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SoPs, vaccination only options to overcome pandemic: Dr. Naveed
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SoPs, vaccination only options to overcome pandemic: Dr. Naveed

‘Good work done by lockdown needs to be continued by following SOPs’

Post by on Saturday, June 5, 2021

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‘Good work done by lockdown needs to be continued by following SOPs’


The second wave of Covid-9 infection has put an extraordinary burden on the healthcare system across India. Amid the pandemic situation, the central government is continuously pushing for vaccination against Covid to get control of the situation. In comparison to some major cities of India, the administration in Jammu and Kashmir managed the situation effectively. However, people are still apprehensive about their future as reports keep on coming regarding all sorts of Covid variants and Covid waves. To understand the second wave, Covid variants, and the vaccination Mansoor Peer had a detailed interview with Dr. Naveed Shah, Head Department of Chest Medicine, Chest Disease Hospital Srinagar.

How are new Covid-19 variants different from the previous one?

The new variants seem to be more infective and have shocking effects in some patients with severe diseases, unlike the original one, which was prevalent in the last year.

There was a surge in cases in the second wave. How is the second wave different from the first one?

In the first wave, we saw predominantly people above 50 years getting infected. But in the second wave, we noticed young people were infected. The new wave posed a challenge to the health care providers across health care institutions.

Is the Indian variant to be blamed for the second Covid wave?

Mutations happen in the viruses and have been reported everywhere. We all are responsible for the wave.

Do new variants involve young people in the second wave?

The variants, as was with the previous one, infect people in all age groups. While saying that, the new variants seem to involve the younger age group more which we did not see in the previous wave. 

Are these new variants spreading quickly? Please explain?

The new strains seem to be more infectious. We are seeing cases where the Covid infection is happening in family clusters. If one family member gets infected, in a couple of days the whole family turns positive, unlike last year when we saw only very close contacts turning positive.

How important is it to get vaccinated?

Vaccination is the only way to overcome the pandemic. We still do not have any definite treatment available. Following SOPs, and vaccination are the only ways to keep ourselves safe from the severity of this infection. From day one, we said that precautionary measures are very important.

Masking is the only way to protect ourselves from others. And now we have a vaccine also which we should encourage.

I appeal to people to come forward and get vaccinated for their protection as well as the protection of our society and community.

We do not need to panic. Even now if we follow all protective measures and follow SOPs like the use of masks, use of hand sanitizers, maintain social distance, and avoid social gatherings, we can easily continue our daily routine while protecting ourselves from infection.

Some question the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines?

We have not reported any kind of complication or severe side effect in any case. The mortality is also less. Mild complications like body ache, fever may occur but that remains for some time. So there is no reason to question the vaccine.

Despite health advisories, some people are still hesitant to take the jab!

There were a lot of myths circulating on social media about vaccination. The risks are negligible. We should discourage such myths and go for the vaccine to protect ourselves.

How can pregnant women save themselves from infection?

Pregnant ladies can protect themselves by following SOPs strictly till the safety of vaccines is ascertained in pregnancy.

How can we prevent our children from the virus?

Simply by following the SOPs religiously and adopting Covid appropriate behavior.

How can we reduce the infection transmission at a time when we have seen a surge in deaths and infection cases?

We reduce the transmission by identifying testing suspect cases at the earliest and isolating the positive ones to prevent transmission at an individual level.

Honestly, speaking lockdown has been an effective measure to break the chain. The good work done by the lockdown has to be continued by following SOPs.

How should people manage patients in home-isolation?

First, we have to identify the real candidates eligible for home isolation in terms of symptoms, comorbidities, availability of space at home where all SOPs can be followed. Then only we can take a call on this.

What precautions are needed in-home isolation?

Person in home isolation should be able to identify the warning signs and immediately call the helpline or report to Covid facility if any warning signs/symptoms develop. Do not prolong stay at home.

Indian variant had been labeled as ‘Variant of Concern’ by the WHO. How do you see it?

There seems to be a concern with the Indian variant. It infects young and non-comorbid people causing severe disease which makes it all the more troublesome.

Are still patients coming up with bilateral pneumonia complaints?

Yes, we still get patients with bilateral pneumonia. The concern is young people and those without comorbidities are getting involved in it too.

Please comment on a possible ‘third wave’ as the Advisory Committee has also reported in this regard?

It is a possibility. If we don't follow SOPs, it is speculated children shall get involved more as no vaccine is available for them as of now.

Since March last year, how have you managed the crisis at Chest Disease hospital?

As Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the 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. But we took the challenge and we did our best. It was a difficult task for us to manage such patients. Most of them needed counseling and convincing to stay back in hospital for their betterment and that of the whole society also to make people aware about the disease and preventive measures.


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