India Needs To Be Well Prepared For The Third Wave: Cardiologist Devi Shetty

India Needs To Be Well Prepared For The Third Wave: Cardiologist Devi Shetty

Cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty explains what hospitals, individuals and authorities should do to tackle the worse outcomes of the third wave of COVID-19 in the country
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India Needs To Be Well Prepared For The Third Wave: Cardiologist Devi ShettyCardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty explains how India can tackle the third wave of #COVID19 in the country

New Delhi: As India’s second wave surge of Covid-19 seems to be receding, experts and doctors warn people and authorities about the possible third wave, which could be worse than second wave situation in the country. NDTV speaks with Cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty, who heads the expert committee of doctors set up by the Karnataka government to prepare for a possible third coronavirus wave. Dr Shetty talks about the importance of vaccination ahead of the next wave, what individuals and authorities should work on and how can together as a community, India can reduce the effect of the coming wave, if it hits the country by September or early next year.

Here’s the full interview with Dr Devi Shetty on how to prepare for Covid-19 third wave:

Also Read: Two Doses Of COVID Vaccine ‘Highly Effective’ In Reducing Hospitalisation From The Delta Variant: UK Analysis

NDTV: When is the third wave anticipated to hit India?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: I think, no one can predict the same. Whether it will be as severe as the second wave, or will it involve children particularly. However, what we can do is prepare ourselves to deal with the third wave, which could happen in September, October, November or next year. We need to also prepare ourselves that the third wave will be as bad as second wave or at least 30 per cent severe than the second one because we need to be prepared for worst case scenarios. Also, we should be prepared for children getting infected by this virus in the next wave as that is what is being predicted.

NDTV: What is the role of vaccination to control the third wave in India? How important it is to scale up our vaccination drive?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: Today, we have an option to convert the entire third wave into a wave which infects people with common cold. All the trials of vaccine that have happened around the world show that people who have got vaccinated don’t land up in the hospital ICUs and need oxygen support. But the question is will we be able to vaccinate adequate number of people before the third wave. Now everyone thinks the availability of vaccine is a problem and the government will not be able to provide the vaccine, but it is not the case. The government will be able to provide the same within the next few months. The greatest stumbling block will not be the availability of the vaccine but the reluctance of people to get vaccinated. Every day we open more than 600 slots of vaccine, you know how many people actually land up – not even 150 and this is happening in areas where most educated people live, you can well imagine what will be the case in rural India. So, vaccine hesitancy is a big problem, and nobody is right now addressing it or campaigning for it. But over the years, it will be a big roadblock in our battle against the virus.

Also Read: Delta Plus, New COVID Variant Identified, Experts Say No Cause Of Concern For Now

NDTV: How do we tackle vaccine hesitancy in India?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: We need to make some kind of system in place, for example at workplaces, people who are vaccinated should be allowed to work together and those who are not, should be asked to work from home. Any public places like shops, malls, restaurants, people who are vaccinated should be allowed and others should have a separate space. Talking about Airlines, today they are asking for COVID test certificates, they should start with vaccination certificate, whoever has the same can fly without providing the COVID test certificate, who would want to go for tests every now and then – firstly it is not easy and secondly it is a discomfort. As a result of such practices, people will automatically embrace vaccine and we will see large number of people getting the vaccinated. I think for now that’s the only way to go ahead, we don’t have many options.

Also Read: UK Variant Of Coronavirus Is Spreading Four To Six Times Faster: Member Of Gujarat COVID Task Force

NDTV: Are vaccines available safe? What do we know about its effectiveness?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: You will know, how effective each of the vaccines are after two or three years. We should assume that all the vaccines are same as long as they are recognised in your country, so whatever vaccine is available, one should just go for it.

