After the capital city was seen flouting all covid-19 norms as the lockdown was lifted, the Delhi High Court said the third wave may be hastened if this continues. The high court issued notices to the Centre and the Delhi government, seeking a status report. It also asked authorities to make strict measures against violators and sensitise shopkeepers.
With close gathering of shoppers in markets and restaurants resuming business amid phased unlock in the national capital, doctors have also cautioned that Delhi could face a “worse than second wave situation" if people do not adhere to safety norms or lower their guards.
The remarks from many doctors at leading government or private facilities here come after visuals of various crowded markets surfaced in reports and on social media, showing Covid-appropriate behaviour not being followed by many people, like wearing of masks or maintaining social distance.
Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, a senior consultant at Apollo Hospitals here, warned that if safety norms are not followed by people and if there is no strict enforcement in case of violations, then “we are in for a trouble again". “The way cases have come down from over 28,000 at peak in April to 131 cases reported yesterday, it is such a dramatic fall in numbers. And, if lockdown was the primary reason for it, then we have to tread very cautiously now with the restrictions being slowly eased," he told PTI. “But, if people show laxity by not wearing masks or wearing it inappropriately or violate social distancing norms, and if law enforcement agencies do not penalise and ensure violations do not increase in quantum, then we are certainly in for a trouble. And, the next wave could be worse than the second wave situation," he said.
Medical experts in mid-May had concurred that it was lockdown majorly that had brought down the count of daily cases, while cautioning that the severity of cases was still the same. Dr Richa Sareen, consultant of pulmonology at Fortis hospital here, who recently lost her immediate family member to Covid, said, “The threat of the third wave hitting is quite real and not a hypothesis." “And, we had similar threat in February when everyone had started going on a vacation or doing house parties or socialising in public places. Now, that the second wave has done so much damage and claimed so many lives, we need to realise that we have to be disciplined and tread with caution, " she said.
Since April 19, both daily cases and single-day deaths count had been spiralling up. A lockdown was imposed by the government on April 19, however, in the last two weeks, several restrictions have been eased, like metro services with 50 per cent seating capacity from June 7, restaurants with 50 per cent capacity from June 14, besides the market and the malls resuming business.
Since the imposition of the lockdown, a large number of people have been penalised for violating Covid safety norms, and the Delhi government while announcing phased lockdown easing had said that the restrictions will be imposed again if cases begin to rise.