India’s healthcare system is currently on the verge of collapsing and no prediction reports or models sounded any emergency alarms in advance this time. After the 2nd wave had gripped India, Chief Ministers of states didn’t want to impose lockdowns as they waited for each other to be the first one to do so. The central and state governments apparently left the responsibility on each other and none seemed to make a move timely.
The nation had witnessed Coronavirus peaks in the past as well but probably due to lack of preparedness, this wave has brought India’s healthcare system precariously close to its breaking point. Due to human error in judgement, lives have been lost as we waited too long to even make a decision on lockdown.
Predecided parameters on the number of cases to auto-trigger measures should be put in place to timely increase the number of beds, impose a lockdown and prepare a stockpile of medicines & vaccine doses. States must maintain a stockpile of medicines assuming the upcoming requirement to be twice the previous peak. Another important aspect is ensuring a smoother movement of oxygen vehicles.
When a wave hits a particular state, other states should proactively start preparing to face the same. For example, when Delhi and Maharashtra were struggling with surging Covid-19 infections, Karnataka had time to prepare, but now, Bengaluru has become the worst-hit district with Covid-19 cases and Karnataka has entered a lockdown.
An SOP should be established in every household, to be adhered to by all family members and an SOP should established in all RWAs and industries, to be adhered to by all residents and staff members. Mobile phones should be pinged with automated alert messages about coronavirus cases. This can be facilitated through SMS or the Aarogya Setu app.