Mumbai: With the number of coronavirus cases peaking across the country, experts insist on concentrating on basic precautions like wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing. Experts agree that the virus has spread all across the country widely, including in tribal areas. Dr Ishwar Gilada, Secretary General, People’s Health Organisation (India), from Mumbai said: “The number of corona cases is climbing with passing day; that time is past when we could concentrate on some specific regions of the country, as infections have spread in all directions. We are experiencing community spread. The trend that we are observing now is that the virus has spread from metro to non-metro cities, and has now reached the taluka and district levels and in the villages. It’s challenging situation right as infections have reached the villages where there are no facilities like oxygen supply, ICU beds and ventilators.”

Dr T. Jacob John, one of the top pediatricians and virologists from Tamil Nadu, said, “It has reached tribal areas which means that the virus has reached everywhere in India; this tells me that we are about to reach the peak of this epidemic curve. I expect that we will reach the peak of the epidemic curve in one or two weeks as per statistical phenomenon. The numbers will not decrease so soon; they will come down far slowly than the speed at which they is growing and that is not good news.”

Dr Sunil Raina from Organised Medicine Academic Guild, Himachal Pradesh, said: “We are almost at the peak. It’s important that we start to learn from this infection; else it will be a problem.” Dr Sunil Raina said, “India has been excellent in the past many years as far as vaccine research is concerned; so we should be leading in vaccine development. The challenging part is the logistics—once the vaccine gets developed, policies will matter: whom to start with as we are talking about crores of people. Who should first get the vaccine—high risk, moderate risk people or low-risk people?” Dr Naval Chandra, Additional Professor in medicines from Nizam’s institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Hyderabad, said: “The biggest challenge is that once the vaccine comes, which section of people should get it first? Most importantly, what will be the schedule and dosage of drugs, as cases of re-infection are emerging, and need to be documented.” Dr Ishwar Gilada said: “Prevention and treatment are also important.” Meanwhile, Dr K. Satish, president of Karnataka Pulmonology Association, said: “I hope that a vaccine comes soon, but we should all be wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distance.”