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COVID19

Should doctors be saved or stoned

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Should doctors be saved or stoned

Should doctors be saved or stoned

Aina Bhat

Naveed Hamid

“A doctor, like anyone else who has to deal with human beings, each of them unique, cannot be a scientist; he is either, like the surgeon, a craftsman, or, like the physician and the psychologist, an artist. This means that in order to be a good doctor a man must also have a good character, that is to say, whatever weaknesses and foibles he may have, he must love his fellow human beings in the concrete and desire their good before his own.” — W. H. Auden

Doctors are critical to a successful response to the COVID19 pandemic. They play critical roles in diagnosis, containment, and care, and their willingness to treat despite elevated personal risks is critical to the effectiveness of public health response. Frontline employees have been subjected to high work volumes, personal risk, and social pressure in order to meet extraordinary healthcare demands. Despite this, conventional public health ethics has paid little attention to protecting doctors’ rights.

Credibility of a medical practitioner in present era

The position of doctors during the COVID19 pandemic, with a focus on the Health Service, by answering the following four questions: what are the essence and scope of healthcare providers’ duties? To whom do these responsibilities apply? What are the employers’ and patients’ mutual responsibilities to doctors? What do doctors do if these mutual duties are not met? While these questions apply to all healthcare professionals, it is important to note that different healthcare professionals have different responsibilities, which can influence the degree of their occupational risks and duties.

Doctors and COVID19: Why we need to be a wise human first

Many physicians around the world have had personal encounters with COVID19 infection. Many doctors/medical practitioners have a terrifying experience with COVID19 in the year 2020, when all of their family members test positive and have a turbulent path. The majority was of the opinion that the dreadful tale of COVID19 should be hidden in order to protect their patients in tough times by wearing masks and taking antibiotics on their own, which then degraded their health and caused death to numerous medical practitioners.

Courage to work and treat under INFECTED Culture:

The response is easy and straightforward: “because they handle contaminated patients.” It is a self-evident truth, but it is only a partial explanation. It is widely accepted that when treating patients, doctors subconsciously train their minds to be emotionally distant from the disease, which aids them in making reasonable decisions. They have persuaded themselves that the patient in front of us has a disorder that will not affect us. And if it does, they will benefit more than our patients. Too much of this leads some doctors to believe they are invincible. Early in the pandemic, doctors who were unconcerned about PPE and other safeguards were the most vulnerable targets. Many senior practitioners, physicians, and family doctors, especially those in private practice, underestimated the infective potential. They were comparing this to the yearly influenza outbreak and figured they’d make it through just fine. Many doctors carried on with their clinics as usual, without PPE, without monitoring patient numbers, and without paying special attention to social distancing or sanitization. Family doctors were the most vulnerable and were exposed to infected patients. Family physicians and doctors employed in smaller practices were unable to support the increase in operating costs due to the high cost of PPE/masks/sanitization kits combined with lower earnings. Those who kept hospitals and clinics closed found that this could not continue indefinitely and opened the clinics to a flood of patients.

At the same time, in other parts of the world, a few patients filed consumer complaints alleging infections from clinics and hospitals. Some of us forgot that doctors are not superhumans and that they too can become infected in non-hospital settings where they are not wearing PPE. The doctor’s identity may have saved them from police intervention during the lockdown, but it did not protect them from infection.

This pandemic has once again shown that doctors are poor patients. Doctors have a tendency to ignore their own signs. None of them evaluates themselves critically in the same way as they would evaluate our patients. A common mistake is to blame non-specific symptoms on non-medical factors such as too much stress or a lack of sleep. Many doctors hesitate to test for COVID19 when they have trivial symptoms or suspected contact due to the fear of getting a positive report. The majority of those affected remained asymptomatic and recovered, but this also suggests that more people had the test only when the symptoms were unbearable. Typically doctors test only when they have a persistent high-grade fever or significant breathlessness.

The authors are associated with SKUAST-K

 

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COVID19

Covid19 reopening: A close watch needed

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Covid19 reopening

Jammu and Kashmir, like other parts of the country, continues to battle the Covid19 pandemic. Though the number of daily positive cases is not as alarming as it would be a few months earlier, yet there are some indications of a slow rise in positive cases in the past few weeks. This situation clearly calls for very careful handling of the situation, especially in view of the apprehensions of a possible third wave hitting the country in the months of October and November.

In a welcome move, the Jammu and Kashmir administration recently ordered phased reopening of educational institutions, including colleges and higher-level schools. It was a long-pending demand of all stakeholders, in the larger interest of the student community, to allow children to return to their on-campus classes after a long hiatus. The move coincided with the phased reopening of businesses in the Union Territory to infuse a fresh lease of life into the otherwise ‘dismal’ economy that was badly hit in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic.

The post-pandemic situation calls for revival of economic activity to enable people associated with various trades to resume their businesses and earn a livelihood following a depressing scenario. There is a large section of the population directly dependent on daily earnings to make both ends meet.

There is no denying the fact that the post-pandemic situation calls for revival of economic activity to enable people associated with various trades to resume their businesses and earn a livelihood following a depressing scenario. There is a large section of the population directly dependent on daily earnings to make both ends meet.

It was therefore imperative upon the administration to take care of the interests of this section of the society. It is equally a fact that the resumption of academic activities across Jammu and Kashmir was the need of the hour to enable students to interact with their teachers and peers, re-socialise on the campuses and heave a sigh of relief. To this extent, the administration took certain welcome decisions. However, the fact that the pandemic is still not over can’t be overlooked in such a scenario. It is therefore important to watch the situation very closely for its better management and minimal disruptions in case of any eventuality like the third Covid19 wave.

