Come out of misconceptions, encourage vaccination: Dr Naveed to people
The second wave of COVID-9 infection has put an extraordinary burden on the healthcare system across the country. Then there are still misconceptions and myths prevailing over the efficacy of vaccines and some people still refuse to take the vaccine. To k
Post by on Sunday, April 25, 2021
The second wave of COVID-9 infection has put an extraordinary burden on the healthcare system across the country. Then there are still misconceptions and myths prevailing over the efficacy of vaccines and some people still refuse to take the vaccine. To know about the second wave and the vaccine efficacy Dr Naveed Shah, Head Department of Chest Medicine, Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar, in an interview with Rising Kashmirâ€™s Health Correspondent Mansoor Peer talks about the situation and what should people do to protect themselves from the pandemic which has killed over 2100 people in J&K so far.
People still question the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines?
In India, there are right now two vaccines available-Covershield and Covaxin. Here in Kashmir, we only have Covishield available. The efficacy of these vaccines is around 60%. The vaccine is quite good.
It is true that some were a little confused about whether the vaccines were safe or not. But fortunately with the increase in the awareness among the people we have so far managed to vaccinate more than 17 lakh people since January in Jammu and Kashmir.
There are no reports of any kind of complication or severe side affect in any case.Â The mortality is also less. The mild complication like body ache, fever may occur, but that remains for some time only.
Many people still hesitate to go for the vaccination?
There were a lot of myths circulated on social media about the trial of the vaccine. People would raise questions like whether the vaccines had been put to trial before or not before given to the masses. The risks are negligible. We should discourage such myths and go for the vaccine to protect ourselves.
In April this year, there has been a new surge in cases. How is this second wave different from the first one?
In the first wave, we saw that predominantly people above 50 years would get infected. But today, we see very young people having moderate to severe pneumonia. The new wave has posed a challenge to the health care providers across health care institutions.
Has there been any change in the symptoms over the past one year?
Symptoms are the same. But we are seeing change in the pattern of the symptoms. Earlier we used to have respiratory symptoms, sore throat, coughing, sneezing. People are still coming up with pneumonia.
Mutations are characteristic of viruses. In any case we still donâ€™t have any definite treatment for Coronavirus. What we have against the virus are the preventive measures which will be the same for the possible mutant virus.
So we should not lower our guard and should continue to obey the administrative and health advisories and move on to help contain the virus spread and save lives.
Does the situation which many places in India areÂ currently in, scare you? What are the lessons that we have learnt to avoid it here?
We are in a better place right now. If the precautionary measures are followed seriously, hopefully the number of cases wouldnâ€™t increase and we wonâ€™t go in such a state. We should adopt COVID-19 appropriate behavior and go for the vaccination.
Those people who had already been infected with COVID-19 are they vulnerable to the infection again?
No, they are not vulnerable to the infection. If previously the patient had asymptomatic infection and had not developed antibodies they would be susceptible to infection again. Their immunity would lean off and they would become more susceptible.
What is the difference between new variants and other cases?
In Kashmir only one mutant has been added till now. There is no difference. Its symptoms, precautionary measures, mode of transmission are the same. The severity of the diseases may be more.
How important it is to get vaccinated?
From day one we said that precautionary measures are very important. Mask is the only way to protect oneself. Mask is the only way to prevent one from others. And now we have a vaccine which we should encourage. It is the only way to protect yourself.
I appeal to the people to come forward and get vaccinated for their protection as well as the protection of our society and community. We need not to get panicked. Even now if we follow all protective measures and follow SOPs like use of masks and hand sanitizers and maintain social distance and avoide social gatherings, we can continue our daily routine while protecting ourselves from the infection.
Since March last year we are in a pandemic situation. How did you manage the crisis at Chest Disease hospital?
As COVID-19 was declared pandemic by the World health Organization (WHO), the lone Chest Disease Hospital in the valley was designated as COVID hospital. We volunteered to take up the challenge. This was a new experience for us as the patients who got admitted were either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms which otherwise we donâ€™t admit here.
As there was no definitive treatment available for the Coronavirus, it was a hurricane task for us to manage such patients. Most of them needed counseling and convincing to stay back in hospital for their betterment.Â
Are our hospitals ready to tackle both COVID and non COVID emergencies simultaneously?
We have upgraded the facilities in the hospital in the form of augmenting the oxygen plants, cylinders, concentrators and high flow nasal machines, monitors. We also started respiratory intensive care units (ICU). The health care has been upgraded and hospitals have been designated as COVID designated hospitals where others are taking care of non-COVID diseases.