BJYM Covid conversation with Dr. Ravindra Mehta of Apollo hospitals

As the country braces the second wave of covid, as part of the BJYM cares initiative a video talk was organized to dispel misconceptions about the pandemic; in this episode Dr. Ravindra Mehta of Apollo hospitals sat down with BJYM president and MP of Bengaluru south Tejasvi Surya and spoke about covid and precautions that need to be taken at length.

Three main points of focus of the conversation were

  1. Precautions and protocols to be focused on
  2. Remdesivir, plasma therapy, and its need
  3. Vaccination and the misinformation surrounding it

Precautions and protocols to be followed: when asked about the precautions and protocols to be followed in case a person tested positive for covid, Dr. Mehta first wished to address the unnecessary panic covid had caused among the masses, he underscored the point that majority of covid cases i.e up to 90% of them did not require any hospitalization.

When Mr. Surya asked him about the protocols to be followed at home in order to ensure the safety of the patient and if hospitalization is needed or not, the doctor advised people to first seek the advice of a medical professional and then monitor their oxygen levels using an oximeter.

The standard guideline for hospitalization internationally was when blood oxygen levels dropped below 92. Otherwise, hospitalization was not needed. He also advised people in case they were satisfied with the reading of the oximeter they could monitor their levels after walking around for about 6minutes and if the oxygen levels were above 93 then there was no need to panic.

Remdesivir, plasma therapy, and its need:  The honorable MP asked the doctor to clear the doubts pertaining with regard to Remdesivir and Plasma therapy and who needed it; to which the doctor said that both these treatments were needed only when the infection was mild or severe in nature and also emphasized on the point that both these were ancillary treatments which actually support the immune system to fight the virus better.

He opined Remdesivir only reduced the viral load and lessened the patient’s hospital stay and plasma therapy on the other hand helped strengthen the immune response of the body but they were not a cure for covid.

He advised the people at large not to hoard Remdesivir as it would create an artificial scarcity which would result in the needy not getting the drug.

Vaccination and misinformation surrounding it: During the course of the conversation both Mr. Surya and the doctor stressed the need for vaccination and how important it was to get vaccinated in order to tackle the pandemic.

Talking about the side effect theories and misinformation that was doing the rounds the MP said that 10 in a million people got those side effects and they were not a cause for worry and requested people to get vaccinated.

He underlined the point that 99.4% of those vaccinated were never infected with covid and those who got it recovered quickly in spite of comorbidities and sighted the example of Chief Minister Yedurappa, who was infected for the second time but recovered within 3 days after hospitalization because he was vaccinated.

The doctor highlighted how two vaccines that were made in India were a boon to the country and urged people to get vaccinated so that the pandemic situation can be overcome quickly.