Even as the country enters its 78th day of lockdown, the focus has moved to densely populated cities like Mumbai where hospitals are dealing with a high volume of patients requiring critical care. As of 9 May, the city currently has 26,178 number of confirmed active cases with 1758 deaths, with the number of cases doubling at an average of every 23 days. Doctors dealing with COVID patients have pointed out that it is myth that only those with co-morbidities, especially senior citizens are suffering the brunt of this virus.
According to Dr Vernon Desa, Director at Saifee Hospital, they are witnessing a paradoxial pattern among the patients admitted under their care.
"We thought that young people would be sort of more resistant to this infection but young people have developed it, come and passed away; whereas older people, whom we thought with comorbid features, they have managed to pull through and recover and go home. We are learning as the days go by because nobody can claim to be an expert in this. COVID is a new entity," said Dr Desa.
Dr Desa said that while those with co-morbid symptoms like diabetes, hypertension, and pre-existing heart conditions deteriorate and have to be moved to critical care but it is the young and those who appear presumably fit that are worrying them more.
"We have had patients who we thought were young, presumably fit, and suddenly developing some complication, severe breathing difficulty even on 15 litres per minute high flow oxygen they have not recovered and some or the other they get into a spiral, develop multi-organ failure, kidney failure and things like that and their lungs get completely opaque due to this ground glass appearance on the CT scan and they crash," said Dr Desa.
Is one of the reasons for a higher number of critical care patients a result of them coming to the hospital when it's too late?
Desa doesn't agree. He states that asymptomatic people are supposed to stay at home according to the new BMC guidelines. The new guidelines set by the BMC in a circular released on 2 May states that mildly ill and young patients are advised to be under home isolation to keep hospital beds free for those critical.
But Dr Desa also pointed out that the number of critical emergency cases he has seen in the last week has dropped as compared to the last two months. "The type of firefighting that we have to do now is considerably less," he said.
This is because he believes the virus has mutated. "What we are seeing now is a different type of virus than what was there in Wuhan, and what was there in USA. This virus which is now specific to Mumbai has moved in such a way through communities that its potency has gone down to a considerable extent. This is my personal view and the view of a few experts in the UK. The virus loses its potency after some time," Desa added.
Desa is optimistic about the curve being flattened. He said, "Maybe by the end of June, We will see a remarkable change in the numbers we have seen in Mumbai."
Catch the full interview on Youtube or click on the link here.
Updated On: 2020-06-10T20:30:32+05:30