HYDERABAD: Director of public health Dr G Srinivas Rao has advised a week’s complete isolation for all political leaders, party workers and those actively involved in campaigning for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections amid fears of a spread of SARS-Cov 2 infection that causes Covid-19.
Road shows, padayatras and public meetings led to gatherings of a large number of people from the city and outside. People were very close to each other and on many occasions, Covid protocol was given the go-by. There was also a lot of movement of leaders from different states to the city, which also allowed movement of viruses and its subsequent transmission.
The fatigue felt by all those involved in electioneering could lead to an immune-compromised state besides being a slip for the virus to attack. Dr Prabhu C, senior consultant, who has treated more than 1,000 Covid-19 patients, says, “The road shows have allowed the spread of the infection. We will see a rise in positive cases in GHMC limits within the next 10-15 days. It is best that they quarantine themselves for the next 15 days. The spread of the infection can be curtailed if they isolate themselves from their family members.”
Experts state that those who are immune-compromised like suffering from diabetes, heart problems and respiratory diseases will be more vulnerable. Symptoms of severe fatigue, restlessness, breathing problems, wheezing, loss of smell and taste, cough, cold and fever must be tested. Those who have been active participants in the election process must remember that it is this act of theirs that has caused these symptoms, stated health officials on condition of anonymity.
Dr Srinivas Rao says, “We are no exception to the virus. Telangana has the lowest number of active cases at 9,266 and lowest mortality rate at 0.53 percent. We have the highest recovery rate of 96.03 percent. Given that the cold season will intensify and the impact of GHMC elections, have made us issue these preventive guidelines. Anyone having symptoms must get tested almost immediately.”
The department has also urged people not to come out unless absolutely necessary. They have asked people to follow protocols and stay safe as their laxity could cause a second wave of coronavirus pandemic.
Medical experts state that public health department advisory is too late as already a lot of damage has been done. A senior doctor, on condition of anonymity, wonders, “Why did they allow the elections in the first place? Wasn’t health a priority then? What purpose will this advice serve as many are already exposed. Only those who are immunologically strong will have mild symptoms while others will require healthcare support and treatment.”