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Thursday, June 17, 2021

‘Covid waves will keep coming, we have to be prepared’

Talking about how to be cautious, Dr. Kang lists Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination the best tools to prevent spread of disease and new infections.

Written by Parul | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 2, 2021 12:49:46 pm
Dr. Amandeep Kang agrees and admits that waves will keep on coming, and we have to be prepared for any situation. (File)

In the last week, the number of new Covid positive cases has been steadily declining, with May 31 reporting 124 new cases, with the active ratio now at 2.9 per cent, that is for every 100 confirmed cases, three being currently infected.

As the status of availability of hospital beds gets better, there are already talks of the third wave, with many doctors saying that children may be infected more in the third wave.

With the ruthless second wave of COVID-19 playing havoc with our existing medical infrastructure, and lack of oxygen, beds, ventilators, life-saving drugs, fatigued health care workers…a harsh reality, Dr. Amandeep Kang agrees and admits that waves will keep on coming, and we have to be prepared for any situation.

Talking about how to be cautious, Dr. Kang lists Covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination the best tools to prevent spread of disease and new infections. The immunity of the vaccination, which has about 60 to 70 per cent efficacy, as per available data is between 6 and 9 months, while natural immunity is about 1 to 6 months.

“Also, we need to remember, how will immunity against new variants, crowding, gatherings, once the lockdowns are lifted, and also we are vaccinating people in phases and we are right now, not even talking about booster dose. Also, we should not talk about herd immunity, as we have seen, Delhi has already faced four waves. The previous narrative that the second wave will not be infectious and fatal, has been proved wrong, we now accept it. So, we cannot take any chances, we have to prepare as per our past experiences, even if we don’t face the third or fourth wave,” says Dr. Kang.

The Government, adds Dr. Kang is looking seriously at the third wave, with webinars and talks being conducted to talk about how to keep children safe, especially when educational institutes open.

Many adults, she says, are affected in this wave, and many have been vaccinated, there has been no exposure to the children, with schools closed, and outdoor spaces are not open.

“We hope to vaccinate the school staff before schools open, as this wave may hit children, for the virus will be in the community, but the best way to protect children is the vaccine. We have already earmarked a pediatric facility for children at the ESIC Hospital, which has both oxygen and ICU beds for children, as the hospital has trained staff and pediatricians, and we can increase the bed capacity here, if need be. We also plan to hire more pediatricians and anaesthetists in Government hospitals and also add 12-14 ICU beds on the 16th floor of GMSH-16, as we faced a shortage of ventilators in this wave. We planned for a ward with as many as 14 new ventilators, and are also adding more facilities to the trauma ward,” she adds. Every hospital, she says, will have more ICU specialists, and more L2, L3 beds, both for adults and children.

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