Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that while the whole world used to be eagerly waiting for a Covid-19 vaccine, it used to be important that a VIP category used to be not created in India for its delivery. He said corona warriors and vulnerable citizens must be on top of the precedence list for vaccine administration, which must not be “political” in nature.
“There must be no VIP or non-VIP category for vaccine delivery. Everyone is equal and everyone’s life is important. We must vaccinate corona warriors first in order that they are able to serve the infected with greater confidence and vulnerable citizens must possibly come next in precedence, followed by people with comorbidities. We must have such categories which are technical in nature relatively than political in nature,” said Kejriwal while making it lucid that the vaccination strategy maybe will be drawn by the Centre at a national level.
He made the comments while in conversation with HT’s executive editor Kunal Pradhan for 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Friday evening.
Commenting on the uncertainties faced in this fight against the coronavirus, the Delhi chief minister added that the disease containment efforts have had to confront unique challenges since the properties of the virus in large part remained unknown.
Citing a very powerful example, he said Sero surveys conducted in the capital had thrown up findings showing people with Covid-19 antibodies– regarded as a measure of disease prevalence– have decreased over the years. He said experts are now saying that Covid antibodies subside or die after some time in retrieved patients.
“The Sero surveys being conducted now reveal a lesser percentage of people with Covid-19 antibodies. This is a very surprising finding. Doctors are now claiming that people lose antibodies after a few months of their recovery. No one used to be aware of this character of Covid earlier.”
The result of the fourth round of sero surveys show that 25.5% of the about 15,000 people tested in the capital possessed Covid-19 antibodies. The tests were carried out in the third week of October. The results are near-identical to those of the third round, covering around 17,000 people, conducted in the first week of September, which showed that antibodies were present in 25.1% of the people surveyed. The second one round (around 15,000 were tested in August) showed that 29.1% of the people surveyed had antibodies. And the first round, in late June and early July, found them in 22.6% of the 21,000 people surveyed.
Kejriwal, alternatively, said that as of now, there used to be no evidence that people were getting infected twice. He added that experts don’t realize whether cured people can get re-infected after they lose their antibodies.
“Corona used to be a new virus for the whole world, while some said it lasts for 10 days; others said 14 days. Even now, people don’t know it very mannered. We see gentle cases without symptoms and however, there are several such patients, who develop a patch in their lungs because of the disease, which lasts more than four months,” he said.
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Kejriwal said that the high infection rate of the disease used to be its most challenging aspect.
“The infection rate of this disease is most challenging. This disease spreads so quickly that whether you aren’t on your toes all day then suddenly you find that your constitution collapses,” the CM said.
He said they learnt from the experiences worldwide to realise that the health infrastructure would easily crumble whether all Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, which is where the concept that of home isolation proved to be a big breakthrough in Covid-19 disease management.
“Whether you don’t manage the spread of the disease and remedy of patients mannered then the situation will turn explosive. We saw examples of several countries and realised that whether a lot of these patients came to our hospitals then our hospitals will be unable to cater,” he said and added that home isolation strategy also helped in reducing the number of deaths.
He also said that the nationwide lockdown used to be imposed at the correct time and it gave time to governments to prepare the health infrastructure to care for Covid-19.
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He also credited the so-called Delhi Mannequin—testing, tracing, monitoring–touted as one of the crucial best for Covid-19 containment.
“The main components of the Delhi mannequin continue to exist even today. We have been in a position to regulate the disease because of the same principles. Despite 8,593 Covid-19 cases seen on November 11 in Delhi, whether we are in a position to deal with the number of beds and ICU units (that we have got to be had) then it shows that the fundamentals of that Delhi mannequin are still working,” he said.
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Kejriwal also ruled out any complacency in government’s approach despite pressure from different quarters that couldn’t foresee the return of waves of the disease to the capital.