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 Table of Contents  
EDITORIAL
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 19-20

Protecting Rural India from COVID-19: Second wave 2021


Director, Institute of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission24-May-2021
Date of Decision30-May-2021
Date of Acceptance15-Jun-2021
Date of Web Publication23-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Raman Kumar
Institute of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jssrp.jssrp_12_21

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  Abstract 


The population of India is 1.380 billion. Sixty-five percent of the Indian population lives in rural habitat. However, the healthcare facilities are largely concentrated in urban areas. The first peak of the COVID pandemic peaked in September 2020 gradually declining till mid-February 2021. Rural India has often travel to urban centers for treatment and disease management. The second wave started in March and peaked with a daily number ranging more than 400,000 till May 10th. It is now spreading into rural India. The culture of access to healthcare among rural populations is different from the urban areas. Facilities and infrastructure are also scarce as compared to the urban areas.


How to cite this article:
Kumar R. Protecting Rural India from COVID-19: Second wave 2021. J Surg Spec Rural Pract 2021;2:19-20

How to cite this URL:
Kumar R. Protecting Rural India from COVID-19: Second wave 2021. J Surg Spec Rural Pract [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 19];2:19-20. Available from: https://jssrp.org/text.asp?2021/2/2/19/324480




  COVID: Second Wave and Rural India Top


The population of India is 1.380 billion. Sixty-five percent of the Indian population lives in rural habitat. However, the healthcare facilities are largely concentrated in urban areas. The first peak of the COVID pandemic peaked in September 2020 gradually declining till mid-February 2021. The second wave started in March and peaked with a daily number ranging more than 400,000 till May 10. The numbers of cases have since started to decline; however, the cases are increasing more in the rural areas. The spike was so sudden and unexpected that it challenged the resources in the urban areas. Rural India has often traveled to urban centers for treatment and disease management. The morbidity spectrum of COVID is wide mostly presenting as febrile illness and respiratory symptoms. However, with a high mortality rate.


  Management of COVID in Primary Care Top


The management of COVID illness is not so difficult in primary care, but healthcare workers need to be equipped with the right skills and basic skills. Identifying symptoms and red flags is important in clinical management and saving lives. The course of illness is mostly 2 weeks and managing inflammation in the 2nd week is life-saving. Basic information needs to be provided and misconceptions regarding illness should be dispelled. The culture of access to healthcare among rural populations is different from the urban areas. Basic types of equipment such as thermometer and pulse oximeter are necessary for evaluation and self-monitoring in-home quarantine. However, these may not be easily available in rural areas of India. Febrile illness is the most common morbidity in India; however, the gravity and life-threatening condition may be unknown to in the rural areas. However, the course of illness is long and requires regular physical evaluation.


  Role of Governance and Healthcare Facilities Top


Local governance and panchayats have to play a very important role in the management of the pandemic. ASHA workers can be equipped with basic management skills for COVID. Rural schools can be converted into quarantine centers. Rural community health centers and primary health centers need to be strengthened with observation beds and oxygen facilities. Availability of basic drugs for inflammation management of COVID; both steroidal and nonsteroidal drugs are essential for lifesaving depending upon the course of illness among individuals and severity of illness. The ambulance and referral system with district hospitals need to be strengthened.


  Management of General Morbidity Top


While it is important to manage the pandemic from a public health perspective, it is important to maintain the safety net for non-COVID patients. Emergency services urgent care for non-COVID patients should be maintained at all costs. Maternity services, childhood illnesses, and emergency care are fundamental requirements for the rural population. In the long term, the general health system of rural India needs to be strengthened. Generalist care should be well equipped.






 

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