Following a spike in Covid-19 deaths, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Friday said most of those who died were above 60 and had been suffering from comorbidities including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and COPD.
President DAK, Dr Suhail Naik said elderly people are at high risk of coronavirus infection due to their decreased immunity and body reserves, as well as multiple associated co-morbidities.
“Researches across the globe in the past three months have consistently shown that the infection affects people differently based on their age and pre-existing health conditions,” he said.
Naik said analyzing data and putting it into perspective “we have observed that 65 among 71 persons who have died of Covid-19 in J&K were above 60 and had been suffering from co-morbidities.”
As per the census of 2011, the population of ten districts of Kashmir is around 40 Lakh and around 8.4 % of people (that is 3,36000) are more than 60 years.
While analyzing various research papers published from Kashmir, he said that they have come to conclusion that among 3,36000 people, 5 % (1,6800) are diabetic, 40 % (134, 400) are hypertensive, 15 % (50,400) have chronic obstructive lung disease, and 15 % (15,400) of people suffering from cancers and chronic kidney disease.
“Many among them are suffering from a combination of the above diseases and making them vulnerable for infection and hospitalization and mortality. Therefore this cohort is our high-risk population and we must take intimate care for them,” Naik said.
He said research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, for example, argues that the maximum death rate of Covid-19 in the under-60 population could be 1.5 percent.
“The infection fatality rate for Covid-19 patients aged 60 and above, based on the same parameters, could be as high as 12 percent,” the DAK president said.
He said that shielding elderly particularly, is the next logical step in strategy and it is one that could have far-reaching benefits.
The doctor’s body advised senior citizens to stay home, avoid visitors, maintain one-meter distance if necessary and remain active and do light exercise and meditation.
DAK after consulting senior doctors across Kashmir hospitals has issued does and don’ts for the elderly people who are susceptible to the coronavirus infection.
1. Stay at home, avoid meeting visitors, if a meeting is essential, maintain a distance of one meter.
2. Wash your hands and face at regular intervals with soap and water.
3. Sneeze and cough either into your elbow or into tissue paper/handkerchief. After coughing or sneezing dispose of the tissue paper/wash your handkerchief.
4. Ensure proper nutrition through home-cooked fresh hot meals, hydrate frequently and take fresh juices to boost immunity.
5. Exercise and meditate.
6. Take your daily prescribed medicines regularly.
7. Talk to your family members (not staying with you), relatives, friends via call or video conferencing, take help from family members if needed.
8. Postpone your elective surgeries (if any) like cataract surgery or total knee replacement.
9. Clean frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant regularly.
10. Monitor your health. If you develop fever, cough or breathing difficulty immediately contact nearby health facility and follow medical advice.
1. Don’t cough or sneeze into your bare hands or without covering your face.
2. Don’t go near your contacts if you are suffering from fever and cough.
3. Don’t touch your eyes, face, nose, and tongue.
4. Don’t go near affected/sick people .
5. Don’t self-medicate, seek the consultation of doctor.
6. Don’t shake hands or hug your friends and near ones.
7. Don’t go to the hospital for a routine check-up or follow up. As far as possible make teleconsultation with your healthcare provider.
8. Don’t go to crowded places like parks, markets and religious places.
9. Don’t go out unless it is absolutely essential.
DAK stressed that most important is to inform health care providers if you develop symptoms like fever with cough, fever and/or shortness of breath.