NDTV: Is it a right time for India to unlock or should the country open up gradually in phases?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: We cannot keep the establishments closed forever. One day or the other we will have to open and when we do, the virus which is highly active will come and get us. However, having said that there are certain things we can do for example if we stress on getting vaccination certificates from people who are running shops, certificates for any marketer who is selling one or the other things in the market and along with this we practice safe distancing, masking – with all these precautions, I think we can open up. When we started this battle, a year ago, we did not have any option but to stay in lockdown, but now we have vaccines, and we know even one dose of vaccination gives you so much protection. So, why don’t we change the entire narrative from when to open shops and when to do this to when do we start vaccinating more and more people. It is sad to see when we have 30,000 to 50,000 vaccine doses in our refrigerators, and nobody is coming to the hospitals to get vaccinated. The problem is many people haven’t seen the scenes from inside the ICUs, they don’t know the struggle of patients in the ICUs, when they are put on oxygen support, even after COVID-19 complications. When they will see this, they will all run to get themselves vaccinated.

Also Read: COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour Will Not Let Any Variant Spread: AIIMS Chief On Current Surge And New Strain

NDTV: How should we manage a situation like shortage of beds and other COVID-19 essential supplies ahead of third wave? How should authorities prep themselves?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: Everyone thinks a bed will fix all the problems. First of all, we will need a dedicated nurse and a dedicated doctor to treat a particular patient, which we have a serious problem. We need to address this issue of shortage of healthcare staff on an urgent and exceptional basis. Secondly, we need to make sure we have as many as possible ICU beds connected with piped oxygen supply. It only takes Rs 10,000 to convert a normal ICU bed to one which is connected with piped oxygen supply. It is sad to see people in auto rickshaws with oxygen cylinders, it is sad to see people struggling for as basic thing as an oxygen bed. Now, we all have a window of opportunity to prepare ourselves, our healthcare services. We need to look at our small hospitals. Most of the people think, if it is a big hospital with 300 beds and more, it will take care of COVID patients more efficiently. That’s not the case at all, most of the COVID-19 cases are being managed by small hospitals with 100 or 50 beds and the irony is that they hardly have 5 or 10 beds with oxygen facilities. Now, we have to look at how do we make such hospitals make investments on converting their existing beds to COVID-19 apt beds or oxygen beds. Banks now days have started giving loans to hospitals at lesser interest rates if they want to invest in the upgradation of health facilities. State governments should also start giving some form of subsidy so that these small hospitals make those investments at the right time, which is now.

If we can make 18 cities in India oxygen independent, believe me there will not be lockdown. A lockdown basically happens when the medical system is overburdened, and doctors raises their hand and say we cannot do anything as we don’t have beds or facilities. However, if we strengthen the healthcare facilities only at the start, people will be managed better, and the wave will not be severe.

NDTV: What is the role of people and community in this fight against COVID-19?

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty: Every Indian should think that the fight against COVID-19 is not only government’s problem. It is the community’s problem, so they all should come together and ensure that the country becomes COVID-19 free as soon as possible. For example, if individuals start ensuring that their household and other people who are coming in their house are vaccinated, if there is a financial problem then you are supporting these people – i think it can be a game changer. Companies also should start taking responsibilities of their workers and ensure they are vaccinated. All this is community effort, all this together will help us win this battle. And obviously, all this along with masking and while you maintain social distancing.

Also Read: COVID-19 Explained: Will The COVID-19 Vaccine Be Effective Against The Latest Coronavirus Variant?

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,66,15,634Cases
6,33,31,644Active
12,90,85,240Recovered
41,98,750Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.

India

3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190

Kerala

33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128

Karnataka

29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44

22,755

West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14

Delhi

14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70

25,049

Chhattisgarh

10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270

13,520

Odisha

9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65

Rajasthan

9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18

10,513

Haryana

7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3

Bihar

7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3

Telangana

6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3

Punjab

5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4

Assam

5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20

Jharkhand

3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34

5,126

Uttarakhand

3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84

3,520

Goa

1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2

Puducherry

1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49

1,792

Manipur

96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11

Tripura

78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4

Meghalaya

63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14

Chandigarh

61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1

Mizoram

37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1

Nagaland

27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4

Sikkim

26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4

Ladakh

20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3

7,395

129

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