Covid-19: Patients With No Symptoms,”Hidden Carriers”, A Growing Concern.

It has been found out that about 69% of the coronavirus cases in India who were tested didn’t actually show any symptoms. This is an extremely deadly thing associated with the virus. People who are “silent carriers” or “hidden transferrers” are one of the biggest concerns. They are having regular medicines for the symptom they are facing without getting the covid-19 test done. They are openly spreading the disease. This is one of the major reasons for the wide spread of this virus. Worldwide data showed that 80% of total coronavirus cases had no or mild COVID-19 symptoms, health ministry said.

“Among the total coronavirus tests conducted so far in India, 69% were asymptomatic and 31% were symptomatic. Which means for one positive patient when we initiated contact tracing, on average we found two asymptomatic patients,” ICMR’s head of epidemiology and communicable diseases Raman Gangakhedkar said.

In Uttar Pradesh, about 75% of the cases did not show any symptoms. The health ministry is trying to work out for this so that major people are saved from the silent and hidden carriers. If there is an asymptomatic case in a field with high risk and direct contact, then that sample is also being collected for testing. “This way we are able to identify infected patients in early stage, treat them and reduce mortality,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, health ministry.

The only way to come out of this issue is by testing more and more people. ICMR last updated its testing strategy for COVID-19 patients in India on April 9. The revised strategy mentioned that asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between “day 5 and day 14” of coming in his or her contact. Privatisation of testing is also a good measure which was taken up by the government. But a certain number of issues prevail in this ideology. Private labs are only contributing about 16% to the total tests being done in the country.

Issues and solutions for the private lenders can be attributed by the following pointers:

  • The major issue being faced by the private industries is of economies of scale. There aren’t just enough people coming in for the testing which makes it impossible for the private industries to operate at a feasible rate of return. “The private laboratories are facing a few challenges. With advance payments becoming a norm for all manufacturers and suppliers and deferred payments from hospitals (both private and government), there is a cost pressure. So smaller standalone laboratories are facing challenges in terms of cost and their ability to scale up consequently.”
  • One other way out of pulling up the private laboratories is that the government can cap a price lower than Rs4500 so that more and more people can afford the testing and come towards the private sector. There are state governments like Karnataka which have capped the price at Rs 2,250. So, the price pressure is on private laboratories.
  • Time consuming process for being tested at the private labs has been set up by the government. For being tested, one needs to have an ICMR form which is authorised by a doctor. These instructions aren’t very clear and during these times of distress, people often find it a task to actually physically go to a doctor and get the signature done.

Overall, the patients coming in at the diagnostic centres has dwindled over the lockdown period. The patients who want to come for covid-19 tests are also less because of the issues listed above.

The only way out to be safe and sound from any sort of carriers is by modes of social distancing. Everyone must stay home and follow the rules. Regular sanitation of homes must be ensured to reduce the chances of virus breeding in the neighbourhood. People can opt for virtual means of doing things instead of physical means.

Together we can come forward and come out of this pandemic only if we follow the measures prescribed by the medical authorities.

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