Dr Asim Kichloo is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Central Michigan University. He basically belongs to Jammu and Kashmir, and has been practicing in USA for past 10 years. He shared his personal experience where he has treated about 500 corona positive patient with a success rate of 99.6%.
A telephonic interview with NLC Editor Shivendra Pandey with Dr. Asim Kichloo:
Q1. How was your personal experience of treating Covid-19 patients so far? Can you tell us about the signs that appear in a Covid1-19 patient and what are the potential solutions to control it?
A. In my personal experience, I have treated approximately 500 patients till now, out of which only 2 deaths were reported and the deceased were senior citizens about the age of 75 which also shifts our focus to the symptoms of covid-19 that I noticed, have mostly been observed in senior citizens with low immunity level and in patients of chronic diseases like sugar, BP, hypertension. So, basically the senior citizens with low immunity levels and chronic diseases need to be more careful and take imperative measures. Rest of the Covid-19 patients under my observation, are recovering at good pace. More than 100 people have fully recovered and discharged as well. My treatment success rate is 98.5 percent.
Q2. Every top medical university and research centers are working untiringly round the clock for developing a Covid-19 vaccine. Do you have any ideas or can anticipate how much time will it take to develop the vaccine and make it available in the public domain?
A. Look, developing a vaccine is a very thoroughgoing process. Involving many steps, first, we need to examine the behavior of the virus, its characteristics and weaknesses. Then it is tested upon animals and if successful is injected in humans. Later, the side effects and improvisations are listed. There are lot of improvisations required to develop the final vaccine that will cure the disease without any side effects on physical and mental health of the patient. Undertaking this entire process approximately requires a time span of 10-12 months. Till then, we need to keep following the lockdown rules, stay at home and maintain social distancing as suggested by the government of all countries.
Q3. Primary, secondary, tertiary or education, there’s hardly any sector that remains unaffected by the pandemic which has brought everything to halt. So, do you have any idea how can we normalize production and education amid this acute situation?
A. This is the major challenge that every country has to overcome. And as I am from medical background so I have nothing much to say about how to overcome production and import –export problem but I am sure that GOI will find a solution to these problems very soon. Speaking of education, almost every country is switching to virtual/online education that will prevent from loosening its grip on students. And very soon, in a month or two, schools/colleges will be reopened with precautionary measures to follow like social distancing, wearing masks, and gloves and usage of sanitizer at proper intervals.
Q4. How do you contemplate the current situation of a fully developed country like USA and a developing country like India? And how come an advanced nation like America reported 80,000 deaths that approximately equals to total number of positive cases in India?
A. Now that’s a very important and genuine question, India is doing far better than any other country in this world. I view this case in two aspects,
Firstly, its contact tracing, which involves tracing of infected people and the people who came in contact with the ones infected. As it was already clear that no one has the cure to this virus, India did an exemplary job by taking the measures at early stage and isolating and quarantined the infected patients and the ones who came in their contact. This step helped a lot to control the outbreak of this contagious virus in India. India is performing extraordinary. But considering the statistics, the concept is totally different in America. In America, the frequency of Covid-19 testing is much higher as compared to India. For example, more than 40 percent of total population in America has been tested for Covid-19 out of which 1.4 million people have been tested positive with 80,000 deaths reported but if we consider India’s scenario, we counter that not even 5% of total population has been tested for the virus. So, the statistics published by ministry of health, GOI are under suspect. More the number of testing more will be the number of positive cases. If India also emphasizes on extensive tests then the number of positive cases will increase gradually as there are symptomatic patients who tend to be physically doing well but after diagnosing they are found positive with Covid-19.
Q6. It was pleasure hosting you sir. Time has called us to bring this conversation to an end but before that can you please suggest our readers some guidelines to be patient whilst this situation of acute pandemic comes under control?
A. yes, it was pleasure talking to you as well. I just have three major advices to give:
1. Topmost to please make sure, if anyone near you is even slightly sick or suffering with any disease, they are still humans and we are too, so as our moral responsibility, we will need to treat them with politeness and hospitality because people in isolation or quarantine are sometimes disguised by their moral values, their future planning is collapsing and at times they don’t eat and become anxious about the situation but if we treat them with better words and compassion, they will get hope which will help them recover.
2. Don’t hide your symptoms because this will put you and your family in danger and also the ones who will come in your contact.
3. Please do not make this disease a stigma, one day we will and this whole world together will conquer this pandemic. Do not disguise the infected patients. Rather support them, make them feel alive. There is lot to come.