The onus to ensure a close watch on the situation certainly lies on the officials concerned, especially the Deputy Commissioners of various districts. In the past two months, the number of daily positive cases largely ranges from 100 to 200. This is not alarming if a comparison of these figures is made with the figures of the previous few months. But the level of unpredictability is too high to be taken casually. On September 22, the UT recorded the highest single-day tally of 204 Covid positive cases—up from 145 cases recorded a day earlier. This is where the situation demands utmost caution. At the official level, it is important to keep a track of these figures to decide on further reopening. If the rate of positivity surges, it would be in the fitness of things to reconsider the further process of reopening and reimpose the curbs, wherever necessary. Alongside, it is imperative to ensure that mass gatherings are disallowed and people adhere to the Covid Appropriate Behavior (CAB) in letter and spirit. The administration also requires to watch the Covid scenario in other states of the country and handle the inflow of tourists and visitors to the UT accordingly in strict adherence to the SOPs. The situation just cannot be allowed to go out of control any longer. Sustained and focused attention on the situation can go a long way in facilitating its better management at all levels.

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COVID19

‘COVID-19 and We’: The new book on pandemic from Kashmir

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'COVID-19 and We'

‘COVID-19 and We’ is the first book from Kashmir about COVID19 by Maheena Zehra. The book is an anthology compiled along with 20 co-authors from different parts of the country.The book is a dedication through words to all the people who died because of the virus. The people who suffered during the pandemic. And the people who felt and even feel helpless and hopeless due to the pandemic. The book contains a series of articles, poems and paragraphs in English and Urdu language and, all the writings revolve around the different topics on the theme of COVID19.
For example, the book contains poems on hope and strength that we understand as the most important tool to fight any circumstance in life. The book contains articles structured on the map of the loss of lives due to the virus. The loss in business due to the lockdowns. Loss in education. Mental stress, retained by people of all ages and the psychological problems faced that seem to stay for a quite long time until the fight is initiated against the fear in the consciousness.

covid-19-and-we

Maheena Zehra

‘COVID-19 and We’ contains Nazms (Urdu poems) that are meant to make the human understand his hidden strengths and see the light that the heart produces itself to make the self shine beyond all the boundaries, miseries and calamities.
Lastly, the aim of this book is to give people an insightful and brief descriptive analysis of the lessons taught during the whole miserable period of the pandemic. We hope that you enjoy reading the book and, make prayers for the people who lost their lives due to the virus. Also, make prayers for a healthy, safe and beautiful future that is awaiting ahead of this terrible period.
The time is now to move on and to look at the future because the past memories are only going to drag us downwards. We hope that this book is worth the time of the readers.

 

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COVID19

Editorial | Covid19 third wave: Time to stay alert

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Covid19 third wave

Jammu and Kashmir is, fortunately, registering a low caseload of Covid19 cases for the last more than a month. And it is certainly a sign to cheer about. The second Covid19 wave not only wreaked havoc vis-à-vis loss of human lives, it also crippled the economy alongside stretching the healthcare sector to the fullest. And given the devastation it wrought on almost all facets of life, it would take a very long time to recuperate from that deleterious fallout.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the daily Covid19 caseload has remained in the range of 100 to 300 in the past month while the number of daily deaths reported due to the infection has also come down considerably in comparison to the horrific situation witnessed in the months of April, May and June. This points to the fact that the second wave may be ebbed much to the respite of people. However, it also, alongside, points to the pressing need to keep a close vigil on the impending third wave which many experts believe might hit the country by the end of this month or early next month. And this is the opportune time for everyone, especially people at the helm of delivering a public health response, to take lessons from the second wave only to ready themselves for the third wave and contain the same in its track well within time. All it requires is a determined effort, coupled with a sense of seriousness, to make it happen.

The authorities concerned must keep close track of the daily caseload across the country, especially the one related to the Delta variant of the Coronavirus, which is expected to be much more infectious, if not as lethal, than the previous variants. A close monitoring mechanism is required to be put in place with regard to incoming travellers to Jammu and Kashmir, especially from places where the resurgence of the virus is seen.

To begin with, the authorities concerned must keep close track of the daily caseload across the country, especially the one related to the Delta variant of the Coronavirus, which is expected to be much more infectious, if not as lethal, than the previous variants. A close monitoring mechanism is required to be put in place with regard to incoming travellers to Jammu and Kashmir, especially from places where the resurgence of the virus is seen. Previously, one of the flaws witnessed during the second wave was the free flow of incoming travellers to the Union Territory which led to a huge surge in cases. Alongside, all public gatherings have to be urgently limited in case of the Covid19 resurgence in the UT. Presently, public gatherings continue to remain restricted. However, many public gatherings continue to be held with the presence of a large number of people in violation of SOPs concerning Covid19. Such a phenomenon has to be curbed. And finally, the healthcare sector has to be continuously reviewed and monitored to ensure that all facilities in Covid-designated hospitals are put in place well in advance to meet the possible third wave requirements. Any laxity in this regard can cost dearly. The infrastructure in the hospitals—especially the supply of Oxygen and availability of Oxygen beds—has to be guaranteed to make the health facilities third wave-ready.

With regard to the reopening of educational institutions, the UT administration has thus far acted diligently. While it would be prudent to let online education continue to be imparted in view of the third wave concerns, any reopening of educational institutions in the month of August and September has to be strictly done in a phased manner, beginning with calling only fully vaccinated staff and students to schools, colleges and universities. It could only be problematic to allow the mass reopening of educational institutions.

While the government has to be proactive to stop the 3rd wave from making a dreadful impact in the UT, the public at large must fully cooperate by adhering to the Covid appropriate behaviour and following all Covid19 SOPs in their true spirit. Only a collective effort can stop the 3rd wave in its tracks.

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