The backdrop of not testing enough people due to lack of the testing kits could be the biggest onset of unleashing COVID – 19 victims. Adding to this, K Sujatha Rao, former Union Health secretary said, “the ability of India’s health care system to handle a catastrophe due to an upsurge in coronavirus cases is not reassuring”.
Rao also said that the Indian infrastructure is not completely set to handle any situations that might occur in the near future. “The infrastructure is dependent on the quantum of demand that is rising. Yes, we are ready if there are 10 people a day, no we are not ready if there is a lakh a day…it depends on which figure you are looking at,” sources claim.
Are we ready to handle?
She estimates that the situation could soon become grave especially pointing at states like UP, Bihar and the other hotspots focused area. The health infrastructure of these northeastern states seems unlikely strong to contain if the cases exceed lakhs per day.
The quantum demands!
“The health infrastructure in backward northern India is very weak. It becomes difficult for them to handle cases of Japanese Encephalitis (JE), how can they take this load?”, she asked, adding that it was important to flatten the curve so that the capacity can cope up.
“Whether we are ready to handle the epidemic depends on which part of the country and what quantity you are talking about. There is a huge quantum difference between North and South. In the south, they can still ramp up but North there is no option”
The need of the hour.
According to the ICMR, the cases have still not dived into community transmission yet. Without evidence the statements prove to be meek and not trustworthy. If, however, the ICMR would have tested all the cases that reach the hospitals dead or alive, there would have been a reason to believe.
BBC reports that India might be underreporting the cases that it currently states. The recent update from this documentary claimed, a hospital not testing the patients who were likely to admit but were dead before they arrived. This measure is to exempt the possibility of not allowing the misuse of testing kits and was stated by one of the doctors from Mumbai.
Rao’s sensible question to ICMR:
“What’s your evidence to say that it has not gone into the community. If the ICMR had said that they had done testing on 100,000 there was a reason to believe. They have come out with a data of 800 people but those people are pneumonia cases…. Also, are already in the hospital how will they come into contact with the virus…if they are not in contact with anyone,” she questioned.
It is on high priority that the production and expansion of testing kits should meet the need of the hour. So, that India gets enough evidence if it has already landed into community transmission.
She added, “There is a need for India to do massive testing…to see that people who are out in the community are infected or not. The people in the community should be tested and identified because you don’t know where the virus is. I have been asking for an expansion to conduct more tests for last 10 days. Testing has to be expanded,”.