From Remdesivir to use of oxygen to vaccination during periods – India’s health ministry clears the air about an ‘unnecessary panic’ in the country

From Remdesivir to use of oxygen to vaccination during periods – India’s health ministry clears the air about an ‘unnecessary panic’ in the country
India has seen a staggering rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, which has wreaked havoc on India’s healthcare industry. BCCL
  • AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said that an unnecessary panic is there which creates more harm than good.
  • Additionally, he said there’s hoarding and an unnecessary shortage of drugs and oxygen cylinders in the market.
  • Prof. Vinod K. Paul, from the think tank Niti Aayog, busted a myth that vaccination cannot be taken during the menstrual cycle of a woman.
India has seen a staggering rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, which has wreaked havoc on India’s healthcare industry. From appeals for beds and oxygen supply on social media, to crematoriums across the country running beyond capacity, India continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the Indian Health Ministry in a press briefing today appealed for all to stay calm and not create a situation of “unnecessary panic.”
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Stressing that almost 85% of cases in India are cured, with the need for hospitalisation coming only for severe cases, the health ministry today said that along with the steep rise in COVID-19 cases it’s also important to highlight the rise in recoveries.

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From Remdesivir to use of oxygen to vaccination during periods – India’s health ministry clears the air about an ‘unnecessary panic’ in the country
BCCL

From Remdesivir to use of oxygen to vaccination during periods – India’s health ministry clears the air about an ‘unnecessary panic’ in the country
India's health ministry

The ministry also said that India has administered 14.19 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Going ahead, the government has three main focus areas – containment, clinical management and community engagement.

‘An unnecessary situation of panic being created’



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Dr Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), said that India is going through a critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and we have to get together to ensure that cases go down and hospital facilities are optimally used.

However, Dr Guleria said that an ‘unnecessary panic’ is there which creates more harm than good. “If the saturation level is normal, there is a panic that what if I need oxygen in the future and I should get admitted in a hospital. This makes genuine patients suffer as they don’t get access to treatment,” he said.

Additionally, he said there’s hoarding and an ‘unnecessary shortage’ of drugs in the market, or oxygen cylinders. “All of this is wrong. Oxygen is a very important treatment strategy for COVID-19 but its misuse is an important factor. If your saturation level is between 94-96, then you don’t need to panic. So don’t start using oxygen cylinders to bring it up to 98%, it’s more needed for people whose saturation levels are less than 93%,” he said.

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Dr Guleria also mentioned proning as an exercise to elevate your oxygen levels.

‘Remdesivir is not a magic bullet’



The benefits of Remdesivir aren’t well established, said Dr Guleria. He stressed that it is important to know when the drug needs to be used. “It’s not a magic bullet that will set things right,” he said.

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The top doctor said that there are many more medicines like anticoagulants, or steroids in moderately sick patients that also work. “Don’t go into a panic if Remdesivir is not available. It is only useful for moderate to severe patients, if it is given in the beginning or for a mild patient then there’s no benefit,” he said.

‘Vaccination has to be scaled up at all costs’



Prof. Vinod K. Paul, from Indian government’s policy think tank Niti Aayog, said that as India opens up vaccination for all adults from May 1st, it is important to scale up the vaccination progress.

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He also busted a myth that vaccination cannot be taken during the menstrual cycle of a woman. “This is all misinformation. Yes, vaccination can be given during the menstrual cycle,” he said.

‘Wear a mask at home’



Dr Guleria stressed that for most patients, the treatment can be done with home isolation and close monitoring.

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Meanwhile, Prof. Paul said that the time has come to wear masks at home, especially if there is a positive patient at home. “Also, this is not the time to invite people to your home,” he said.

SEE ALSO:
List of countries helping India with COVID-19 supplies – from liquid oxygen to concentrators and tanks
COVID-19: These are the five states in India with the highest positivity rates



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