AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said Covid19 is mostly a mild infection but hoarding of injections like Remdesivir and oxygen in homes is “creating a panic”.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Dr Randeep Guleria said this while addressing concerns and issues related to Covid19.

Dr Guleria while speaking on the shortage of oxygen and medicines said, “Hoarding of injections like Remdesivir and oxygen in homes is creating a panic and this hoarding is causing a shortage of these medicines.”

He said, “Covid19 is mild infection and 85-90% people will only suffer from cold, fever, sore throat and bodyache. Only symptomatic treatment at home is enough to ride through these infections and there is no need for oxygen or Remdesivir.”

The AIIMS director said 10-15% of patients with severe infections may need oxygen, Remdesivir or plasma, etc. while less than 5% patients need ventilators or intensive care, the Union health ministry stated in a release.

Dr Guleria clarified that Remdesivir neither reduces the hospital stay nor saves lives.

In moderate to severe cases, it may be able to reduce hospital stay but if administered in mild cases it can complicate matters.

Remdesivir is no magic bullet and it is used in hospitals for moderate to severe cases, he added.

On administration of oxygen to non-needy, Dr Guleria said, “People, who have oxygen saturation above 94 do not need oxygen as increase in oxygen saturation beyond this level would not increase oxygen in blood. However, this can cause shortage in supply of oxygen and will reduce access to oxygen for serious cases.”

Medanta CMD Dr. Naresh Trehan and head of the department of medicines, AIIMS, Dr. Navneet Wig and the director general of health services, Dr Sunil Kumar also addressed concerns and issues related to Covid19.

Dr Naresh Trehan while speaking on the steps to be taken immediately after a positive RT-PCR test, said, “People should first contact local or family doctors. All the doctors are aware of the protocol to be followed and can recommend courses of medication for patients who should isolate themselves at home.”

He said, “Yoga and pranayam are helpful in maintaining lung health,” adding, “Pronation is also helpful.”

Dr. Trehan reiterated the importance of double masking, distancing and hand hygiene and said mask should seal the air passage around the nose and mouth for proper protection.

He recommended that people should stay away from crowded places.

Speaking on oxygen demand, Dr Trehan said the demand for medical oxygen has suddenly increased in the current crisis and manufacturing facilities are stretched for supplies.

Dr Sunil Kumar addressed the topic of preparations of the government to mitigate the situation and said that from no preparedness last year when Covid19 arrived, the government ramped up capacity to a unique level very soon.

“Over 2500 laboratories were created where only one existed before the pandemic. We increased our testing capability to lakhs of tests per day, ramped up tracking and contact tracing and manufacturing of PPE kits et al,” he said.

Dr Navneet said, “We need to save our healthcare workers who will in-turn save our patients. To save our healthcare workers we need to break the chain and reduce the number of infections.”

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