COVID-19: Surge Not A Cause Of Worry If Serious Cases, Deaths Are Low, Say Experts
Ahmedabad: With over 36 lakh cases, India is the current hotspot for coronavirus at present but the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases should not be a cause of concern as long as the number of serious patients and deaths due to the disease remains low, public health experts in Gujarat were quoted as saying in The New Indian Express (TNIE).
The new cases being reported daily should be categorised as mild, moderate if a patient needs oxygen or severe if he/she needs ventilator support to better understand the pandemic, they added.
“We are finding new cases every day, but the first thing we need to know is how many of them are serious,” Dileep Mavalankar, Director of the Gandhinagar-based Indian Institute of Public Health told TNIE.
“The government should report how many new patients have been put on oxygen or ventilator support. We are reporting low mortality,” he said.
In a recent study, Mavalankar found that between March and July, the percentage of deaths due to COVID-19 compared to other diseases in India was 1.3, as against 13 percent in the US and 17.6 percent in the UK.
He said the government should not neglect fatalities due to other reasons just to control the over one percent COVID-19 deaths.
Other key points:
- The government should provide more data in the public domain for experts to understand the pandemic situation better
- The data should include the nature of new daily cases – how many of them are mild, moderate or severe
- The government should also provide data separately on the number of suspected COVID-19 cases and the cases being reported in urban and rural areas
“The disease will, of course, spread. Even high profile people are getting the disease. We need to focus on reducing the number of deaths. In terms of data, we need to ask the government to separate mild cases from moderate and severe,” he told TNIE.
In Gujarat, Surat city has reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in recent times.