Underneath regular instances, this week would have been the season of pleasure, festivity and celebrations for Christmas and the New Yr. Nevertheless, the invention of the brand new variant of concern Omicron final month within the African continent, which has unfold like wildfire throughout the globe, has not solely put the brakes on our celebrations however has additionally known as for harder measures to guard the residents.
We should always not neglect the darkish days of Covid-19 first and second waves, which wreaked a havoc and introduced distress to our nation and the planet. We actually shouldn’t neglect the selfless noble work accomplished by the medical career, healthcare employees and the frontline employees who bore the brunt of the corona onslaught and sadly a lot of them paid the final word worth by sacrificing their lives of their combat in opposition to coronavirus.
Whereas remembering these warriors and their sacrifices for the nation, we should always guarantee that this grave tragedy doesn’t repeat sooner or later. It appears very clear that Omicron is much more infectious although not as virulent because the Delta variant. It’s spreading like wildfire throughout the globe and it’s however a matter of time earlier than the numbers in India go up exponentially within the close to future. Many specialists, who’ve checked out fashions to foretell the pandemic, imagine that we could contact 100,000 to 150,000 instances per day by February subsequent yr, which signifies that we have to be on a conflict footing proper now.
To guard our healthcare employees, medical doctors, nurses, paramedical personnel and frontline employees akin to ambulance drivers, lab technicians, public healthcare and sanitation employees, we have to strictly comply with just a few measures.
Following Covid-Applicable Behaviour, Public Well being Measures
Reinforce Covid-appropriate behaviour amongst all residents akin to masking, social distancing, hand washing and keep away from going to crowded locations particularly in poor ventilated indoor areas. It has been proven repeatedly that these measures present a big safety in opposition to the unfold of any type of Covid and needs to be mandated for the sake of well being of not solely people however society at massive. There needs to be an enormous penalty for individuals breaking the principles in order that they take this very critically.
Vaccination for All
We should proceed with the aggressive vaccination coverage in order that many of the eligible inhabitants is vaccinated on the earliest. Thus far, we now have totally vaccinated greater than 60% of the eligible inhabitants and we should enhance the numbers to over 80% no less than.
Eliminate vaccine hesitancy and make vaccination necessary for all healthcare and frontline employees. It’s a welcome transfer by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the booster or the precautionary dose for the healthcare and frontline employees with another high-risk teams. I strongly urge these teams to avail this chance to obtain the third dose.
Reorientation and Coaching
In the course of the first Covid wave, many healthcare employees have been contaminated and sadly some succumbed to the sickness as a result of private safety measures have been insufficient, poorly practised and, in some cases, unavailable and there was no vaccination obtainable.
A greater understanding of the private safety measures, together with acceptable masks, use of PPE, different an infection management measures, and availability of the vaccine helped the healthcare employees mitigate the large onslaught of the second wave.
It’s once more time to reorient our healthcare employees and reinforce these measures to guard them in opposition to future waves. An infection management measures within the hospital that have been carried out through the large second wave included screening and restriction of holiday makers, social distancing generally areas and elevators, selling video consultations to chop down on private visits to restrict the publicity of the healthcare employees. Comparable measures should be re-instituted with full vigour once more, in view of the approaching third wave.
Healthcare Insurance coverage, Entry to Remedy
No frontline employee needs to be with out an insurance coverage and they need to have, if wanted, the perfect of healthcare together with latest therapy choices, akin to monoclonal antibody cocktails, oral capsules like Paxlovid (Pfizer) and molnupiravir (Merck) authorized overseas for early therapy of Covid.
One of many vital classes not be forgotten from the sooner two waves is that there was an enormous quantity of stress and anguish among the many healthcare employees about their security and of their households. This must be addressed by skilled psychological well being caregivers not just for the healthcare employees but additionally their households. Counselling generally is a vital side of general care through the pandemic and shouldn’t be forgotten. This needs to be an vital a part of HR actions throughout tough instances.
All in all, it seems that Omicron may be very probably to herald a 3rd wave in our nation within the subsequent few weeks and we now have to be totally geared as much as meet this eventuality. The measures listed would absolutely shield the well being of the caregivers and preserve them protected to combat the invisible enemy and save lives.
As a lot as all of us have developed severe Covid fatigue, that is no time for complacency or letting our guard down. I’m certain that if we combat this scourge along with a powerful will, we will emerge victorious quickly.
Dr Sudarshan Ballal is Chairman, Manipal Hospitals. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t characterize the stand of this publication.