Dr Anand Misra, registrar, Sri Aurobindo University
Dr Anand Misra, registrar, Sri Aurobindo University

There are no two opinions on the issue that our healthcare system is over-burdened due to sudden surge in Covid-19 cases and that the government failed at multiple levels while dealing with the second wave. But does the buck stop there?

Aren’t we, the citizens, also responsible for this huge crisis?

If we observe properly, we will find that we, the people, are the ones who complicated the situation by taking coronavirus lightly and ignoring its initial symptoms completely until we were pushed to a serious condition.

Symptoms are warning signs; if they are identified at the right time, fatalities can be checked to a larger extent.

If people identify the symptoms early and get ther Covid-19 tests done on time, they will not only get proper treatment but also help government in breaking the Covid chain.

The oxygen saturation, which is the main indictor of deterioration in health condition, starts dipping when Covid-19 affects lungs. But before that, Covid-19 gives ample of warning signs like fever, weakness, coughing, diarrhea, headache etc.

Oxygen saturation usually does not dip all of sudden; it takes its own time. If people address it with proper medications on time, they can avoid serious complications.

The ratio of the number of beds in Indian hospitals and our population is abysmal. And the ratio of ICU beds and population is horrifying.

So, if people ignore the symptoms at early age and reach hospitals, which are already over-burned, in serious conditions, saving lives will become impossible.

Presently this is happening.

That is one side of the story. The other side is all the more scary. People are treating themselves without consulting doctors. They are taking perceptions circulated on Whatsapp or taking help of Google for medication.

These acts are only increasing complications and casualties.

Ideally, when they have symptoms and test positive for Covid-19, they should immediately consult their physicians for treatment and follow the prescription religiously with regular monitoring of vitals. Any change in health condition should be reported to the physician.

Another act that is increasing casualties is hoarding of drugs used in the treatment of Cvoid-19.

A closer look at the crisis of medicine and oxygen reveals that many people had stocked up Fabiflu, Remdesivir, HCQS, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, etc in anticipation of the Covid-19 spread in their families. This has created a big gap between the demand and supply of drugs.

Patients in need are dying because of the hoarding of medicines. Why we want to store things in anticipation of the worst? Here, we fail as a responsible citizens.

Some financially sound and influential persons have got themselves admitted to hospitals even if their symptoms do not require hospitalization. Their act is resulting in shortage of beds. Many of them are not leaving the hospitals even when they are fit as they want to keep that the beds engaged for their loved ones in anticipation of their illness.

Today is the time where we need to reduce load on existing the healthcare system along with increasing new resources to cope up with the pandemic. Surely government needs to address the requirement of healthcare and should work in that direction. The government needs to adopt the system wherein early detection of cases can be done and then are been referred to appropriate places, may be home isolation, quarantine centres or hospital as per severity of the case, so that chaos does not arise.

Do’s

• Early recognition of the symptoms of Covid-19

• Early Covid-19 testing

• Isolation

• Regular monitoring of vitals like temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse, BP, blood sugar

• Early detection of difficulty in breathing

• Do breathing exercises

• Keep yourself busy in some work along with rest

• Keep yourself hydrated

• Have nutritious food, increase protein intake

• Medication as advised by physician

• Prone positioning

• Yoga and Pranayams

Don’t

• Self-medication or consulting prescription(s) being circulated on Whatsapp, Internet

• Ignoring the symptoms

• Don’t panic

• Storing medicines, oxygen unnecessarily etc

• Moving in public without Covid-19 protocol

• Exertion

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