Amidst the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, top doctors—Dr Randeep Guleria, director of AIIMS, Dr Shetty, chairman of Narayana Health, and Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta Hospitals, advised people on how to battle out the new wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Brought together by ANI, the top doctors spoke on a range of issues, from dispelling myths about the ineffectiveness of vaccines against COVID-19 to importance of maintaining COVID appropriate behaviour such as masking up properly and regularly to unwarranted hoarding of essential life-saving drugs like Remdesivir and medicinal oxygen.
“Get yourself tested for COVID-19, it is the most important thing”: Dr Shetty
Dr Shetty of Narayana Health advised people to check their oxygen saturation levels every 6 hours. Issuing an advisory, Dr Shetty said, “If your oxygen saturation is above 94% then there is no problem. But if it is falling after exercise, then, you need to call a doctor. It’s important you get the right treatment at the right time.”
Dr Shetty also added that COVID-19 should not be taken lightly and asked people to get tested for the infection even if their symptoms do not indicate that they are down with the coronavirus. “Any patient complaining about anything in their body, it is COVID unless proven otherwise,” Dr Shetty said.
“There is a possibility that you may be asymptomatic, then, doctors will tell you to stay at home, isolate yourself, wear a mask and check your oxygen saturation every 6 hours. If you have any symptom like body ache, cold, cough, indigestion, vomiting- I have one important message- get yourself tested for COVID-19. It is the most important thing,” he added.
Remdesivir is not a ‘Ramban’: Dr Trehan dispels doubts regarding the crucial antiviral drug
Dispelling doubts about COVID-19 that are doing the rounds among the masses, Dr Trehan of Medanta said that a very small percentage of people would require hospitalisation. He said the hospital beds should be utilised judiciously & with responsibility.
Dr Trehan also spoke on the usage of antiviral drug Remdesivir that has been in huge demand ever since the second wave of the coronavirus struck India. He said that they have made a protocol to not administer Remdesivir to everyone who tests positive. Only after doctors look at test results, symptoms, comorbidities of a patient, he said, should the drug be administered. “Remdesivir isn’t a ‘Ramban’, it only decreases viral load in people who need it,” Dr Trehan said.
The chairman of Medanta advised patients to make judicious use of oxygen. He urged patients to not hoard oxygen which would unnecessarily deprive others of the gas and asked them to stop its wastage.
“Today we have enough oxygen if we try to use it judiciously. I want to tell the public that if you don’t need oxygen then don’t use it as a security blanket. Waste of oxygen will only lead to depriving someone who needs it,” said Dr Trehan, the chairman of Medanta Hospital, Gurgaon.
85 per cent of people infected with COVID-19 would not need hospitalisation: Dr Randeep Guleria
Speaking on the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Dr Randeep Guleria, the chairman of AIIMS, Delhi, said that more than 85% of people will recover without any specific treatment in the form of Remdesivir etc. He added that most will have symptoms like the common cold, sore throat etc. and within 5-7 days, they will recover with symptomatic treatment. Only 15 per cent may go to moderate disease level, the doctor said.
Dr Guleria also said that most people can ward off COVID-19 by simply taking paracetamol. He said Remdesivir is not a magic bullet and urged people to simply remain hydrated, consult with their doctors to recover from COVID-19.
“Important to understand that most of us who in home isolation or in the hospital because of panic doesn’t actually need any specific treatment. Only a small percentage require Remdesivir. Don’t consider this as a magic bullet,” Dr Guleria said.
With respect to the oxygen demand, Dr Guleria said that people whose oxygen saturation is above 94 per cent do not need to take supplemental oxygen. He even suggested that even those people whose oxygen levels drop to 90-92 per cent are not in the immediate need for oxygen. In such cases, Dr Gurelia said, patients should continuously monitor their oxygen levels and consult with their doctor for their treatment.
“As a country, if we work together, use oxygen and Remdesivir judiciously, then, there will be no shortage anywhere. In terms of the number of people who need oxygen and oxygen supply, we are well balanced,” he said.
The vaccine prevents you from getting the disease in the form of severe illness. It may not prevent you from getting the infection. Important to understand that even after the vaccine we may have a positive report, it is why important to wear a mask even after vaccine: Dr Guleria— ANI (@ANI) April 21, 2021
Dr Guleria urged people to stop hoarding Remdesivir and oxygen cylinders, stating that others might be deprived of the critical supplies if they continue to store up the antiviral drug and oxygen.
The chairman of AIIMS also quashed the rumours that vaccines are ineffective against COVID-19. He asked people to get vaccinated and said that the vaccines protect people from severe effects of the virus. However, he cautioned people to still remain masked up even if they have had their doses of vaccines.
“Vaccines prevents from getting diseases in form of severe illness, going to ICU, during that time one can still test positive for RTPCR test and can be infectious…wearing a mask after getting vaccines is important to prevent those who are yet to take vaccines and who are susceptible to the COVID-19 infection,” he said.