We are presently facing a covid 19 pandemic which has transformed into a humanitarian crisis. Lockdowns, PPE’s, Hand hygiene, social distancing and restricting daily outdoor activities are a norm nowadays to safeguard ourselves.
Talking about India If we go by the number of cases, India is ranked third among the top five countries with the highest COVID 19 burden. Doubling time shows the number of days it takes for total confirmed cases to double and is a good indicator to see the growth of covid-19. India has now a higher doubling time as compared to other top 5 countries. One reason why we are detecting more cases is that the number of tests done every day has increased from less than 50 000 per day to 4.2 lac presently which is good. Our average CFR is about 2.28 (no. of death as a proportion of number of cases) which is now coming down. Our COVID death rate is also amongst the lowest in the world.
So we are facing a unique double whammy- on one side, our growth rate of covid-19 is spiking and on the other hand we have a spike in daily deaths. There also appears to be a national heterogeneity in different states as the cases and death rates are vastly different.
There are many issues which our country is trying to overcome. According to health care access and quality index of 2016, India ranked 145 out of all 195 countries in the world. Our Doctor-patient ratio is 1: 1445, which is less than WHO recommendation, i.e. 1:1000. We frequently face lack of availability of nurses and Doctors. The availability of PPE kits, testing kits, ventilators, ICU beds is also an major issue .India spends only 1.3 percentage of GDP on public health care. Doctors and nurses are also facing social issues with many being attacked or harassed. Infection among healthcare workers is also on a epidemic rise. Adding to our woes our differences in population density, lack of health care infrastructure, poverty, climatic differences, illiteracy, unemployment, migrant worker crisis, different governments in states are limiting factors in our fight against COVID.
Our country is united to face this crisis with visible improvement in recovery rate, lowering of death rates and more rapid detection of cases with good medical management protocols. We still need to overcome the pending issues for a more effective control of this epidemic. Time has come when we all need to join hands together to carefully streamline, plan, implement and follow COVID 19 control measures to win over this crisis.