Hospitals say young people who are getting symptoms of coronavirus are self-medicating.


Around 30 per cent of the COVID-19 patients in Intensive Care Units of hospitals are young people below the age of 40, top doctors of Mumbai have said. There has been a 34 per cent rise in such cases in the last month alone. Hospitals also say young people who are getting symptoms of coronavirus are largely self-medicating instead of visiting a doctor and getting tested for Covid and are winding up in hospitals with complications.

At jumbo facility of the Mumbai civic body, Brihanmumbai Corporation at Bandra-Kurla Complex, 25 per cent patients belong to this category. The corresponding figure is 30 per cent at the Bombay hospital and 16 per cent at Fortis hospital. All are under the age group of 40 years.

So far 31.15 per cent of Covid-19 patients have been young people. They also comprise 4.76 per cent of the people who died of Covid.  

Dr. Rajesh Dere, the Dean of the jumbo facility the BMC, said, “It has been observed for many days now that young patients, men and women, have been self-medicating at home in spite of being positive or having symptoms and suddenly get admitted to the hospital,”

“When our doctors examine them, they are found to be in mild or moderate stages of the virus. In moderate cases, the severity of the infection increases, treatment span increases, and some of them get admitted to the ICU and some do not survive the virus,” he added.

One such patient thought his fever was influenza and self-medicated. Currently he is on oxygen support at the jumbo facility. “I had a few symptoms on September 22, had a headache and slight fever. I thought it must be flu as it had happened three of four times before,” the patient told NDTV.

“During that time I was having paracetamol and tablets for flu… For three or four days, I took the medicine but it didn’t make any difference. Then I tested positive. I was given tablets that didn’t work and now I’m admitted in the hospital,” he said.

Another patient, who is 35 years old, self-medicated when he thought his body ache was normal. When his condition worsened, he had to be admitted in hospital and put on oxygen support.

Doctors say that with the gradual easing of the lockdown, many young people have stopped maintaining safety rules. Masks are not worn by many, others violate social distancing norms. Once they self-medicate despite getting symptoms, many are admitted straight in the Intensive Care Units with complications.

Dr Gautam Bhansali of Bombay Hospital said they have been seeing young Covid patients for two months. “The biggest cause is that they are not following lockdown guidelines or are under the wrong impression that only the old are at risk of the coronavirus,” he added.

Dr Rahul Pandit of Fortis hospital said they too, have been getting many yong patients. “I have noticed that young people are coming  to the hospital after having symptoms for seven or eight days,” he said, adding that this is a common situation. “They have Crocin etc for the fever at first. When it becomes unbearable, only then they get admitted to the hospital,” he added.

Mumbai has been the Covid hostspot of the country with a chunk of Maharashtra’s 14.53 lakh cases. So far 2,15,465 people contracted the disease in the country’s financial capital. There have been  9,152 fatalities.

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