Kerala

Make public data on COVID-19, says IMA

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the government to make public the data on symptomatology, pathophysiology, and treatment schedule adopted for COVID-19 in-patients in the State.

This is to ensure that the clinicians in the private sector who will have to step in soon to provide COVID-19 care are not left in the lurch, the forum says.

In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, IMA State secretary P. Gopikumar and State president Abraham Varghese said though the IMA had been demanding this for months, no action had been taken by the government to remedy the situation. COVID-19 being a new disease caused by a new virus, lack of crucial State-specific data on the patients here and disease epidemiology in the public domain could prove to be a stumbling block when private sector clinicians would be called in to manage COVID-19.

The IMA said it was an injustice that the private sector, which catered to nearly 70% of the State population’s health-care needs, was kept in the dark as far as COVID-19 data was concerned. To learn more about the disease, clinicians were left to depend on studies from the rest of the world where the scenario was quite different from that of Kerala.

The IMA felt that while the lockdown period had succeeded in arresting the spread of the disease, the State had not utilised this time effectively to prepare itself to deal with the next stages of the disease.

The public were not made sensitive to the importance of infection prevention, and the increasing local spread in the post-lockdown period definitely looked like community spread was happening already.

Research studies on disease transmission and epidemiological studies were very important and long overdue in the State, the letter said. The IMA pointed out the increasing COVID-19 positivity among doctors and other health-care workers and the fact that all hospitals were at risk of becoming disease amplification centres.

It urged the government to move the focus of COVID-19 testing from the quarantined pool of people. It called for more tests in the community and especially among health-care workers, lest the latter became asymptomatic carriers of infection inside hospitals.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 9:34:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ima-writes-to-cm-on-covid-situation/article31956853.ece

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