Canada sees a surge in coronavirus cases after reopening, with colleges scheduled to open in India; are we prepared?

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News from across the globe, and from the Canadian shores of a surge in coronavirus cases that have claimed several lives, many in the country’s health sector are worried that this might indicate a second wave of coronavirus in the country.

As reports come in, the country has seen a dramatic rise in the cases with nearly a 50% increase in the number of cases reported nationwide each day.

However, many in the health sector have argued that to say that Canada is in the midst of a ‘second wave’ would be wrong, as a ‘second wave’ means and happens when the disease has resurged as people have lost immunity to the disease.

It would be more prudent to say that the coronavirus had ‘been contained’ due to ‘our behavior’ via ‘social distancing’ because of which the virus ebbed. As people return to the usual mode of life and so-called ‘normalcy,’ the behavior seems to have caught on, especially as educational institutions have reopened.

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To control the pandemic, Canada has ordered the closure of nightclubs and banquet parties in many of its provinces and put new restrictions on bars and restaurants.

However, the officials concur that schools/ educational institutions, too important to shut down, should work with newer policies to curb infection spread, even as many new cases have been reported from amongst the student and teachers.

The interesting observation here is that the government and the officials have categorically denied that they will have surveillance on peoples activities and forcibly quarantine them as they believe that each person has social responsibility and trust that they will work on themselves and will also work with faith in each other and for the betterment of the society.

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India, on the other hand, is yet to open schools and colleges. Still, with the news that the colleges and universities may open from 1st November, the coronavirus cases which are already on the increase may climb even higher.
The onus and responsibility would primarily lie on educational institutions, students, and academic providers.

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While it is understood that education is a vital part of society and its importance cannot be denied yet if not careful, it could lead to a surge of cases all across the country. The critical question here is – Is India ready if such a case should present itself, and is the health sector equipped to take on a rise in cases?

The health sector is already struggling. With several reports coming in of shortages of beds, oxygen tanks, and already strained health staff, the implications, and the potential for the virus to spread further and, with limited resources, we have a challenging situation at hand.

The Indian economy and industries across all sectors have felt the heat and struggle to cope with the situation. The people, on the other hand, long to get back to ‘normalcy’.

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But the harsh truth in our country is that we have a considerable population to deal with and with limited resources. Are we equipped to handle any further rise in cases?

The answer probably lies in the fact that the only viable solution here would be to continue online education. It limits the chances of contraction at least through limited social interaction.

Therefore, while many may be keen to return to ‘normalcy’ but the ‘normalcy’ could very well lead to a potential rise in cases which India and particularly the health sector may find challenging and further stretched.

Thus the onus is on the education institutions to frame policies that provide a healthy environment for the students and the teachers, even as it is the responsibility of each student and the academic providers to be careful of their health and others.

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