Avoiding public gatherings matters most: Dr Madan Gunasekaran on Corona outbreak

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On March 22nd, India witnessed a mass shutdown, Janata Curfew based on the instructions of PM Modi.

PM Modi also spoke about social distancing and urged all the people to clap hands, bang the vessels and applaud the efforts of the workers, especially, doctors who are working tirelessly to make sure that the public is safe from the Coronavirus outbreak.

Government is also taking the necessary steps by ordering the lockdown in major places to avoid public gatherings.

The interstate buses, metros and the trains will not run till 31st March, and this might extend if the outbreak goes out of control. People are asked to stay safe inside the house and are advised to leave only in case of emergency.

So, How is the Government is working on everything? Can this outbreak reach stage 3?

We had Dr Madan Gunasekaran answering a few questions.

Janata Curfew. The applause. How do you feel about it?

It is a good gesture for the doctors. It was nice to see. Thanks for the gratitude the people showed towards us. However, from the doctor’s point of view, what matters the most is that avoiding public and mass gatherings. It will be great if people can stay indoors as much as possible. If people can understand the threat of this outbreak, I don’t think they will be going out, and they would avoid mass gatherings.

Even today, I watched a few videos where people gathered to clap or celebrate during the curfew. They even had procession. To be honest, it hurts.

Recently, we read an article about how people in healthcare are getting affected while treating the patients. Do Government in India is taking good care of the doctors here?

It is more about self-care. We can and are doing our best. If things are bound to happen it will. Of course, Government is taking necessary steps, but the concern over the public is more than concern towards doctors and is okay… Understandable. It is more of a self-care and self-protection for the doctors.

We feel that the Government is suppressing the exact number of affected people, the death rate in order to avoid unnecessary panic because we did different numbers on different websites. Is it true?

Well, Doctors do not know the exact number of the same. We don’t have access to the data even to our neighbouring hospitals. So whatever the number the Government is giving us is the statistics.

While the Government is taking the right measure now, do you think there will be a rapid increase in the number in upcoming weeks?

Of course, yes. 100 per cent. There is going to be a massive rise in the numbers. I’m not talking about any state alone but the whole of India. Today alone there was close to 100 reported cases. If you look into the statistics, during the third week, Italy also had the same numbers, but in the upcoming weeks, they had a rapid increase, something around 20,000. So, the chances are high that India might face a rapid increase in numbers.

He signs off. (Excerpts)

So, the results are not looking great for the country, and as PM Modi said, this is just the beginning of the challenge, and we have a long way to go. If we are together in this, we certainly can fight it out. Let us avoid public gathering and let us go out only if it is really necessary. This is the only way for us all to fight it out. Let’s do this.