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Rising COVID-19 cases putting huge strain on health system: AIIMS Director

(Asian News Hub) – Noting that the country was seeing a “huge strain” on the health care system due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that there is a need to go back to all the strategies that were being followed six-seven months back to bring about a reduction in the number of cases.

In an interview with ANI, Dr Guleria said causes for the fast spread of the virus are “multi-factorial”.

“But two main causes are that when in January and February vaccination started and cases went down, people stopped following COVID appropriate behaviour and at this time the virus mutated and it spread more rapidly,” he said.

The vaccination drive was launched on January 16 in the country.

Dr Guleria said if 15 per cent of COVID-19 cases require hospital care and one person is admitted on average for five to seven days, hospital beds get occupied and with more patients coming, the hospitals may run out of beds.

“At present, we are not only seeing record-breaking numbers but we are also seeing a huge strain on the health care system. Because no health system will be able to manage so many patients. And we will have a crisis in terms of patient management. Doctors are already over-burdened. They have been working for more than a year and that also includes other healthcare workers,” he added.

He said there is a need to keep increasing hospital beds and resources for the increasing number of cases.

“We also have to urgently bring down the number of COVID-19 cases,” he said.

Dr Guleria called for a “multipronged attack” to contain the virus.

“There is a need to go back to all the strategies that we were following six-seven months ago to decrease the number of cases,” he said.

He noted that there has been a huge increase in the number of cases in a very few days “rather than weeks or months that we had seen last time”.

Asked about some people testing positive for COVID-19 even after taking the vaccine, he said vaccine prevents a person from getting the more severe disease but it does not prevent you from the infection totally.

“We have to remember that no vaccine is 100 per cent efficient. You may get the infection but the antibodies in our body will not allow the virus to multiply and you’ll not have severe disease,” he said.

Answering a query, he said this a time when a lot of religious activities happen in the country and polls are also underway.

“We must understand lives are also important. We can do this in a restricted manner so that religious sentiment is not hurt and COVID appropriate behaviour can be followed,” he said.

Dr Guleria said there was no specific answer to how long the second wave of COVID-19 will continue in India and it depends on how quickly and efficiently the spread of virus is contained.

Asked about the situation in Delhi, he said the city has a larger spike compared to the situation six-seven months ago.

“A lot of containment zones were made, almost like a mini-lockdown in those areas. We need to start looking at the same strategies,” he said.

ANI

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Kangana Ranaut tests positive for COVID-19

(Asian News Hub) – Actor Kangana Ranaut on Saturday said she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is under home quarantine.

The 34-year-old actor, whose Twitter account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of rules earlier this week, shared her diagnosis on Instagram.

“I was feeling tired and weak with slight burning sensation in my eyes for past few days, was hoping to go to Himachal so got my test done yesterday and today the result came I am covid positive.

“I have quarantined myself, I had no idea this virus is having a party in my body,” she wrote.

Terming COVID-19 a “small time flu”, Ranaut said she is determined to “destroy” the virus from her body.

“…Now that I know I will demolish it, people please don’t give anything any power over you, if you are scared it will scare you more, come let’s destroy this Covid -19 it is nothing but a small time flu which got too much press and now psyching few people,” she added.

On Friday, Mumbai reported 3,040 new COVID-19 cases and 71 fresh fatalities.

PTI

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COVID situation going from bad to worse; PM, health min refuse to own responsibility: Chidambaram

(Asian News Hub) – Asserting that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is going from bad to worse, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan are refusing to own responsibility and are making a “mockery of democratic principles”.

His remarks came after the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday showed a record 4,14,188 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day in India, raising the country’s tally to 2,14,91,598. The active cases have crossed the 36-lakh mark.

“The pandemic situation is going from bad to worse. The insufficient supply of vaccines is a hard, bitter truth, but the government is in denial,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“In Tamil Nadu, not all among 45 plus are getting the first dose and a small number the second dose. Nobody between 18 and 44 is getting the vaccine,” he claimed.

The situation in other states is not very different, Chidambaram added.

“The PM and the Health Minister refuse to own responsibility and are making a mockery of democratic principles,” the former Union minister alleged.

PTI

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Govt’s failures have made another national lockdown inevitable: Rahul Gandhi to PM

(Asian News Hub) – Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the government’s alleged failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable, and called for providing financial and food support to the most vulnerable.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he suggested that the government should not be concerned about the economic impact of the lockdown as the human cost of the spread of of the virus would have tragic consequences for the people.

“Your government’s lack of a clear and coherent Covid and vaccination strategy, as well as its hubris in declaring premature victory as the virus was exponentially spreading, has placed India in a highly dangerous position: today the disease is growing explosively.

“It is currently on the verge of overwhelming all of our systems. GOI’s failures have made another devastating national lockdown almost inevitable,” he told the prime minister.

India has seen a record number of 4.14 lakh fresh Covid cases and around 4000 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Gandhi said it is critical that our people are prepared for such an eventuality of a lockdown. He has been demanding that the government provides Rs 6000 in the accounts to each poor family to tide over the crisis.

“To prevent a repeat of the manifold suffering caused by last year’s lockdown, the government must act with compassion and provide critical financial and food support to our most vulnerable people,” he said, adding that it must be also ready with a transportation strategy for those who will require it.

The former Congress chief said that when the COVID-19 tsunami continues to ravage our country unabated, the people of India must be your foremost priority in such an unprecedented crisis.

“I urge you to do everything in your power to stop the needless suffering that our people are going through,” he said.

Gandhi also called for rapidly vaccinating the entire population and dynamically assess the efficacy of all vaccines against all new mutations as they are identified.

He also called for scientifically tracking the virus and its mutations across the country using genome sequencing as well as its disease patterns.

Gandhi also urged the government to be transparent and keep the rest of the world informed about our findings.

“I am aware that you are concerned about the economic impact of a lockdown. Inside and outside India, the human cost of allowing this virus to continue its march unimpeded will result in many more tragic consequences for our people than any purely economic calculations your advisors are suggesting,” he said in his letter to PM.

PTI

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