The epicenter of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Wuhan which once reported over 1,000 cases a day has gone for six consecutive days without a single positive case. Dr. Gong Zuojiong, the Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Renmin Hospital at Wuhan University gave an interview to an Indian media house on the experience of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite no new cases being confirmed for a while in Wuhan and Hubei Province, the team at Wuhan is continuing to monitor strictly for the further possible infections. Dr. Zuojiong admitted that at the start of the crisis, there was a shortage of hospital beds and even personal protective equipment and because of that, they shifted severe and critical cases to a dedicated hospital.
Bifurcating Patients based on the severity
Addressing the measures needed to prevent contagion, Dr. Zuojiong stressed that managing and controlling transmission is the only way one could stop an outbreak. Breaking the chain is very important. China shifted its mild and moderate patients to a separate hospital which Dr. Zuojiong recommends strongly. Paying attention to severe cases early and isolating them should be the top priority, he said.
Answering the question of whether he would recommend home isolation for mild cases, he said that quarantine and isolation techniques depend on conditions of each country. According to him, for countries China and India where families tend to live together, there are high chances of the virus spreading inside homes.
The Importance of Testing
There has been a lot of questions on India’s testing rate. Speaking on the importance of it, the doctor says that testing more cases is the only way to detect infected ones and isolate them from stopping further infections.
Ending the interview on a positive note, Dr. Zuojiong spoke of a ‘turning point.’ The turning point in Wuhan came at the far end of February when the cases suddenly began dipping. Calling it a crisis for humanity and asked the world to be united at these times. He also wished India would overcome the crisis very soon and is confident of it happening soon.