17th July 2021 – Prabha Khaitan Foundation organized a virtual session of Ek Mulakat Vishesh with Dr. Sudhir Bhandari. Introducing and welcoming the guests was Ehsaas Woman of Nagpur, Jyoti Kapoor. Dr. Bhandari is a senior professor of medicine, MD, DNB, MNAMS and principal and controller at SMS College, Jaipur. He is a renowned physician and diabetologist and fellow of Royal College of Physicians, London and Edinburgh. He is also the member of the government’s state advisory board for COVID 19. He has published over 80 articles in prestigious medical journals and contributed chapters for textbooks on hypertension, diabetes and other heart diseases. He is the brand ambassador for awareness of life program. He was also awarded the World Icon award at Bangkok for outstanding contribution as a medical professional. He has won countless other awards as well and has been associated with various social initiatives. For this conversation, he spoke about the COVID 19 pandemic.
He begins the conversation by saying that COVID was not a surprise; it came as a new design pattern that no one knew about. When everyone was talking about the pandemic that had hit China, nobody thought that the situation is going to get so out of hands. The first 3 COVID patients in India were Italian travelers who were travelling to Rajasthan.
When the first wave came in March 2020, our fear level was very high and our confidence level was very low as we didn’t know anything about this new virus but as time went on, our confidence levels went up and fear psychosis went down. When the first few cases of COVID were recorded, the Indian doctors used the information provided by China and all they knew was that the virus causes cough and breathing difficulties. When the first patients came for treatment, the doctors didn’t have a fool-proof treatment for the same. Dr. Bhandari’s team was pioneers in the world to have used Hydroxychloroquine and some anti-HIV retro viral drugs which cured all 3 initial patients. The composition was talked about throughout the world and even the UN and the doctors of the White House asked about the treatment.
He says that COVID affects people of all ages and further talks about the progression of the Virus after every wave. He says that the first wave was very progressive and majorly affected people who were 60+ years and those who were between the ages 40-60 weren’t affected as badly as the second wave. 80% people were mildly affected or asymptomatic, 15-18% moderate who required hospitals and 2-3% needed ventilators. COVID also caused a lot of other complications such as heart, kidney and liver damage, blood clotting etc. The death rate was very less in the first wave unlike the second wave which was highly fatal. During the first wave people thought that the virus was highly contagious through physical contact.
He presents a presentation, explaining more about the virus and telling everyone how it affects the body and how to take care after contracting COVID and different ways to figure out if a person is healthy or not and when they should consult a doctor.
He shows a graph that shows clearly how a lockdown affects the number of daily cases. The cases went up sharply after festivals but as soon as lockdowns were imposed, the daily number of cases went down, proving that lockdowns are important to tackle the pandemic.
He says that even after the lockdown is lifted, people should follow COVID appropriate behavior and should be followed till 80-90% of our population is unaffected.
He also talks about the different vaccinations available and urges everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible as they help in battling COVID if a person contracts it. It reduces the chances of a person getting severe infections. He clears out the common myths revolving around the vaccinations. He also says that a person who has recovered from COVID also needs to get vaccinated, but even after getting vaccinated, COVID appropriate behavior needs to be followed.
He finally concludes by saying that COVID is a disease and everyone needs to get vaccinated. It is a disease and the faster it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat with fewer side effects. Even after getting vaccinated, one must follow COVID appropriate behaviour.