The COVID-19 crisis of the early 2020 was a devastating pandemic across the globe. After origin from China it quickly affected almost all countries of the world. India was not spared either.
As a resident doctor in the city of Kolkata I had the privilege to experience the pandemic up close. I decided to record the Indian side of the story in a book series.
There would have to be multiple books in the series as I intended to record the events in real time.
The first book is titled —
COVID-19 Crisis of India: A Doctor's Perspective
Book 1: Dec'19 - Apr'20
The book narrates the story of the COVID-19 pandemic in India from the origin of the disease up to April 14, 2020. The book is written for everyone including medical and non-medical persons alike. On one hand it has technical information about the recent developments, on the other hand it keeps the use of medical jargons at a minimum and whenever a technical term is used it is immediately followed by an easy to understand explanation.
The sample pdf can also be downloaded from here.
The book has been published at Pothi.com and is available as downloadable PDF. Head over there to get your copy.
The book will soon be published in paperback as well. Keep in touch to stay updated regrading the book.
Keep in Touch
For regular updates about the book follow me on Twitter @DrAgnibho
The book also has its own Facebook page. You can join by visiting the link here.
Reading a book is not just about listening to the author's thoughts, it's about expressing your own too. I would also love to hear about what you have to say in this matter. So please consider taking the survey below —
COVID-19 Crisis of India
If you have any question about the book, please ask in the comments. I'll be happy to answer them according to my capabilities.
April 25, 2020
Questions and answers started.
April 20, 2020
Published on Pothi.com
April 14, 2020
Book finished. Formatting started.
Questions and Answers
- Some people have had a second episode of COVID-19 after recovery. Do we know the reason?
- The leading opinion is that these patients didn't really recover, instead they were just having a fluctuation in the level of the virus, causing the RT-PCR to come false negative for a time.
- After an infection by the SARS-COV-2 how long the protective immunity will last?
- No data is available till now. Some scanty data is available about the SARS epidemic of 2002 and it shows that in case of SARS-COV the immunity might have lasted for about a year.
- There have been two corona virus outbreaks before. Could we develop vaccines then and if we did can it be used against this corona virus?
- We developed vaccines for both SARS and MERS but both vaccines showed unacceptable hypersensitivity reactions. Further refining of the vaccines were put on hold as the outbreaks were over by then. We can't use these vaccines against SARS-COV-2 as this new virus has sufficient antigenic difference to its predecessors.
- What's the difference between Spanish Flu and Swine Flu since both of them are H1N1 subtype?
- They are of the same subtype but have some difference in their genomes. Both of their genome sequences are available in the Genbank, you can look them up.Genome sequencing is not my specialty, a virologist may be of more help.
- Can droplets be produced while talking?
- Most certainly. NEJM has a video demonstration regarding this.
- Does mask help in inadvertently touching your face? Does it help with asymptomatic carriers?
- [As of April 25, 2020] Studies about COVID-19 transmission regarding face masks have only been done with medical grade masks. Every recommendation regarding cloth masks is based on pure hypothesis. There is no data regarding cloth mask in the community. The only study that compared cloth masks with medical grade masks found cloth masks to be grossly inadequate.
- Should India have instituted the travel ban earlier?
- Probably. But only a post pandemic analysis of different countries might reveal the relative efficiency of outbreak control measures. I haven't come across any such analysis yet.
- Can training the ASHA workers better be helpful in slowing down the pandemic?
- Yes, of course. But better raining requires better resources and resources are scarce in a pandemic. So a fine balance is needed between training and services.
- How long the Cochrane library be free?
- On March 26, Cochrane Library was declared to be open for all considering the ongoing pandemic. They didn't mention for how long but an educated guess could be for the duration of the pandemic.
- Is Solidarity trial still looking into hydroxychloroquine considering the recent reports of increased mortality?
- Yes, hydroxychloroquine is still part of the Solidarity trial. Although the available evidence indicates that hydroxychloroquine may have limited utility in COVID-19, as of now the Solidarity trial is in favor of collecting further data.
- Can mouth rinsing with warm water be useful?
- This is not evidence based medicine. This is pure conjecture. That's all I have to say about it.
The next book of the series will be —
COVID-19 Crisis of India: A Doctor's Perspective
Book 2: Apr'20 -
It will continue the story of COVID-19 pandemic after the first book, starting from April 15, 2020 onwards.