Remdesivir has a limited role, should be taken only when people are put on oxygen in a hospital: Dr. Shashank Joshi

Dr. Shashank Joshi speaks to PM Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’: Mutations keep on happening, one needs to be medically alert

‘98% people recover with simple medicines like Heparin’

If you compare Europe, America, our patients are recovering fast through our treatment protocols

New Delhi:

The second wave of COVID-19 has come in rapidly, observed Dr. Shashank Joshi, Member of Maharashtra’s COVID-19 Task Force, during an interaction with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the 76th ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme held at 11 AM today. “This virus is faster moving than the first wave”, stated the senior doctor. He also observed that, “But the good thing is that the recovery rate is higher and mortality rate pretty low”.

Pointing out the differences observed between the first and the second waves of the pandemic, Dr. Joshi stated, it has been observed in youth and children too, to an extent, in the second wave. Speaking about the symptoms widely seen this time, Dr. Joshi said, “Breathlessness, dry cough, fever…all these are there…along with it, loss of smell and taste are also there”. He also added that “80 to 90 percent people do not show any of these symptoms”

The renowned doctor, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014, advised the citizens not to feel scared.  Speaking about the much-discussed mutations happening in the virus, Dr. Joshi said, “There’s no need to be afraid of that. These mutations keep on happening…the way we change our clothes, the virus keeps changing its colours…hence there is nothing to fear and we shall overcome this wave too”.  However, one needs to be alert medically, he added. “Covid has a 14 to 21 day’s timetable, in which we should avail of the Doctor’s advice”, stated the senior doctor.

In course of the conversation, the Prime Minister informed Padmashri Dr. Shashank Joshi that he has received many letters containing numerous apprehensions of people regarding treatment and that the demand for certain medicines is very high. In his connection, speaking about the treatment procedures of Covid, Dr. Joshi informed, the clinical treatment protocol has magnitude of three types – light or mild Covid, medium or moderate Covid and intense, what is called severe Covid.

“In the case of mild Covid, we do oxygen monitoring, pulse monitoring and fever monitoring. If the fever rises, sometimes we use medicines like paracetamol”, stated Dr. Joshi and advised that such patients should seek medical advice.

“In the case of moderate or severe Covid, it is extremely important to contact the Doctor. Correct and inexpensive medicines are available. Steroids can save life…inhalers can be given, tablets can be given. And along with that, oxygen has to be administered…there are many simple treatments available”, stated Dr. Joshi. Speaking about the use of Remdesivir in such cases, he said, “There is a new experimental medicine called Remdesivir. But one thing about this medicine is that one has to stay 2 – 3 days lesser in the hospital and it aids in clinical recovery. And this medicine too works only when it is taken in the first 9-10 days…and it is to be taken only for five days”. The senior doctor cautions saying, “The way people are running after Remdesivir…they should stop doing that. This medicine has a limited role…it should be taken only when people are put on oxygen in a hospital, strictly as per the Doctor’s advice. It is important for all people to understand this”.

Dr. Joshi, who is the dean of Indian College of Physicians, suggests, our lungs increase a bit on doing pranayama. He also informs, there is an injection called Heparin for thinning blood. 98% of people recover on being given these simple medicines, stated Dr. Joshi. Hence, it is not at all required to run after all these expensive medications, added the doctor who has first-hand experience of treating numerous COVID-19 patients and is also associated with research on it. “Whenever this medicine is available, it should be given only to appropriate people. On this, many myths are doing the rounds”, he added.

 Dr. Joshi further said, India has the best recovery rate. “If you compare Europe, America, our patients are recovering fast through our treatment protocols”, the senior doctor further stated.

Speaking in PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, Dr. Joshi advised, “Staying positive is very important”. The doctor also mentioned, “It is imperative that treatment protocol is as per the Doctor’s advice”. In this connection, the senior doctor observed that people believe in “what they keep watching on their Mobile feeds”. Dr. Joshi urged, “If people abide by information provided by the Government, they will not face these difficulties”. Dr. Joshi also observed that many people start clinical treatment very late because they believe that the illness will subside on its own, something that should not be done.

Dr. Joshi said, “It was indeed an honour and pleasure to speak in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. “Honourable PM Shri Narendra Modi’s concern for the people is truly remarkable”, stated Dr. Joshi. He further stated that, we all are facing the second wave and we should ensure that we come out of it successfully by taking ourselves safe and all the people around us safe too.