Dr. Khalid is a health researcher and science writer with a Ph.D. in clinical research.
A recent article in 'The Guardian' claims a marked elevation in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai (India) based on the fallacies of the health care system. The sharing of beds by the COVID-19 infected patients and lack of appropriate medical facilities raise serious concerns on the potential of the Indian health care system to mitigate the pandemic situation. The lack of appropriate infrastructure to handle the COVID-19 cases continues to aggravate the pandemic across the nation. The limited health care resources, including qualified physicians, narrate the future India could encounter based on COVID-19-related deaths and socioeconomic devastation. The lockdown situation has already created a socioeconomic crisis that could make millions of people jobless, thereby increasing the surge for livelihood. The scientific community is relentlessly struggling for a COVID-19 vaccine; however, the high mutation capacity of the virus increases the challenges of the researchers while reducing the scope of preventive or prophylactic treatments.
Indian clinicians and researchers must contemplate the expanding COVID-19 crisis and propose rational strategies to combat the adversities humanity is facing in a nation occupied with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants. COVID-19 pandemic has placed the future of millions of professionals at stake, educational institutions are forced to work with limited capacity, and multinational companies encountering hefty financial losses. The absence of strategic work action plans and limited clinical knowledge of COVID-19 pathophysiology has drastically increased the problems of various developed and developing nations across the globe.
The question arises, what India could do to overcome such serious health care and socioeconomic crisis, particularly in a scenario when the pandemic has not yet shown its peak and the cases continue to double almost every week? At this point, clinicians must think of configuring robust local and regional networks to administer remote treatments to the COVID-19 patients. This network of health care professionals should gain the desired information technology support after the government's approval and allow the physicians to connect with COVID-infected suspects and their caretakers. The IT professionals of the nation should voluntarily develop a platform for self-reporting of COVID-19 symptoms that require escalation to the concerned physicians for remote treatment. Patients with mild symptoms must receive treatment recommendations through telemedicine while the physicians should coordinate with their caretakers to minimize the risk of medical emergencies. Similarly, the pharmacists require configuring a parallel network in coordination with physicians to facilitate home delivery of the prescribed drugs to the COVID-19 infected patients.
While the patients should receive detailed instructions on their social isolation, their family members must commit to providing them quality care at home to reduce the risk of hospital admissions. The hospitals accordingly should admit only those patients who report severe symptoms and require ventilator support or intensive care based on their life-threatening complications. Additionally, increased awareness of the disease and practice of prevention measures are highly needed to break the chain of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Undoubtedly, such a strategy shall remain hypothetical unless presented with a concrete work action plan on the desks of the governmental bodies. During this phase of acute crisis and lockdown, the physicians, pharmacists, researchers, and other health care professionals must voluntarily cascade their opinions and knock the doors of the concerned authorities to join the war against COVID-19.
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Dr Khalid Rahman