warnings about the new strain. They came, but were blatantly ignored- neither there were any initiative to ban the religious congregations nor there were directives to curtail the massive election rallies. The other conspicuous Central-level drawbacks have been the go-slow attitude in genome sequencing and overlooking of recommendations regarding oxygen needs and upgradation of rural hospitals.
For all citizens in Arunachal, it’s time to take extra care. State government besides taking all administrative measures such as extension of lockdowns etc. must not deviate from the all-important objective- to vaccinate all eligible people in the least possible time.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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