01 May 2021: Stressed health system could be behind rising deaths: Dr. Guleria
People failing to secure hospital beds because of an overwhelmed healthcare infrastructure may be behind the massive surge in deaths caused due to the coronavirus in the current wave of the pandemic in India, AIIMS chief Dr. Randeep Guleria said in an interview.
He has also advised patients not to rush to hospitals in panic.
Here are more details on this.
Fact: 'The rise is almost like a rocket'
"The rise (is) almost like a rocket. This is why the healthcare infrastructure is badly shaken. Had this rise been at a slower rate, we would have been able to manage (sic)," Dr. Guleria told The Indian Express.
Causes: What is leading to a greater number of deaths?
There have been widespread concerns that the death rate may be greater in the current wave of COVID-19 than the previous one.
Dr. Guleria said there can be a couple of reasons for this spike.
He said there are chances that the new strains of the virus that have emerged in India may be causing more severe disease, thus leading to a higher mortality.
Causes: People are unable to get hospitalized at the right time
Another plausible reason cited by the AIIMS chief is the dwindling healthcare infrastructure in the ongoing wave.
"The healthcare system (has) got strained, many patients are not able to find a bed and are availing treatment at home. By the time they come to the hospital, they are in bad shape and that is also having an effect on mortality," he told the publication.
On peak: Peak time depends on how well the spread is curbed
Several experts said the current COVID-19 wave could peak in May.
However, Dr. Guleria warns the actual peak would depend on how well we are able to break the chain of coronavirus' transmission.
"If we have an aggressive containment strategy and we are able to prevent transmission to some extent, we'll be able to see the peak earlier and decline happening quickly," he said.
Advice: Don't rush to hospitals in panic, Dr. Guleria urges
Dr. Guleria has urged everyone not to rush to hospitals in case they feel their symptoms can be managed at home.
He also advised people against taking steroids at an early age. "If your saturation is not falling, and in the early stage of disease when there is viral replication, steroids are not given as they promote viral replication and cause further deterioration (sic)."
Situation in India: The COVID-19 situation in India continues to worsen
India has been gripped by a dreadful second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which experts have blamed on mutated strains of the virus, mass gatherings, as well as a slow vaccination program.
In the last 24 hours, the country logged 4,01,993 new infections - the highest-ever one-day surge for any country in the outbreak.
3,523 more fatalities took India's death toll past 2.11 lakh.