Updated: March 20, 2021 10:28:23 pm
This second wave of coronavirus infection has seen entire families getting infected unlike last time, said Dr Dhananjay Kelkar, Medical Director of Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune that has close to 150 Covid-19 admitted patients.
On Friday, 2,834 new infections were detected in the city. Last year, the highest number of new infections were around 3,200 in a single day in the city. According to doctors at various hospitals, the number of people on oxygenated beds were fewer than last year. Currently, 3,705 people with Covid-19 are hospitalised in the city while 15,183 are in home isolation.
“From November 2020 onwards, people have been gathering together and it is likely that the behaviour of the Covid-19 virus has changed. Clinical presentation shows that the viral behaviour is changing. Last year, even if a person stayed in home isolation, there were one or two that were positive in the same family but now we are seeing more people in the same families getting infected,” said Dr Kelkar. He pointed out that though the numbers were increasing, smaller hospitals had yet to join the fight against Covid-19.
At Jehangir Hospital too, which has admitted some 95 Covid patients , authorities said that they were observing that there were more members from the same families who were infected. “We don’t know how contagious this virus is but it is true that if one member gets infected, then more than two or three in the same family do get the virus. On a positive note though, the symptoms are mild,” said Jehangir Hospital authorities.
Dr Madhur Rao, senior deputy medical administrator at KEM Hospital that has admitted 130 Covid-19 patients, said that they were observing the same trend where members of the same family were admitted at the same time. “For those who have mild symptoms, home isolation has been recommended but there are those who have moderate symptoms and require drugs like Remdesivir, which can be given in a hospital setting. However, people on ventilation support are fewer than last year,” Dr Rao said.
Cases are rising but are still on the milder side, said Dr P K Grant, managing director of Ruby Hall Clinic that has admitted 120 Covid-19 patients.
Doctors have now urged for genomic sequencing of the virus. “Sequencing of at least 50 to 100 patients currently infected need to be studied as there are also cases who have received either one or both doses of the vaccine,” doctors said. They have appealed people to get tested at the earliest to prevent transmission risk to other family members.
Dr Shashank Joshi, state Covid-19 task force member, said there is a need to ramp up testing, tracking, isolating and treatment of the patient while the Centre needs to support the state to proactively mitigate and take on micro-containment measures so that “we can bend the curve in two weeks”. “There were reports of a new strain when cases started increasing in Akola and Amravati and we had raised the issue. The cases are now spreading fast and while increasing vaccination is important, the impact will be seen two months later. It is crucial now to test, track, isolate and treat,” said Dr Joshi.