India has seen a huge exacerbation of coronavirus cases in March 2021 after the second wave. The virus spread massively engulfing even the remote rural areas this time and peaked at over 3500 deaths in a single day. The country has been facing an acute shortage of oxygen supplies, hospital beds, and medicines since the beginning of the year. The sudden hike of cases has left the Indian healthcare system baffled. Trained professionals are working tirelessly each day to fight the raging pandemic but with the third wave approaching rapidly, The Union ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship has decided to create a massive workforce of 100,000 trained professionals to fight the virus.
The ministry will be taking over 300 skill centers across 194 districts in 28states to expedite the training efficiently. These centers will be equipped with the best infrastructure in the healthcare sector. The ministry will also be looking into upskilling the already adept healthcare workers so they can deal more efficiently when things will start to get tough. We can expect the workforce to be trained and running before the third wave hits. According to the department of science and technology, the second wave will end by July 2021 and the third wave is most likely to hit in about 6-8months time. It is expected that the third wave won’t affect a lot of people because of the vaccinations and that an effective lockdown will be started as soon as it hits. However, by the time the third wave hits, the virus will mutate but with strong precautions, a hard hit is avoidable. All the covid predictions are based on information and statistics from SUTRA (Susceptible, Undetected, tested, and removed approach). SUTRA hasn’t yet predicted the third wave but the scientists behind SUTRA say that it is working on it.
The ministry has listed six sectors in which a short-term course for three months will be offered. Emergency care, basic care, home care, collection of samples is a few of the areas they will be critically trained in. Several states, including the big ones like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai have reported an acute shortage of ventilators, oxygen supplies, and hospital beds. The biggest crisis was not having enough trained doctors at hand. In certain hospitals, equipment was reported to be lying around with no one knowing how to operate them. The heavy death toll also resulted in the scarcity of burning or burial grounds. The crematoriums and graveyards struggle to accommodate the huge number of bodies coming through every other day.
Meanwhile, a group of doctors and healthcare professionals from India and the US has voluntarily joined hands to provide virtual critical information to healthcare workers in the rural parts of India who are struggling to manage adequate resources while treating COVID-19 patients. This initiative aims for the proper education and training of healthcare workers and medical professionals who work in the remote rural areas of India where there is a dire scarcity of the basic amenities leave alone proper COVID-19 resources. The team is currently working with professionals in rural Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. So far, the project has been a success at teaching the workers to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, learn the need for proper medication and side effects of over medication, propagate the benefits of vaccination and treat and keep mild cases under control. At a time when the medical infrastructure in the urban areas is at full capacity, and there is a shortage of healthcare professionals, the project is proving to be a boon in disguise, a great help to humanity. They spread information in the local languages which makes them more efficient. They spread flyers and started media campaigns in vernaculars. They were successful in decreasing panic.
Currently, India reports 94,050 new cases and 6148 deaths. However local media all across the country keeps reporting how the official data records related to COVID-19 don’t match with updates from the cremation grounds which hints that the government is trying to brush some cases under the carpet to show its efficiency at dealing with the situation. The original number of cases is currently unknown because several million people who have contracted covid and went through mild symptoms recovered from the comfort of their homes and did not register as covid positive patients.