With situation in Mumbai becoming desperate now and the CM of Maharashtra trying to get additional help by calling in private practioners (doctors of all specialities) to stride over Covid-19 situation which is filling the available ICU beds fast, one can make out that the nightmare is becoming a reality now.
This is the first glimpse of coming future and Maharashtra is just a beginning. Though the Maharashtra CM is acting fast here and trying to arrange additional ICU beds and hospitals under the defence and railway quota for general public as well, clearly shows that he is getting ready for all possible worst outcome.
This move of calling the private practitioners for help during the Covid emergency was not a totally unforeseen events but one has to be careful about the health of these doctors as well since the number of Corona positive doctors, nurses & paramedical staff in India has escalated to 548 within no time.
Soon a similar condition like Mumbai can be anticipated in states like Gujarat, Bengal, Delhi and many more if decisive steps not taken.
If we wish to take lessons from our experience in Maharashtra, let us then quickly act upon getting all doctors (private & public) together and defining their role based on their speciality and expertise through a well chalked out plan, just in case we hit the threshold point where the number of positive patients overflow the existing government Medical system.
This doctors database collection and planning cannot be left to eleventh hour and must be done today by all state governments. Also it should not be a forced decision binding to all doctors but should be a conscious decision to be taken by doctor’s bodies taking into account their own safety, family responsibilities, place of service, medical expertise and suitable remuneration for the service.
It is important to understand here that we will be able to fight corona only if our these warriers (doctors) are safe, and they will be able to give in their 200% only if they have suitable safety measures for themselves.
Italy has already lost more than 100 doctors in this battle and Britain has seen maximum civilian casualties in Europe so far. If we compare India’s situation with both these countries, we very well know here that we are standing on a slippery ground, since our medical infrastructure stands nowhere in comparison to both these countries and our population load is tremendous.
The US President has already called this crisis worse than Pearl harbour attack in 1941, in terms of casualties chaos and implications. US is a country with far better medical facilities for a population about one-fourth compared to India, spread over a land area of almost four times compare to our’s.
If we want to win this battle, now is the time when we should be ready with a well chalked out plan about how to use best our viable and non viable resources to maximum benefit. We need to be ready with –
1) Our doctor’s complete database including their age, expertise, experience, sub speciality, additional trainings (emergency or basic/advanced life support training course) and leadership role in past or present situations.
2) We should have a plan ready with us for worst situation, where under the leadership of physicians, ICU experts or emergency care professionals we should have a team of doctors from other speciality (like opthalmology, orthopaedic, surgery etc) in supporting roles but with proper coordination.
3) The roles and duties of various medical professionals should be decided taking into consideration there present location, travel time and family requirements.
4) all the hospitals within a single state (private, public, defence, railway, PSU, port trust, etc) should prepare for patients and open their doors to general population under the leadership of state health department.
5) Redistribution of resources like medicines, personal protection kits, ventilator, ambu bags and emergency beds should be done based on population density, healthcare resources and rural or urban areas.
6) Government should try to fast track the distribution of ventilators/Ambu bags and emergency care medicines to designated centres from manufacturing companies (like Maruti or other manufacturers).
It is most important to understand here that, at this hour if we fail to co-ordinate, redistribute and use our resources well, we will surpass all previous records in terms of body counts.
In this difficult hour, we also pray to the Lord to give us the strength and wisdom to put up a commendable fight against this virus and to help us, by breaking a cure for this deadly virus soon (Italy and Israel are claiming encouraging test results for their vaccine and antibodies respectively).
We also hope that before the situation gets worst, we should have a cure in our hands and a vaccine in our lap to prevent its further spread.