Srinagar: The doctors and experts on Friday said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has entered into the third and dangerous phase, saying that the government should reconsider its decision of giving relaxations in the lockdown, imposed in wake of the deadly COVID-19 outbreak.
While talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) the ongoing phase of COVID cannot claim the lives of elderly only, but the young people having no comorbidities can also fall prey to it.
Professor Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent at SKIMS said that the condition has changed here as more and more people even young are becoming victims of COVID-19 due to the reason that people don’t take precautions seriously.
“We have many patients here who are on oxygen support. But, those patients have other ailments as well,” he said, adding that anyone can become a victim of COVID-19 if precautions aren’t followed in letter in spirit.
“At SKIMS, we have mostly elderly patients but young people too have started coming and more surge in the number of positive cases can affect our services in coming days,” he added.
Dr. Tabasum, Deputy Medical Superintendent at JLNM hospital Srinagar said that earlier they were receiving asymptomatic patients only but now mostly symptomatic patients are being admitted to the hospital. “We are in the third and dangerous phase of COVID-19 and if people will not take precautions seriously, the results will be worse,” she said.
Dr Shifa Deva, Medical Superintendent at SKIMS Bemina (JVC) said that young people are tested positive as they don’t report their symptoms on time and they only report it when the viral load is very high.
Moreover, she said the sudden saturation loss is another reason that young people are becoming victims of COVID-19.
Dr Khurshid, leading Pulmonologist at CD hospital told KNO that COVID-19 is like any other infectious disease and can be fatal even to those who are fit and healthy, though their percentage remains small.
“The age of a patient increases the risk of death but that doesn’t mean if you are fit and healthy, you can’t die,” he said, adding that “You don’t need to be over 60 and with uncontrolled diabetes to die due to COVID. But, if you are young and continuously exposed to the infection, you can die due to it.”
He added that undiagnosed medical conditions in COVID-19 patients were the reason for growing deaths. “It is very unlikely that the virus will cause mortality among the healthy. For those below 60 years, there is more probability of undiagnosed co-morbid conditions,” he said, adding that besides the mandatory CT chest scan, abdominal examinations must be conducted to check out any hidden medical factors that can lead to the death of a young patient.
“Even at the time of admission, each patient should be diagnosed for any hidden undiagnosed condition,” he told KNO. “Those who are symptomatic should report earlier, and get treatment. They will be ok,” he said.
“The fever as well as the throat infection should not be taken lightly. At this juncture, fever, throat infection and a contact history should be given importance and if anyone has a cough and respiratory distress, they should immediately seek medical attention. Physical distancing and wearing face masks are essential to prevent getting infected,” he said.
However, he warned, “If someone is young, ignores his symptoms, stays at home and comes at the time when he is very ill, he may die. So, what people need to understand is that irrespective of the age, people who are young are less likely to die. But you still need to seek medical care to ensure everything is alright.”
He further stated that COVID-19 cannot be generalized as this disease behaves different way in different patients. “Young people roam freely in different areas daily and later meet their elders, thereby exposing them to COVID-19,” he said adding that “we are in the critical phase of COVID-19 and authorities must reconsider its decision of giving relaxation in the lockdown.”
“Before sometime, 10 out of 100 patients had requirement of oxygen. But at present, the condition is so severe that out of 100, around 80 patients are being oxygen support. These people take very much time in recovery and occupy beds for long time and if condition remains same, there will be a dearth of beds to treat more patients, which can collapse the health care facilities,” he added.
COVID-19 can also cause cytokine storm in young patients, which is over reaction of patient’s immune system to fight the infection, he said.
“Cytokine can cause high fevers, respiratory distress and lung damage in some individuals and can even be fatal. COVID can cause multi-organ dysfunction, resembling sepsis probably because of the cytokine storm, which is uncommon but is happening,” he said.
Some of the major causes of death among the majority of COVID-19 patients who had no pre-existing conditions, is respiratory failure, hypoxia and pneumonia.
“The Coronavirus has an affinity for the lungs. So, viral load has a direct impact on the lungs and those who are affected get lung infection. The young people should be aware of any respiratory distress and immediately take an X-ray and CT and check oxygen saturation,” he said, adding that the chain smokers in particular are susceptible to COVID-19 and young patients can also die of hypoxia that is low levels of oxygen in the blood—(KNO)