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Data on mild, moderate cases of COVID-19 vital too, says Assam doctor in letter to Modi

A Guwahati-based doctor has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking data on mild and moderate cases of novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection, which he said was equally important for proper scientific assessment of the impact of the virus.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Krishanu Krori, a general medicine practitioner, said the number of positive cases and deaths were being updated periodically in the public domain.

“There is no count of mild, moderate or critical cases, or the number of cases in the ICU, to give a fair and scientific assessment of the impact of the virus to you or the people at large. Every hour, the number rises by one, two or 10, 20 and thus creating panic among the people, who are not aware that an overwhelming majority of positive cases are having mild symptoms,” he said.

Dr. Krori rued the lack of information on the health background and age of the people dying of COVID-19, while pointing out that people suffering from other ailments were not being able to get proper treatment.

“All the attention, resources and effort of the government and the media are focussed on one virus and one infectious disease and all other serious ailments, infectious or otherwise, are being ignored,” he said.

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Dr. Krori suggested a re-examination and rationalisation of the 21-day lockdown, imposed since the midnight of March 24.

“The economy, which was not doing great, is suffering a severe beating, with millions of poor people rendered jobless and businesses shut down,” he said, underlining why a targeted lockdown and development of a protocol for protecting the vulnerable sections of the population was necessary till a vaccine is available.

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He identified the elderly, diabetics, people with cancer and lung, kidney and heart diseases as the most vulnerable.

Media coverage

Dr. Krori also underscored the need for the Prime Minister to let the electronic media tone down their “high-voltage schizophrenic coverage” of the pandemic and related issues.

Half the battle against the pandemic, he said, would be won if the coverage was toned down and the channels told to “treat this epidemic as any other”. This, he asserted, would go a long way in easing lockdown and take the country on the path to normalcy.

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