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Doctors flag concern over rising Covid cases; advice to follow protocols

Meanwhile, the doctors have advised about how to sustain and stay with the virus for long by keeping your immunity strong.

Sharbani Banerjee | New Delhi |

With the number of Covid cases rising once again, the doctors have flagged concern over the virus. The country has witnessed two waves and we are yet not over with the pandemic situation as the virus seem to have become a part of us.

As per scientists, even if COVID cases decline significantly, it’s unlikely the virus would burn out. According to Dr Sharad Joshi, Associate Director, Pulmonology – Max Hospital, Vaishali, “For all viruses, we don’t have vaccination or antivirus. So the mantra is to be at the top of your immunity, which is best of your defence. Your nutrition should be such that you are in the best shape. As we have seen most of the Indian population is short on vitamin D level which is also linked with immune deficiency. This kind of deficiencies in any population can lead to higher rate of infections and various infections.”

Dr Joshi further said, “Not only vitamin D, other vitamins, minerals, proteins, including balanced diet should be taken and nothing can replace it. Also, we need to wear mask and maintain social distancing.”

He further said that what we saw during second wave was totally unpredictable, but people with multiple disorders, diseases who already had some disease, people with history of alcoholism, or poor lungs or those who smoke, were at a higher risk of getting infected.

At later stages, the SARS-CoV-2 virus may become endemic (always present but transmitted among people at modest, predictable rates) but protocols have to be followed.

Meanwhile, the doctors have advised about how to sustain and stay with the virus for long by keeping your immunity strong.

Dr. Gurmeet Singh Chabbra, Director Pulmonology, Marengo QRG Hospital Faridabad, on his part said, “Wearing mask properly is a very important means to keep spread of airborne infections at bay. Not only covid but other viruses like swine flu, seasonal flu, rhino virus, respiratory syncytial virus etc. all could be contained by wearing mask. Even monkey pox can spread via respiratory secretion with prolonged face to face contact besides other mode of spread like direct contact with humans, being scratched or bitten by infected animals, preparing or eating uncooked meat of infected animals.”

Dr. Chabbra added, “Individual who himself is wearing mask, irrespective of others wearing it or not, also has some protection. Wearing mask properly, hand hygiene, social distancing is still the key for our safety.”

Meanwhile, most scientists now expect the virus to circulate indefinitely with lower and more predictable case numbers — a status known as endemicity. That would make the coronavirus like many other viruses that humanity has learned to deal with, such as influenza. It remains unclear, however, whether the coronavirus will remain a greater health risk than other endemic respiratory viruses.

Dr.Rajiv Dang, Senior Director and HOD – Internal Medicine and Medical Director, Max Hospital, Gurugram said, “COVID was more concerning than monkeypox as it was an airborne virus which is luckily not in the case of Monkeypox. Although the COVID-19 infection was more contagious, monkeypox infection only develops after prolonged contact with an infected individual. As a result, COVID still has a very high infection rate and an infected person can spread the disease to many. Monkeypox, however, is less infectious and will only spread if there is a close contact.”

However, he added that the fundamental hygiene care regimen continues to be the same, which includes appropriate hand hygiene, adequate masks, avoiding overly crowded areas to stop the transmission of the disease, sanitizing common surfaces, will be the mantra for survival.

Dr. Anurag Aggarwal consultant Internal Medicine Marengo QRG Hospital Faridabad said, “Survival mantra is still the same, exercise, take precautions as much as possible, avoid close contact, not indulging in contact sports, avoiding public gathering, maintaining social distancing and most importantly, always using a mask whenever stepping out of home. Diseases are here to stay and the only tool we have is adopting the habits which prevent spread of disease. Timely and adequate vaccination is must which lowers the severity of disease and in many cases even reduce the incidence of the diseases.”

He added, “Being in lock down and always putting up a mask may not be always possible and practical option for many and most individuals, but emphasis is still on social distancing and avoiding close contact with people and public gatherings where the risk of getting infection is much more than the usual.”

Dr Aggarwal added, “Clean practises and hygiene maintenance is a lifestyle habit which should be encouraged and promoted. None the less, using mask on face is the most important precaution an individual can take and should be used as much as possible.