GoAP should prepare a contingency plan against Omicron variant

The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is emerging as a major threat to the entire world. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday said that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 poses a “very high” global risk and could have “severe consequences” where there are surges. In view of the possible threat that the new Covid-19 variant can pose to the nation, the Centre has asked all states and UTs to focus on intensive containment, active surveillance, enhanced testing, monitoring of hotspots, increased coverage of vaccination, and augmentation of health infrastructure.

Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid, the threat of a third wave is increasingly becoming a reality. The big question is whether India, and in particular Arunachal, is ready for the third wave. When the pandemic arrived in early 2020, the hope was that the stringent lockdown would provide an opportunity for the government to strengthen an understaffed and under-funded public health system. But a year on, a second Covid wave devastated India as hospitals ran out of beds, medicines, and oxygen.

Soon after, in July 2021, the government did announce a second Covid-19 package to strengthen health infrastructure. But experts argued that the amount set aside was too little, and there was no visible urgency to put it to action. In Arunachal Pradesh, the government has invested heavily to improve the health sector. There is no doubt that the health infrastructure has improved. But still, there is not enough manpower to run these hospitals. Considering the emergence of the new variant, the state government should immediately swing into action and prepare a contingency plan. Carelessness can cause a catastrophe in the days to come.