We have to focus on the seriousness of COVID-19 in India: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
The virus is spreading and we will have to pay attention to its seriousness, i.e. how many critical cases do we have, how many people do we have in ICU and ventilators because it will allow us to know about the kind of pressure on the hospitals.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Limited, talks about the impact of COVID-19 and India’s preparedness to deal with it during an interview with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business. Edited Excerpts:
Q: How do you feel the kind of impact of the coronavirus, COVID-19, will have on India and what is your assessment of coronavirus?
A: The virus is spreading and we will have to pay attention to its seriousness, i.e. how many critical cases do we have, how many people do we have in ICU and ventilators because it will allow us to know about the kind of pressure on the hospitals. We have seen globally that the hospitals have been overwhelmed as the number of serious cases has increased in those countries. However, the cases haven’t increased in India but we will have to pay attention to it because there is an increase in testing numbers. When it comes to testing than I would like to say that it is very important to test high-risk population, which will let us know that the number of critical cases is not huge than I think it will give us confidence that we can manage the disease in the hospitals. But it will turn difficult to deal with the crisis if the numbers are high. That’s why there is a need for testing and data.
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Q: How much ready you feel India is in terms of medical instrument, test kits, medicines and other health facilities?
A: We all have been connected - amid this 21-day-long lockdown - in regard to preparedness. And, we have heard that Apollo Hospital has announced a very good model, named ‘Project Stay I’ (Stay Isolated) in which hotels and hospitals are partnering with each other in which mild patients will be kept in the rooms that will be converted into something like nursing homes. Those patients will be moved to the hospitals once their symptoms start getting severe. So, this step-up model is a very good model as it will minimise the burden on the hospitals. Secondly, I think, the problems associated with kits have been solved because our indigenous kit manufacturers like Mylab and others have tried to get it done.
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And, Mylab has introduced its kits in the market, which has strengthened our testing facility. Apart from this, when it comes to ventilators, PPPs and masks than the companies who can manufacture them are successfully engaged in it. Companies like Arvind, Skanray, Maruti and Mahindra among others are trying their best to manufacture ventilators. I think in 21 days, our preparedness will be enough for the purpose in these 21 days.