The author: Anuradha Mascarenhas
| Puna |
Published : 23. March 2020. 10:10:59
Although the laboratories are prepared for additional tests, not everything had to be tested. (Representative)
Although the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) on Monday called for more government and private laboratories to conduct confirmatory tests for the new coronavirus, people with mild symptoms may not need urgent medical treatment or hospitalization.
R.R. Gangahedkar, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at ICSW, called on people not to panic and rush to hospitals with mild symptoms, and said it was important not to overload hospitals when people needed urgent medical attention.
What we need to do now is make sure we don’t overload our hospitals or spread the infection. Let’s lead the way in ensuring the safety of our health workers and opt for digital consultation with doctors, said Mr. Gangahedkar.
He says if the labs are preparing for more tests, not everyone should do them themselves.
Tests are only a means of detecting a virus and assessing whether medical treatment is required. Eventually there will be a phase in which testing is no longer necessary and the symptoms can be treated at home under the supervision of a doctor. It’s crucial to reduce pressure on hospitals, and I encourage people not to panic or rush into hospital polyclinics where the risk of infection can be very high, he said.
It’s good to see that so many people take the instructions seriously and stay at home. It’s essential that they don’t end up in hospitals. This is one of the places where social detachment is unlikely, he said.
It also stressed the urgent need to provide all doctors and other medical staff with adequate personal protective equipment.
We need to ensure the safety and good health of our healthcare workers. Otherwise it will be an army with fewer soldiers, he said.
To date, 415 positive cases of coronavirus have been recorded in India, seven of which have died. As the number of infected people increases, the ICMR said on Saturday that it also carries out tests in private laboratories. There are currently 111 state laboratories analysing samples and, according to Gangahedkar, about 50 private laboratories have applied for a licence. He said that about 5,000 samples are tested every week and that the government has enough test kits for at least two weeks.
He said that CIRM has also launched a study to assess how quickly the virus mutates in infected people and at what stage it loses its ability to infect. This allows the health authorities to decide whether infected patients can be released before the 14-day quarantine period.
For this study, we are following patients seen throughout the country and their contacts, he said.
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