Globally, the total number of cases continues to rise alarmingly, nearly 400K now. The rise from 300K has been very quick. My prediction of Italy’s new case numbers was spot on
The above proves that a lockdown -even incomplete is important for the control of spread of the virus. Italy went into lockdown on 9th March and exactly 2 weeks later, we have the reduction in numbers. Lesson for all nations- shut down without delay if you are not well prepared.
Today, The idea of our GP clinics team worked well today. The group had made a plan that potentially infectious patients with respiratory symptoms to be brought only after 3 pm so as to minimise the exposure to us and to vulnerable patients like elderly and with past medical problems. Yesterday, I decided that I will call all such patients before they enter the clinic premises. I had realised that most of the patients didnt need to be examined at all. Some needed reassurance and some needed medical certificates to stay off work which were printed and handed over to them in their cars thus minimising our expsoure to them as well to other patients.
Today, other doctors raised the concerns about the exposure to such patients. I told them about what I had done yesterday and we adopted the same idea to be implemented for all doctors. In total. all the 4 doctors had about 30 patients with flu like sympotms but the number of patients who needed to come in to be examined was only 2-3.
The group has incidentally had planned to start the same process from next week when telehealth consultations becomes the norm and all consultations are eligible without any conditions.
Today, the Western Australian government did suggest that a change is on the cards to the testing criteria which might come in force soon. Quite ridiculous that they havent changed since 12th March ( WA had less than 14 cases then) . At the time, it was considered that people returning from overseas were higher risk and so with the shortage of testing kits, they justified the criteria that anyone with symptoms and overseas return in 2 weeks or positive contact with COVID positive case are eligible. Since all of the initial cases identified then were oversease returnees, this set of criteria has been biased towards picking only that cohort for testing and hence , I feel that there are lots of negative results , but if and when the testing criteria are relaxed and people in the community with symptoms are tested , I am sure the numbers will soar.
This is how it is now. If I was an office worker who had a minimal sorethroat and some weakness and have returned from New Zealand on 12th March, I can get tested. But on the other hand, my friend who has been quite unwell with cough, shortness of breath , high grade fever for 2 weeks and who works in a restaurant and who has returned from Sydney last week is not eligible for a test. To put things in perspective, NZ has 155 cases today and NSW has 818 cases. Why the criteria have not changed for so long is beyond me. By the time they detect local cases in community, it might be too late.
Regarding Australia and India , the differences in messsaging and steps taken continue as yesterday.
Scott Morrison continues to give precedence to economy than dealing with the looming health crisis. He states that more restrictions will be in place and indeed some restrictions have been brought about but still lacks the decisive punch that is needed. Schools still remain open, as do supermarkets. ScoMo suggested ” If anyone has a job and is doing it, it is an essential service”. Poor resolve in managing the situation. The chief medical expert Dr Brendan Murphy is weak and seems manipulated to parrot the line of the politiical leadership
On the other hand, India is dealing with things firmly. Several incidents of complete lockdown of day to day activities, exams postponed. No excuses made. NaMo addressed the nation in the evening and ordered a 3 week lockdown and curfew and ordered for everyone to stay at home . ” Jaan hai to jahaan” hai. Loosely translated, it means only if you have a life, then you can enjoy it, -something which the western leaders in UK. Australia and others have taken a long time to realise and still not done.