More COVID Patients Need Oxygen in 2nd Wave, Deaths the Same: Govt

Meanwhile, Dr VK Paul on Monday admitted that air-borne transmission is more prevalent than surface transmission.

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COVID-19
2 min read
Doctors helping fight coronavirus. Image for representation
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More patients have suffered shortness of breath in the current second wave of COVID-19, as opposed to the first wave experienced between September and November 2020, data released by the Centre on Monday, 19 April, said.

All other symptoms in hospitalised patients such as body ache, fatigue, sore throat etc were higher in the first wave, the data showed.

According to the data, there is barely any difference (0.1 percent) in deaths between the first and second wave. However, higher percentage of patients have been requiring supplemental oxygen in this wave, the data showed.

“In the second wave, oxygen utilisation has been found to be 54.5 percent versus 41.1 percent earlier while requirement of mechanical ventilation is 27 percent versus 37 percent before. Ventilator requirement is much less yet oxygen requirement is higher,” ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava said, according to ANI.

“It could be explained by the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases, creating panic among people who wanted to get admitted to hospitals and thus oxygen requirement shot up. But this is limited data from hospital setting and more will have to be looked at,” Dr Bhargava added.

The Centre also said that more than 70 percent of patients are more than 40 years of age in both waves and the older population continues to be more vulnerable to the virus.

Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog on Monday said that in the first wave, people under 30 years of age constituted 31 percent positive cases, compared to 32 percent this year. “People between 30-45 years of age, testing positive remains same at 21 percent as was last year. There's no excess rate of young people testing positive,” Paul said, according to ANI.

Air-Borne Transmission More Prevalent

Meanwhile, Dr Paul on Monday admitted that air-borne transmission is more prevalent than surface transmission.

This admission comes days after a recent study published in the Lancet pointed to strong evidence that COVID-19 causing SARS COV 2 virus, which was thought to spread through droplets, is primarily an airborne pathogen.

Speaking about Remdesivir, Dr Paul said that while the production had gone down, but now from 26 lakh vials per month, it has been scaled up to 40 lakh vials per month, while aiming for 76 lakh vials per month.

"It is important to understand that Remdesivir isn't a magic bullet and isn't a drug that decreases mortality. We may use it as we don't have an anti-viral drug. It's of no use if given early to asymptomatic individuals or those with mild symptoms. It is also of no use if given late," AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said, according to ANI.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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