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Second wave highly contagious, transmitting at faster pace: Expert

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SOPs, vaccination only solution to save people from third wave of Covid-19

Srinagar: Dr Hardeep Singh, Professor of Medicine, Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar today said that the second wave of Covid-19 is highly contagious and transmits from an infected person to others at a fast pace and that vaccination was the only solution to save people from the predicted third wave.

Making a comparison between the first said second wave, Dr Singh said that earlier during the first wave, it was observed that the affected person could infect only a few persons around her/him, but now the same person affects almost all persons around her/him which is the cause of great concern.

Those who are infected with the coronavirus need not worry, he said, adding that wisdom demands that they consult a doctor over the phone through helplines soon after developing symptoms besides isolating themselves from the rest of the family to prevent its spread.

“They should immediately get their RAT done, and if it turns negative despite being symptomatic, they should then go for the RT-PCR test. Till the time results are out, they should undertake medication, check the temperature after every six hours, and also check oxygen saturation levels after every four hours and keep themselves hydrated besides taking a protein-rich diet,” Dr Singh added.

He said if any of a patient’s family members develop symptoms, they should also get tested; otherwise if they develop no symptoms they should undergo testing after a gap of five days and till that period even if they are asymptomatic their test can come as positive.

Talking over the isolation period and its protocols, the doctor said that the patients should isolate themselves for 10 days to two weeks and till that period remain in touch with the concerned doctor and apprise him/her of the recorded temperature and oxygen saturation levels.

He said in case the saturation levels decrease below 90, the doctor’s advice will be to visit a triage centre where after proper check-up and testing (in case required) the patient shall be discharged or referred to hospital (as per health status) for further treatment.

“The people suffering from decreased oxygen saturation levels and having the facility of oxygen concentrator and cylinder at home, upon consultation with a doctor, can maintain level in between 93 and 94 for stable saturation,” he added.

Dr Singh said that the Coronavirus is a biphasic disease, the first phase comes in the first week after contracting the virus and during this period some of the patients develop fever and other related symptoms.

In second phase that commences with the beginning of second week, fever recurs in most of the patients and some of the patients also develop hyper inflammation (inflammation or swelling in veins) and there remains risk of blood clots and lung injury, he said adding that in such case if saturation levels also drop the patients are advised to visit hospitals where X-ray/CT Scan is conducted and accordingly treatment is started.

The patients who are discharged after their oxygen saturation levels are normal and no longer have a fever should still wear double masks at home and avoid direct contact with family members till they recuperate fully, Dr Singh suggested.

He advised that people should adhere to three basic protocols of Covid-19 — viz. hand washing, maintaining social distance and wearing masks to avoid transmission/contracting of virus.

“Wearing double surgical masks or N95 masks is more effective to prevent contracting of virus besides using a face shield while in crowded places is also very important to prevent contracting virus through eyes,” he added.

Dr Singh also said that the last course of action through which we can control this pandemic is vaccination and everybody above 18 years of age should undergo vaccination.

Regarding the possible third wave, he said “if we do not adhere to SOPs, undergo vaccination and achieve herd immunity through vaccination, the virus may come again in a different form which can have far more dangerous consequences.”

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