As the third wave of Covid grips India, the IANS-CVoter Omicron Snap Poll reveals shocking levels of carelessness and nonchalance by Indians.
The snap poll had a sample size of 1,942. To a question if people were generally wearing masks and taking precautions, only 21.8 per cent of the respondents agreed that people were indeed wearing masks and taking precautions.
In sharp contrast, 41.5 per cent said wearing of masks and other precautions were being followed "only sometimes" while another 33.8 per cent said they were mostly not being followed.
In effect, 3 out of every four Indians are still not taking the basic preventive steps against Corona despite repeated warnings, exhortations and threats by the government, scientists and doctors.
This is happening at a time when there is virtual unanimity that the third wave of Covid led this time by the super spreading Omicron variant has already arrived in India and is heading rapidly towards a peak.
A recent study by IIT Kanpur suggests that the peak of the third wave would be reached anytime between the first and second week of February this year. It has also been established unequivocally that the Omicron variant breaches through the defences of people who have already taken two doses of the vaccine.
There has been a massive increase in the number of infections in major metro cities, particularly Mumbai and Delhi. In Delhi, the positivity rate shot up to an alarming 11.6 per cent by January, 2022 and more than 150 patients are on oxygen support with about 22 on ventilator support.
Authorities, hospitals and doctors will find it difficult to manage yet another surge unless ordinary Indian citizens realise the true gravity of the situation and come out of the comfort zone of thinking that the Omicron variant is very mild.
It could mutate into something far more deadly without any warning, as it happened with the Delta variant during the second wave.