‘Public behaviour is the key factor’

The best protection against the virus in winter is following COVID protocol, say experts

Since October, there has been a steady decline in COVID-19 cases both in Visakhapatnam district and in the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) limits.

While from July 1 to September 30, the district saw about 50,000 cases coming up, the total number of cases recorded since October is around 9,000.

In November, the district recorded less than 100 cases per day for the last 20 days. It also recorded the lowest daily count of 21, in the last five months.

“This is a significant drop. From averaging 1,000 to 1,200 cases per day, we have dropped to about 100 cases. But it is too early to say that the curve is flattening, as many cities in Europe and even India such as Delhi, there has been a surge in new cases and there is a prediction for a second wave,” says District COVID Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College Dr. P.V. Sudhakar.

Though the medical fraternity is happy that there has been a significant drop and they are more relaxed and COVID hospitals are seeing vacant beds, they are keeping their fingers crossed for a second wave.

In general, the medical fraternity is sceptical about how the virus will react during the winter.

According to Prof. Hemalatha from the department of Microbiology, Andhra University, the medical and scientific community has seen how the virus behaved during summer and now its behaviour during winter is to be observed.

As many people suffer from respiratory diseases during winter and immunity is down for them, the infection rate may go up, she says.

The only way to keep the infection rate down and avoid a second wave, is by strictly following the COVID protocols.

This is the time that people should be more cautious and the second wave depends on public behaviour, remarks Dr. Sudhakar. People are slowly becoming complacent and letting down their guard. They are participating in public gatherings and moving freely without masks. It is important that people wear masks, avoid public gatherings and sanitise their hands regularly, advises Dr. Sudhakar.

District geared up

Though there has been a decline in cases, the district administration has not let its guard down. “We still have over 6,000 beds ready with oxygen connection or ventilators and adequate staff posted,” says District Collector V. Vinay Chand.

There has been no reduction in the daily tests.


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