A world-renowned cardiologist, Dr. Devi Shetty has taken the internet by storm due to his observations on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He is the Chairperson of Narayana Health, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed National Task Force for COVID 2.O, and has been recently asked by the Karnataka government to lead its initiative to prepare for the third wave of COVID-19.
Shetty’s comment on the various aspects of COVID-19 has come as a sense of relief when the masses are busy raising speculations over the current situation of India. While others have tried to make observations without any in-depth knowledge, just to prove their expertise. Shetty, on the other hand, has made comments backed by rationale and facts.
These comments have paved the way for optimism and sense when the Indian masses are busy feeding on a heap of assumptions.
While several Indian states have been contemplating as to which demographic should be administered the vaccine first, Dr. Shetty has laid out the objectives that the states must seek when vaccinating people. He has stated that it is our youth who is spreading the virus while the older people are the ones who are mostly dying of it.
Hence, when the country has an abundance of vaccines, it should focus on rapidly vaccinating the youth. This will help prevent the third wave to a large extent.
Pointing out the economic toll the pandemic has taken on India, Dr. Shetty has rightly said that in a country like India, one day of lockdown causes it to lose around Rs. 10,000 crores. This aims at highlighting the negative impact the lockdowns have on our country and suggests the authorities take decisions after careful consideration of all its probable effects.
Because India is currently allowing vaccinations only for people of or above the age of 18, Shetty has provided a subtle breakdown of the investments that will go behind vaccinating the eligible population.
Given India’s whopping Gross Domestic Product of Rs. 200 lakh crores, if the government ramps up the vaccine production process and invests heavily in making it available to the people, it will be a matter of weeks before all the eligible citizens are duly inoculated against the virus.
Breaking down the terminologies in the layman’s language, he has drawn a clear picture of the effects that the restrictions are having on our lives. While we stay hidden behind closed doors, the virus keeps mutating and gets stronger.
But, when we provide our body with the strength to fight against the virus, the virus will become weaker and start losing its efficacy.
Several Indian states were facing a severe shortage of liquid medical oxygen for treating COVID-19 patients. In retaliation, the center had designated a certain amount of oxygen to these states. Several speculations were raised over the government’s decision including why they couldn’t increase the allocated amount.
Dr. Shetty has highlighted what we failed to acknowledge while raising them. India’s logistical infrastructure cannot change overnight. The oxygen tankers can move at a certain speed, and increasing their oxygen amount will only slow it down.
Moreover, India’s maximum oxygen production plants are located in western and eastern India, whereas, it was mostly the northern states which were facing a huge influx of patients. This had added to the logistical burden while transporting oxygen.
India faced an extreme shortage of beds amidst the second wave of the pandemic. Stressing on the fact, Shetty stated that every government, no matter its political orientation, has never made any conscious effort to ramp up the country’s healthcare infrastructure.
COVID-19 has seeped into the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities now, whereas the multi-specialty hospitals are concentrated in the metro cities, making it extremely hard for the people to avail quality healthcare.
Shetty has stressed that we will be needing lakhs and lakhs of doctors and nurses by the next year to prevent the healthcare infrastructure from collapsing. We do not have enough doctors to provide the level of care these COVID-19 patients deserve.
This is to be highly blamed on the elitist structure that has seeped into medical education. Passionate students are barred by their inability to pay hefty fees, which leads the country to lose young talent.
The central government led by PM Modi has been facing severe backlash over their handling of the COVID-19 crisis. On this, Shetty has stated that with a population like India, no government in the world would be able to sustain such a calamitous second wave.
He stressed that the governments were doing their absolute best in addressing the needs of the situation and if they continue to maintain and ramp up these efforts, India will undoubtedly be successful in defeating its third-wave.
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