Jammu and Kashmir in the last fortnight saw an alarming addition of around 10000 covid-19 infections. About 6000 of these infections got added up in the last one week alone and during the time, the highest single-day record was also breached. The situation, as has been stated by experts and officials at the helm of affairs, is alarming. It comes at a time when health infrastructures are groaning under the weight of the highly ravaging virus, the second wave of which seems more serious and severe than last year.
SKIMS Soura, a tertiary care hospital, has already put off surgeries and procedures of “non-emergency” nature. In other words, patients including those suffering from chronic kidney disease, having growing tumor inside a vital organ, diabetes affecting entire metabolism, lethal clots waiting to be located, or those having weakening cardiac performance will have to wait as they fall under non-emergent nature and thus have to hang around for the covid-19 situation to get better.
While it is a fact that patients with contagious virus demand immediate attention, an equally grim truth is that around two out of three deaths in India occur on account of non-communicable diseases as has been established by a recent study by the Thought Arbitrage Research Institute. It found that at least 10 per cent of the population across 21 states suffers from non-communicable diseases. In the last two decades, diseases such as diabetes, digestive ailments and hypertension have claimed more lives in India than infectious illnesses have.
It is also true that contributors to the problem include an ageing population, rapid urbanization sans modernized hygiene systems, urban congestion on account of migration as well as climate change, but little attention is also proving detrimental. Amid the situation like the present one, there is an urgent need for awareness initiatives, informing, for instance, a diabetic patient what is needed to be done or what is to be avoided strictly. It is imperative to shed an unrelenting light on such diseases to stop them kill silently.
Also, it is imperative that some kind of alternative mechanism is established which takes care of the patients falling under non-emergent nature.
As has been pointed out and rightly so by the Doctors Association Kashmir, most chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart, lung, liver and kidney disease require monitoring and drug dose modifications. Leaving such patients unattended can end up in severe complications. Management of both covid-19 patients and those bracketed under non-emergent nature should be managed efficiently to avoid high cost.