Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, was the guest at this edition of ThePrint’s Off the Cuff.
In a conversation with Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, Guleria said India’s vaccination drive will expand to include younger people as soon as India has enough vaccines available. It might happen soon as the vaccine makers are ramping up the production capacities, he said. Also, the government may look at approving other vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V and Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, Guleria said.
He counted the lessons that Covid-19 has made India learn — it includes the importance of strong research and development in medical science that eventually led India to develop its own Covid vaccine.
The eminent pulmonologist said the clinicians started off with knowing nothing about Covid-19 and thought it was like viral pneumonia. With time, clinicians learnt that Covid is predominantly viral pneumonia that causes severe lung infection but also causes a lot of systemic effects, which leads to clotting in the heart or brain or even in the lung vessels, he said.
Guleria feels doctors now have a better understanding of the disease and they might be able to save more lives than in the past. “But that doesn’t mean that we will save everyone,” he warned as he requested people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour.