By Biswaraj Patnaik in Puri, October 7, 2020: In six months’ time, medical experts have found out ways to make possible greater chance of survival from Covid-19, particularly those infected last month and later. Doctors and scientists know more about Covid-19 now, and hence are able to treat patients quite effectively.

Covid-19 was initially thought to cause deaths due to pneumonia. So ventilators believed to be the best gadget to save life. Now they know blood clots in the vessels of the lungs and other parts of the body cause the reduced oxygenation. This is why drugs like Asprin and Heparin are now critical ingredients of treatment protocol.

Previously patients used to collapse on the road before reaching a hospital due to reduced oxygen in their blood. This was because of ‘happy hypoxia’- a condition in which the Covid-19 patients would not have symptoms until oxygen saturation became critically less upto 70%. Normally a below 90% saturation makes one breathless. This breathlessness is not triggered. Now a simple home use pulse oximeter can indicate emergency and urgent hospitalisation the moment oxygen drops to 93% or less. This gives more time for doctors to correct the oxygen deficiency in the blood, thereby greatly improving chances of survival.

Drugs of choice were not discovered to fight the virus in February 2020. Now there are two very effective drugs: FAVIPIRAVIR & REMDESIVIR which arrest the multiplication of the virus- leading to destruction of the pathogen.

Further, many Covid-19 patients die mainly due to a peculiar immune response known as CYTOKINE STORM, a stormy strong immune response that kills the virus and also the patient. By September 2020, experts knew too well easily available Steroids can be used to prevent the cytokine storm in patients.

Now doctors know that people with hypoxia became better just by making them lie down on their belly- known as prone position, a very simple posture. Israeli scientists have discovered that a chemical known as Alpha Defensin produced by the patients white blood cells can cause the micro clots in blood vessels of the lungs and this could possibly be prevented by a drug called ‘Colchicine’ used over many decades in the treatment of Gout.

So now, for sure, patients have a better chance at surviving the Covid-19 infection than in February 2020. India had not peaked in March or April only because of the lockdown. This strategy certainly postponed the Covid-19 pandemic in India by three crucial months, that has enabled the country to save thousands of lives.

As of now, there’s nothing horrific to panic about Covid-19. A person who gets infected now has a much better chance of beating the virus than he had in March. Panic reduces immunity, which is a universally known fact. So the people must brace up to fight back with courage than hide in fear.

All said and done over the months, what needs to be emphasised at all times is the simplest of simple precautionary measures by way of lessons from the Spanish flue pandemic in 1918 : social distancing, the use of face mask and sanitization, working from home whenever possible, home delivery of food, groceries, vegetables and other essential items.

What people must do to remain fit and immune:

• Must not smoke or vape
• Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
• Take a multivitamins with minerals
• Exercise regularly.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Control stress level.
• Control blood pressure.
• If drinking alcohol is pleasure, drinking only in moderation (no more than one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women) will be fine.
• Get enough sleep.
• Take steps to avoid infection such as washing hands frequently and trying not to touch face with hands since harmful pathogens can enter through your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Just recently, after successful trials in Australia, the FDA approved Ivermectin, Zinc and Doxycycline for showing positive results in controlling Covid-19. Ivermectin was discovered in the 1970s and is on the World Health Organization (WHO) list of essential medicines. Australian experts have used the same methodology with the Covid-19 Ivermectin Triple Therapy. They say this combination of 3 approved “off the shelf” drugs could be the answer to Australia’s Covid-19 crisis.

This magic combination must be used for caring the very elderly as they constitute a high-risk group. The frontline workers too deserve more protection with a preventative medication like this, and as an emergency treatment if they test positive, as strongly advised by the Australian experts.

According to doctors in Bangladesh, the combination of Ivermectin and doxycycline is proving to be an effective treatment against Covid-19, with patients recovering within four days.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex medical research body, is reviewing the benefits of drugs Ivermectin and doxycycline as potential therapy for Covid-19. The combination of these two drugs has been hailed by doctors in Bangladesh for yielding ‘astounding results’.

Ivermectin is a US Food and Drug Administration-approved anti-parasite drug used to treat some parasitic worms, while doxycycline is an antibiotic.

The ICMR experts in India are continuously studying the evolution of the use of this drug combination in the treatment protocol of Covid19 patients.

Lastly, the Indian authorities through the federal states must spend money and quality time in bringing about change in public behaviour as most Indians are careless and do not understand the importance of rule of law, particularly the one that saves lives. Even lawmakers across the country seem to be taking great pride in being defiant publicly. The ordinary folks the number of whom is so huge, would naturally feel great emulating the errant, headless leaders. Lately, even in saner states like Odisha, the people have been witnessing leaders behaving carelessly. They are without masks and hardly do they maintain social distance. Whether or not they sanitize hands is only known to them.

It is enormously urgent that the state authorities bring in place stringent safety rules and such information materials as inspire the masses to behave better.

The only vaccine available in hand today is responsible behaviour. The ‘drug vaccine’ is still a dream thing!

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