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Neglecting non-corona patients is unacceptable

Neglecting non-corona patients is unacceptable

The sad demise of actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor has reminded us a few facts of life—and death. First, there is more to life than pandemic and lockdown; there is cinema, cinema stars, their glamorous lives, the gossip linked to them. Also, we suddenly realized that there are non-Covid diseases in the world. Cancer, for instance, which killed the two actors.

Unfortunately, we have been neglecting non-Covid ailments for months now. Such patients have been deferring their regular medical check-ups. Besides, the lockdown can’t be very good for mental health.

Most doctors have asked patients to avoid coming to the clinics for physical check-ups until it is an emergency. But how does one know if it’s an emergency? Often people with heart or kidney problems do not understand the gravity of the situation until they have visited a doctor.

In our fight to handle the spread of the novel coronavirus, we have surely neglected patients with other health conditions. Most hospitals have shut down their out patient department (OPD) wards. Many hospitals have closed their dentistry and ophthalmology departments. People are suffering from paranoia in meeting each other or vising a clinic.

Patients and senior citizens with other medical conditions have had to bear the maximum brunt.

At present, India has over 37,000 coronavirus cases across the country. Even after a national lockdown of over a month, the coronavirus cases are increasing and they will as the number of tests increases. So, if we are hoping that the disease will disappear, we are mistaken. The disease, as many have pointed out, is here to stay.

Since end of March, things have come to a standstill and the only focus for the country has been Covid-19. Can we continue like this long?

The country has been divided into different zones, depending on the number of cases, red being most afflicted area. While the government has eased the lockdown especially for the orange and green zones, there is no reason why hospitals and clinics should not operate normally and open up every department.

Life has to bounce back to normal. In fighting Covid-19 alone, we may get into another kind of health emergency, which must be avoided at all costs..