Remdesivir Not A “Magic Bullet”: Three Doctors Address COVID-19 Concerns

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Doctors address COVID-19 concerns: Three doctors from various hospitals addressed issues and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news agency Asian News International (ANI) posted the doctor’s address on their Twitter page. It consisted of statements by Dr Randeep Guleria of AIIMS, Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Health, and Dr Naresh Trehan of Medanta.

10 key points to note:

  1. Dr Naresh Trehan stated that the first thing a COVID-19 positive person needs to do is contact a doctor. Based on the doctor’s medical opinion, the next step towards recovery can be taken.
  2. A person should isolate themselves instead of immediately rushing to the hospital. Dr Randeep Guleria stated that a “Majority of people don’t need to panic. They can home isolate themselves… Very few will actually need to come to the hospital.”Dr Trehan stated that since there is a shortage of hospital beds and few people need to hospitalised, the available hospital beds must be utilised “judiciously and with responsibility.”
  3. Dr Devi Shetty said that if any person has any symptom, they should get themselves tested as soon as possible. He added that until a person got the results, they should self isolate just in case. If a person does test positive, they need to isolate themselves, wear a mask if they live with others, and check their oxygen saturation level every six hours. After checking oxygen saturation, a person should take a six-minute walk and check their oxygen saturation again.
  4. Oxygen saturation can be checked using pulse oximeters, which Dr Shetty described as not expensive and reliable.
  5. If a person’s oxygen saturation remains above 94 percent, then there is no need to worry, according to the doctor. But if the oxygen saturation level falls then the doctor should be informed. Dr Shetty also mentioned that getting the right treatment at the right time is imperative. He said that getting “appropriate treatment at the right time can save your life”.
  6. Dr Guleria stated that more than 85 percent of COVID-19 positive people can recover without any specific treatment in the form of Remdesivir or other drugs. Most people can recover from COVID-19 by staying hydrated, taking paracetamol, exercising regularly and taking vitamins. He said that only a small percentage of people will require drugs like Remdesivir. Dr Guleria added that Remdesivir should not be considered as a “magic bullet” as it has only been shown to decrease hospital stay.
  7. When Dr Trehan spoke about Remdesivir, he stated that not everyone that tests positive for COVID-19 needs Remdesivir.
  8. Dr Trehan advised COVID-19 positive people to self-isolate. If they do not have space in their own homes to isolate themselves, then they could go to quarantine centres. A person can be admitted, isolated, and monitored in a quarantine centre.
  9. Wearing a mask is a person’s duty, the first line of defence against COVID-19, and the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus, they said.
  10. If people continue wearing masks, maintain social distancing, don’t form crowds, and stay indoors for the next few weeks, then the number of cases will come.