Rise in COVID cases

India experienced a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in 2021, with the country recording the highest number of daily cases in the world at that time. However, the situation was controlled by a timely proactive approach, and ultimately the number of daily cases declined. The reasons for the surge in cases were attributed to several factors, including the emergence of new variants of the virus, large public gatherings during festivals and elections, relaxed COVID-19 protocols, and a slow pace of vaccination. In addition, the healthcare system in some parts of the country was overwhelmed, leading to a shortage of hospital beds, medical oxygen, and other critical supplies. To address the surge in cases, the government took several measures, including imposing lockdowns and other restrictions, increasing testing and contact tracing, and ramping up the vaccination drive. The Government also provided financial assistance to states to increase their healthcare infrastructure and procure essential supplies. However, the situation remains dynamic, and the virus continues to pose a significant public health threat. There is no place for complacency. Cases are currently on the rise, with the most in the last 145 days. The administration has made the correct decision to hold mock drills on April 10-11; all medical professionals must be prepared to respond quickly in the event of an emergency. Currently, the most prominent subtypes of influenza in circulation in the country seem to be influenza A (H1N1) and influenza A (H3N2), but symptoms are the same as those of COVID-19. As such, testing is the most important safeguard, in which all States and UTs are lagging. It is the time to keep a close watch on various symptoms, do extensive testing of the patients, and implement immediate isolation of Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases to restrict the outburst as followed earlier. It is crucial to continue adhering to COVID-19 protocols such as wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and practising good hygiene. Everyone has to be extra vigilant; it is a question of life and death, and the nation cannot afford another lockdown.