March 20, 2021 9:34:37 am
THE SECOND Covid wave has been more severe in states like Punjab and Maharashtra as compared to other parts of the country. In Punjab itself, over 25,000 new cases and more than 400 deaths have surfaced in March itself, pointed out a panel of doctors from Ludhiana while answering various queries of the public in a Facebook live session Friday afternoon.
The Facebook live session was organised by doctors of the Punjab government’s Sanjivani expert panel of specialised doctors, formed last year to clear doubts of the public and also provide expert advice. Terming the second wave as “more intense” than the earlier one, the Sanjivani expert panel asked people to follow the SMS (social distancing, mask and sanitisation) principle.
Dr Bishav Mohan, senior cardiologist at DMCH and member of the panel of doctors of the Dr K K Talwar committee to manage Covid-19 in Punjab, said, “Earlier we had only masks, but now we have vaccination as well. I don’t guarantee that people will not get Covid at all after getting vaccinated, it may happen in 10-15 per cent cases. So far around 150 such cases have happened in India where people contracted Covid even after completing the vaccination course.
However, their severity level was very low and all patients could be managed at home itself. So people should not shy away from getting themselves vaccinated.”
He added, “Vaccination is just like a seat belt which can save you from a fatal accident. Hence, people must get vaccinated. Now the ambit of vaccination has also been widened in many parts of Punjab. However, children below the age of 18 years and pregnant women are not being vaccinated as no research has come out regarding effectiveness of drugs in these categories till now.”
Dr Kiran Gill, the district immunisation officer, said, “Vaccination will now happen 7 days a week in all private as well as government centres. In addition to this, we are increasing the reach of vaccination drives as we will be vaccinating against Covid in all primary health centres closer to villages. So people staying in urban as well as rural areas must come to these centres.”
Dr Mohan added, “The pattern of cases has revealed that earlier, there were more patients of the 60+ years category, but now we are looking more sick patients in the below 50 years population as well. In other words, 50 per cent of the patients are youngsters now, which we need to consider seriously. The second wave is moving towards its peak and the number of patients has been multiplying fast since February.”
Dr Rajesh Mahajan from DMCH said, “Earlier in September, over 500 cases were coming in daily on many days in Ludhiana, which had reduced to as low as 25-30 a day. But now the daily increase of patients in DMCH alone has gone up by 15 per cent. Patients are coming with low oxygen levels and also many are coming very late.”
Clarifying doubts about Covaxin and Covishield, Dr Mahajan said, ‘’Patients who are on immunosuppressants or having any auto immune issues, or biologicals going on, must prefer Covaxin.”
Talking about the reasons for the fast spread of Covid, Dr Mohan, while replying to a query, said, “This time the transition period from winter to summer advanced by a month and hence multiplication of virus may have increased.
Hence, change of weather definitely has something to do with this peak. In addition to this, casual approach of people towards Covid is another important reason as people are gathering, meeting each other. Most are not adhering to the basic precaution of mask…”
He further said, “Patients with heart problems, who are taking blood thinners, blood pressure, diabetes issues, obesity etc. issues must get themselves vaccinated sooner than later. Cancer patients whose chemotherapy sessions are going on, must consult their doctors before starting vaccination. In addition to this, if anyone has fever, he/she must get diagnosed before undergoing vaccination. If anyone’s family member had tested positive in less than a week’s time before undergoing vaccination, they should wait for a few more days.”
Has the strain changed? Doctors said mutations do happen in viruses, but Covaxin works for all the mutations happening if any.
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