NEW DELHI, Mar 26: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a nationally known Diabetologist, said here today that Diabetics require extra caution against Corona virus infection.
In an exclusive interview to national TV channel CNN News-18, Dr Jitendra Singh responded to a series of queries on the medical aspects of Corona virus infection, in his capacity as a medical practitioner and a teacher of Medicine for over 30 years.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that Diabetics have an immuno-compromised status which tends to reduce their bodily resistance and make them relatively more vulnerable to such infections as well as the consequent complications. This, he said, leads to an even more vulnerable situation when a patient of Diabetes is also suffering from diabetic complications in the kidney or diabetic nephropathy or a consequent chronic kidney disease.
Corona virus, said Dr Jitendra Singh, like most other viruses, has a self-limiting history of disease, with the only peculiarity that it is comparatively more virulent than most other droplet virus infections. Like many other viral infections, a healthy individual with a good immunity status may get cured without any complications with adequate rest and other measures, but complications including morbidity and mortality tend to occur in patients with Diabetes, chronic kidney disease, other compromising diseases like cancer etc and extremes of age group which include very small children and very elderly citizens, he added.
In response to a question, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the medical fraternity also was taken aback to an extent by the emergence of Corona infection because over the last 30 years, the focus was primarily on the management of Non-Communicable Diseases like Diabetes, Heart Disease, Dyslipidemia, Metabolic Disorders, etc. and there was a certain amount of relief that, by and large, we had conquered the infectious and communicable diseases which were rampant before the advent of antibiotic and antimicrobial drugs. The medical measures of hygiene, cleanliness and resistance building , he said, are to a large extent the same as were being practised in the bygone years for the treatment of diseases like Tuberculosis, Plague, Cholera, etc.
He expressed confidence that the challenge will be overcome, particularly because India has a long history of having overcome several disease epidemics in the past including Small Pox, Tuberculosis, Plague, Cholera. In this context, he referred to the pre-independence epidemic of Cholera following the infamous Bengal famine which had left Rabindra Nath Tagore highly anguished during his last days.
The non- medicinal measures being prescribed against Corona infection are the same which were prescribed in clinical practice till about 30 to 40 years ago, but had somewhat fallen from priority during the intervening years, he said.