Of late, the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in Vizag has been continually exceeding the number of daily cases, marking a promising trend in the district. On Wednesday, the recovery rate in the district touched a remarkable 95 percent. There has also been a considerable decline in fresh cases, which is being seen as a welcome development in these unprecedented times. However, the possibility of a second wave in Vizag is a looming threat.
Vizag registered its first COVID-19 case on 19 March when a 65-year-old man tested positive for the virus. While it took over three months for the district’s tally to reach 1000, the numbers surged at a worrying pace in July and August. On 30 July, Vizag recorded its biggest single-day spike with 1223 COVID-19 cases. By the end of August, the number of cases shot up to 37,106 while the death toll touched 258.
September though gave an indication of a receding wave. Recording 13,000 cases and 150 deaths the month marked a decline in the rate of growth of coronavirus in Vizag. The numbers seem to be on a further decrease in October with 3000 cases and 44 causalities being reported in the first two weeks.
While the statistics might suggest a trend towards the curve flattening in Vizag, health officials in the district are in no mood to relax. Throwing caution regarding the possibility of a second wave, the district officials in Vizag have urged citizens not to let their guard down any time soon.
Speaking to Yo!, Visakhapatnam COVID Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College, Dr PV Sudhakar, said, “From witnessing around 1000 cases per day in August, we have dropped down to 150 to 200 cases, from the first week of September. According to a conservative estimate, there is a significant drop of over 75%.” However, it is too early to say that the curve is tapering down, he quickly added. Stating that human behaviour is going to play a key role in the next couple of months if determining the curve’s trend, Mr Sudhakar noted that Kerala and Delhi have seen a resurgence of cases.
Until August, Kerala was taken as an example of what to do to effectively manage the pandemic. However, in the last month, the tables seem to have turned. Contradicting the nation-wide decline of active cases, Kerala has been reporting a sharp spike in the daily number of COVID-19 cases for the past few days. It has even surpassed Maharashtra as far as daily cases are concerned. Given the Onam celebrations and the flouting of the safety protocols, the state recorded over a 200 percent hike in daily COVID-19 cases in a month.
Mentioning the importance of following certain guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Chief Medical Officer (Health), Dr KSLG Sastry shared, “It is now the responsibility of people to follow the basic key protocols, such as wearing a mask, observing physical distancing, and maintaining personal hygiene.” On the occasion of global handwashing day, the GVMC CMO said that handwashing is a simple and viable approach that can keep not just the novel coronavirus but several other viruses at bay.
Despite observing a downward trend of new cases, the threat to the infection continues to loom over the district. To add to the worries, there have also been reports of individuals contracting the virus for the second time. While the officials in Vizag warn of a possible rise in the numbers and emergence of the second wave given the upcoming festivals and more relaxations for economic activities, it is the responsibility of every citizen to maintain a tight defence and not let the guard down for the fight against the common enemy is far from done.