Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday has urged health authorities in Kashmir valley to spare hospitals for patients who have severe disease from the novel (new) coronavirus.
“Most people infected with the novel virus do not require hospitalization,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan.
“We need to reserve hospital infrastructure and manpower for those who need them. We can’t pile up those who don’t need to be in hospitals and leave no beds for those who actually need them,” he said.
Dr Nisar said patients who are positive for COVID-19 and have mild disease can stay in isolation at home for 2 weeks and contact their health care provider by phone for guidance about clinical management. These patients may just need a Paracetamol and they recover on their own.
“However, older patients and those with underlying medical conditions should be observed in hospitals, even if they have milder illness given the possible risk of progression to severe illness in them,” he said.
“Persons who have history of travel or contact with a confirmed case after screening should be quarantined either at home or at a designated community center. In no case should they occupy hospital beds,” he added.
Dr Nisar said only those patients who have severe disease should get admitted to a hospital so that the work force at hospitals can focus on the most critical cases.
He said mild cases are those who have symptoms of fever and cough, but are stable and have no pneumonia or hypoxia. Severe cases have difficulty in breathing and are hypoxic, and critical cases have respiratory and other organ failure.
Quoting a large study of 44,000 patients from china, Dr Nisar said 81 percent had mild disease, 14 percent had severe disease and 5 percent had critical illness.
“In this study, all deaths occurred among patients with critical illness. While overall case fatality rate was 2.3 percent, the case fatality rate among patients with critical disease was 49 percent,” he said
“Kashmir valley has, so far reported 43 laboratory-confirmed cases and two deaths due to the novel (new) coronavirus,” said Dr Nisar. (GNS)