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Coronavirus Positive patients have been going up all over the world. WHO chief Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the worst is yet to come. Nearly 80 percent of the infections are mild or asymptomatic, and that’s proving to be a big challenge. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the developments. Anchorperson Neha Dubey discussed the issue with panelists including medicine expert from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Dr Atul Gogia, bariatric surgeon Dr Jaishree Todkar, chest specialist from Kailash Hospital Dr Sudhir Gupta and Dr Sanjiv Chaubey from Shanghai.

Gupta said: “I am of the view that the lockdown has helped to arrest the figures.”

Dr Todkar said: “Yes, lockdown has helped to a certain degree, but there should be no slackening on social distancing. These measures are not meant to put people in discomfort but are for the good of all. Till a herd immunity is built, we will have to observe these measures. Our country does not have the medical resources that countries like the USA have. WHO chief is right in warning that the war has just begun.”

Dr Gupta said: “I agree, this fight is going to be a long one. Relaxation can be ordered in Covid-free areas. But we need to be careful so as not to lose the benefits accrued by the lockdown.”

Dr Gogia said: “We need to look at life and livelihoods. But people can’t be allowed to roam around freely. We should be aware that the virus problem is here to stay for some months more. Relaxation is ordered for essential commodities, not to allow us to go easy on the precautionary measures.”

Dr Todkar said: “We need to increase testing. We should look at countries like Japan that have been able to handle the crisis well. People need to cooperate with frontline workers like doctors, healthcare workers, media, police and bureaucrats.”

Dr Gupta said: “Rapid tests at hotspots must be ordered.”

Dr Chaubey said: “I agree that the situation is grim and we need to be watchful. China has been fast in declaring lockdowns. Asymptomatic patients are a challenge. Physical distancing is important. Social connectivity is managed through social media.”

Dr Todkar said: “We need to observe what the others are doing. US has put ‘corona deaths’ as a separate category. In India, under-diagnosis is a big issue. As compared to rest of the countries, India has been faster in declaring lockdowns and ensuring social distancing. But it’s too early to clap for ourselves. The correct number of tests is still missing. In some areas, lockdown is not being followed properly. In the coming days, it needs to be seen how much we are able to follow physical distancing.”

Dr Chaubey said: “Instead of comparing with other nations, we should be focusing at our own control programmes. Whatever guidelines the government gives, people should be following.”

Dr Gupta said: “Summer has just begun, let’s see if the numbers go down. However, the use of central air conditioning will not be effective in controlling the virus spread.”

Dr Todkar said: “Relaxation should be ordered only for essential items, for farmers, for vegetable mandis. We will need to categorise as essentials, or most essential and so on, and avoid crowing of areas, like at malls, cinemas, or at ceremonies.”

Dr Chaubey said: “We should continue to follow the basic guidelines when we go to work, like physical distancing, frequent handwashing and so on.”


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