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“Labour exodus is triggering rise in Covid cases”

Panellists on APN News’ (India Legal’s sister concern) show, Mudda, were of the view that quarantine facilities should be provided to the poor

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Is India’s fight with the coronavirus weakening? In terms of active cases, the country has entered among the top ten nations, though the recovery rate is good. The issue was discussed by India Legal’s sister concern APN News’ popular debate show Mudda by a panel consisting of medical experts, including Dr Yash Gulati from Apollo Hospital, Delhi; Dr Ankit Kumar Sinha, chest specialist, Yashodha Hospital, Ghaziabad; IMA’s Dr DR Rao; and Dr Vinay Aggarwal on Monday May 25, 2020.

Dr Aggarwal said: “It’s become a serious issue with the labour problem. We cannot underestimate things any longer.”

Dr Rao said: “Our cases have been going up. The migrant labour problem has triggered the crisis as they are not able to follow social distancing.”

Dr Sinha said: “Facilities in the village are not that good, so when the migrants are going back, they are at a greater risk.”

Dr Aggarwal said: “Thermal screening time is over, now we need more and more testing kits, we need to do random testing and screening of patients. We need more tests, at the rate of 5-7 lakh per day, like community scanning.”

Dr Rao said: “There have been asymptomatic cases. Such patients should also quarantine and isolate, but many times those affected do not come forward. If they hide, the fear of spread is greater.”

Dr Sinha said: “Asymptomatic cases are on the rise. We have to understand that community transmission is bound to happen. If it is at the community level, the numbers might get out of hand. Between June and August, the numbers will continue to rise.”

Dr Rao said: “See, the numbers will be rising. If the numbers go up at the rate of 7,000-8,000 cases a day, and if those patients are not in contact with anyone and still contract the virus, it means it is at the community level.”

Dr Gulati said: “Those who are coming to hospitals are those with complications, breathing problems or other co-morbidities.”

Dr Aggarwal said: “Till now it’s been seen as a metropolitan disease. But the Dharavi cluster is a bothersome issue, and it is not possible to quarantine such people. So quarantine decisions have to be based on the sociological status. RWAs are protesting against Covid wards in hospitals near residential areas. Non-Covid patients are also getting frustrated.”

Dr Rao said: “Those having 3-4 bedroom houses have quarantine facilities. But the lower classes, living in one-bedroom houses, have problems in quarantining patients. So, we need to look into how such patients will isolate themselves.”

Dr Sinha said: “Self-medication by people is also aggravating the issue.”

Dr Gulati said: “Because of the corona scare, patients suffering from other illnesses are not coming to hospitals. But by now, hospitals have taken precautions to isolate corona patients. After all, corona is not going to go away fast, so other patients must come to hospitals of they need to.”

Dr Aggarwal said: “See we have been watching Covid deaths, what about other deaths? We are not talking of non-Corona deaths at all. In two-three months, Corona is going to peak, but we need to give as much importance to non-Covid patients as well.”

Dr Rao said: “In metropolitan cities, and state capitals, health infrastructure is good, but at the village-level we do not have even basic facilities.”

Dr Gulati said: “It’s not that we have left everything to fate, and one hopeful scenario is that our death rate is still stable. But we cannot get over-confident about that.”

—By India Legal Bureau

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