COVID-19 Scenario: Drilling down roles in the masked strategy

The need of the hour in these trying times is to understand our roles - role as a doctor, role as a nurse and role as a general public. And we cannot only rely upon the machineries of the government to do everything for us. Each of us has a role.

Going by the video talk by medical experts, Coronavirus or COVID-19, perhaps, is a hoax and Corona or COVID-19 conspiracy theories that are doing round in these past months that certain healthcare or pharmaceutical companies, in collusion with the World Health Organisation, are trying to create a new business strand and disrupt the global economic scenario for some vested personal interests sound convincing.

With the outbreak or Corona or COVID-19 and with the upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases globally, there is a manifold increase in the manufacturing, production and marketing of masks, sanitisers, PPEs, sanitiser sprays of various shapes, forms and sizes. Also, there is an increase in production of RATs (Rapid Antigen Test) kits, not to leave behind surgical gloves. This is the new economic war and new strategy to wipe out the ever-increasing population of today’s world, I feel.

Further, I cannot but believe in what is being said by some of these whistle blower doctors, stating that by administering certain medicines like Favipiravir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir, etc., to COVID-19 patients, they are not actually treating the patients supposed to have been infected with COVID-19. Instead, these medicines are actually pacing up the deterioration of health of these patients and they contribute to faster deaths of such patients. This is a thing needed for reconsideration.

Also, regarding the usage of masks, it has been said that the normal or general size of pores in the masks that we are using currently is between 300 nanometres to 800 nanometres, while the size of corona virus is between 80 nanometres to 220 nanometres. So, applying common logic, how can these masks filter the CORONA virus because they are smaller than the pores that are there in the masks? So, these masks are useless as they cannot prevent the entry of Corona virus into our bodies.

Now in this current fight against COVID-19, a new problem for the general public has arisen. All these time, the hospitals (both government and private) have not been delivering health services to the needy due to the fear of Coronavirus and most of these hospitals have closed OPD and to certain extent, some of the hospitals have even stopped rendering emergency services. Due to such inadequacy and unethical policies, today, (August 6), a 20-year-old pregnant woman died for want of urgent medical assistance who was about to deliver a baby. She was taken to five hospitals, including RIMS, JNIMs, etc. and after having been taken to five hospitals, she was at last taken to SHIJA Hospitals and in the time of following the SOP guidelines, she expired including her unborn baby. So, whom are we to blame for such an incident? No one is going to take the responsibility.

Yes, we understand that everyone is human, even the doctors, nurses and other frontline members who are combating against COVID-19 and they also have the fear of getting infected with this COVID-19. But since, the doctors and nurses have taken a pledge that they will serve the needy and help the ailing, isn’t it their bonded duty to attend to those persons who are in need of medical assistance?

Then, in these trying hours again, the general public who are in need of medical assistance are being asked to get themselves tested for COVID-19 first, if they want to get themselves checked for any other health or medical problems before entering the hospital or any other private clinic or before visiting a doctor. But do we know that the cost of a COVID-19 test is Rs.2400 in private laboratories (the price is again Rs.750 for Rapid Antigen Test, RAT) in certain healthcare centres.

So, the question is - those who are actually poor and who cannot afford to undertake these COVID tests due to lack of money, are they going to be deprived of their right to medical assistance? This is a question for all, for each one of us.

Hence, the need of the hour, in these trying times is to understand our roles, role as a doctor, role as a nurse and role as a general public. Yes, it is also our duty as a citizen of this country, as a denizen of Manipur that we also cooperate and abide by the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) as laid down by the government, both Central and State and we should not forget that when we cannot only rely upon the machineries of the government to do everything for us. We should also endeavour to help one another and try to spread awareness on how to combat and tackle the present world menace – COVID-19.

(The views expressed are personal)

First Published:Aug. 7, 2020, 9:15 a.m.