COVID-19: We Are Staring At Another Full-Blown Crisis, Says AIIMS Director

New Delhi: Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has warned that if people don’t adhere to COVID-appropriate protocol of wearing masks and maintaining social distance and washing hands frequently, the COVID-19 situation in India will turn into a full-blown crisis.

“It took several months for the COVID-19 tally in the country to cross the 70,000-mark during the first wave. This time around, we are seeing a very steep curve,” the AIIMS director said. A similar situation is being witnessed in the national capital,” he was quoted as saying in media reports.

Dr Guleria said that besides non-adherence to COVID protocol, the presence of mutated strains of the virus that causes COVID-19, most importantly the UK strain, which has high transmissibility, is also an important factor behind the sudden surge.

“People have developed fatigue to the situation. They want go out, party and travel even though the cases are rising. One of the reasons behind this is that this time around, the young are more affected and the severity of symptoms among them is lesser. However, we must realise that eventually, the young may spread the infection to the elderly people and those with comorbidities and we might witness overwhelming healthcare infrastructure once again,” Dr Guleria was quoted as saying by Times Of India (TOI).

Stressing on the need to vaccinate people against COVID-19 at a faster pace and bring back the focus on testing, tracking, isolation and treating persons who are found positive for the disease, he said, “It may not be feasible to impose a lockdown again. But, if necessary, there should be some restriction on non-essential travel,” the AIIMS director said.

He suggested that in areas where there is a cluster of new cases, micro-containment zones may be created to prevent disease spread. “If we don’t control the situation now, it may get difficult to deal with its effects at a later stage. Hospitals may get flooded with requests for admissions. Already, we are seeing 200 per cent rise in requests for Covid-19 beds in Delhi, he said.

Besides, doctors have also warned that non-COVID patients may also get affected if the healthcare infrastructure and manpower remain occupied with COVID-19 leading to more problems and death.

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