How serious is Covid fourth wave? Lack of testing, data a worry
With the rising fever cases, lack of testing and proper data has made the pandemic situation confusing for health analysts.
KOCHI: With the rising fever cases, lack of testing and proper data has made the pandemic situation confusing for health analysts. Doctors have stopped suggesting Covid tests for all those coming in with symptoms and the state government has stopped publicising the numbers as it used to do, making it difficult to judge the extent of damage caused by the ongoing fourth wave.
The number of daily deaths being reported in the state is also on a higher side. Experts have expressed concern about the state downplaying the fourth wave.“The situation is quite dangerous. Though there is no significant rise in ICU admissions, the situation should not be taken lightly. People with comorbidities are still falling severely ill. Rise in reinfection cases, especially among health workers, has worsened the situation. Ignoring the fourth wave could lead to a very serious situation here,” said Dr Praveen V, a pulmonologist based in Kochi.
In the wake of the spike in Covid cases, the Union health ministry has advised 14 states, including Kerala, to step up vigil, describing them as high-risk states. Experts say deaths are still being reported among elderly or those people with comorbidities. “The state government is not giving the wide publicity that it used to give to the daily numbers. There is lack of fear among the public due to this. Especially those suffering from lifestyle diseases should be careful. Long Covid and its associated complications are still a worry,” said Dr Rebecca M, a physician based in Thrissur.
“Many healthcare workers are down with Covid. Low testing rates and low interest in going for tests among the public are causing the spread of infection. Paediatric outpatient wings are flooded with fever cases. Reinfection cases are also very common, especially among the health workers. If any precautionary measures are to be taken, the time is now, not later when the damage is done,” said Dr Gopikumar P, Vice-President, Indian Medical Association, Kerala.
“The seriousness of the situation is not conveyed to the public. When the state health department used to announce the number of daily cases and deaths, it made an impact among people. Many adhered to the Covid protocol. Now, crowding is seen at events and family functions. Restrictions on the number of attendees at public events should be brought back,” said Gopikumar.