Countries worldwide are bracing for a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the coming months. A second wave is a resurgence in infections after the existing cases appear to be reducing.
This document proposes a series of measures for India to prepare for possible future waves of the infection. These infections will take a toll on the healthcare system and the economy; thus, preparation should include measures for both contingencies. This document also suggests actionable healthcare measures and categorises them into three sections:
- Setting up Mechanisms for Early Detection and Containment: The mechanisms that need to be put into place to detect a second wave, in line with our Policy Advisory on a National Reopening Strategy. This includes building capacity for manufacturing diagnostic kits, testing, and quarantining.
- Building Healthcare Capacity: A strategic reserve for personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical equipment and a concomitant increase in healthcare personnel required to deal with a second wave.
- Expanding Social Distancing Measures: Social distancing measures need to be tailored to reduce interaction between people in public spaces. These include workplaces and public services such as public transport. Implementation of social distancing policies can mitigate the spread of the second wave.
These measures are proposed as guidelines; their final implementation is left upon the discretion of local authorities. It is important that government and society work together to quickly detect and contain a second wave of infection to prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods.Takshashila – COVID-19 – Healthcare Measures to Tackle a Second Wave in India