While the second wave of pandemic is receding with numbers plateauing, new information regarding COVID-19 third wave has emerged with Delhi HC warning against overcrowding and ruling that this “will hasten the 3rd wave”. It should be noted that Delhi unlocked earlier last week after being under lockdown since April 19.
On Friday, June 18, the Delhi HC took Suo Moto cognizance about the reports that emerged recently regarding massive overcrowding in Delhi markets after the state unlocked. Earlier, several video clips and images were shared that captured swarms of Delhi citizens overcrowding the markets.
AIIMS doctor shows court images of overcrowding
A doctor from AIIMS approached the Delhi HC and shared the same images to the court. After deliberating on the images, the Court ruled that stricture measures need to be put in place in Delhi to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and avoid the potential third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘People behaving in this manner unfortunate’: Delhi HC
In its order, the division bench of Justice Navin Chawla and Justice Asha Menon remarked-
“The memory of the second wave has not left us, yet people behave in this manner. This is very unfortunate.”
The court also remarked how everyone has paid a huge price in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t know if there is any household which has not suffered in the second wave, closely or remotely,”
-the court further added.
Civil defence & Police personnel to be deployed
Further, the division bench also issued a notice to both Delhi government and the Centre regarding the matter. The Delhi HC issued a directive seeking a deployment of civil defence personnel and police force personnel that will enforce social distancing.
The division bench directed the government to file a status matter regarding the matter and the next hearing on the matter will take place on July 7.
Doctors caution against overcrowding
While the nationwide numbers of fresh COVID-19 cases have dropped to its lowest in more than two and a half months, disease experts and doctors have started cautioning people on overcrowding. Race towards bringing things back normalcy can compromise the efforts made by the masses and the governments and can result in another pandemic explosion.
Max HealthCare’s Ambrish Mithal took to Twitter and shared his insight. In his tweet, Dr. Mithal wrote, “Number of cases in #Delhi in last 24 hrs- 131. Delhi’s top #mall saw a footfall of 19,000 people last weekend- as soon as it reopened. Have we gone totally mad? Wait for #COVID19 to explode again- and blame the govt, hospitals, country. It’s never our fault.”
Number of cases in #Delhi in last 24 hrs- 131👏👏👏
Delhi’s top #mall saw a footfall of 19,000 people last weekend- as soon as it reopened
Have we gone totally mad?
Wait for #COVID19 to explode again- and blame the govt, hospitals, country
It's never our fault#coronavirus
— Dr Ambrish Mithal (@DrAmbrishMithal) June 15, 2021
Leading surgeon and liver transplant expert, Dr. Avinder Singh Soin, also took to Twitter and wrote, “Delhi ought to have unlocked far more scientifically. We are inviting trouble!”
Delhi ought to have unlocked far more scientifically. We are inviting trouble!
— Dr. Arvinder Singh Soin (@ArvinderSoin) June 14, 2021
It should be noted that Delhi was under lockdown for straight 5-weeks during the peak of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. In the initial phases of the lockdown, health infrastructure was overburdened, oxygen supply issues came to the light and several hundred died due to infection.
COVID-19: Numbers as of Today
After the strict lockdown, Delhi authorities unlocked the state. Although most states choose the way of unlocking in a phased manner, Delhi opened up shops, malls restaurants with dine-in service (50% occupancy) along with the suburban rails (50%).
On Thursday, June 18, India reported 62,397 new cases and the national capital reported 158 new cases. During the peak of the pandemic’s second wave, Delhi reported a peak-high of as many as 28,395 new cases in a day.