It has been more than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the very core of human society, we’ve learned a lot about the power of Mother Nature. The impact of the pandemic did not just stay limited to healthcare. Businesses and economic structures of countries worldwide were also put to the test and, sadly, collapsed. Since the Great Depression, the COVID-19 crisis has been widely regarded as the most devastating economic calamity.
India was also among the many countries that had people running for their lives to the core. After the first wave, we thought we had gained control of the situation. However, the second wave found many people wanting basic necessities such as oxygen and medical supplies. In cities across the country, the piercing sound of ambulance sirens rang out almost non-stop. COVID facilities were overburdened, and a shortage of oxygen cylinders meant two patients to one bed. Many patients waited outside healthcare facilities while grieving family members wailed for their lost ones.
Despite such formidable circumstances, the Government of India promptly came to the rescue of the victims. It offered various kinds of facilities as the country was suffering. To combat the outbreak, a variety of tried-and-tested and innovative approaches were implemented. Driven by the political will and impeccable cooperation of authorities and partners, the state government adopted measures such as early screening, surveillance, testing, tracing and isolating digital interventions and strengthening of the healthcare system. By combining proven methods and novel interventions, drawing from the health system’s inherent strength and partners’ expertise, state and district leadership have led the charge through this pandemic.
In my home state of Andhra Pradesh (A.P.), the response to the COVID-19 pandemic was guided by sound scientific principles. District-level control rooms were set up for monitoring on-the-ground conditions, and frontline health workers were given the tools they needed while engaging with communities, people’s psychosocial needs were getting addressed, and the delivery of essential health services during this crisis was ensured. A.P. also witnessed the establishment of many COVID facilities that came to the aid of COVID victims, including the efforts and services made and provided by Sujana Group and other industrial houses. Even in the midst of the fight with the disease, A.P. is demonstrating the need of coordinating efforts and coming up with new ideas in order to keep the crisis under control.
Even though the country managed to survive the second and third waves, the Centre recently recommended that people keep a close eye on the COVID-19 situation and take proactive steps to stop the spread of any new infections as the number of people with COVID-19 cases continues to rise through June 2022. Because if past pandemics are any guide, the toll on civilians will be several times worse the next time. As such, we must continue to implement and monitor necessary measures for prompt and effective management of COVID-19 and ensure compliance with advisories issued by the ministries, for a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.