LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (28/04/2021)

0
9

Prone Position For Oxygenation

With oxygen in short supply across the country and the situation yet to stabilise even in Goa, it is learnt that COVID-19 patients at South Goa District Hospital have been advised to lie in prone position with the sole objective of increasing the patient’s oxygen levels. According to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal, 2002, lying in a prone position is considered to help the body get air into all areas of the lungs rather than lying flat on the back. The technique has proven to be an effective measure for a long time in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory disease syndrome and is considered a simple and safe method to improve oxygenation. The study also concluded that oxygenation improves in 70–80 per cent of patients with early acute respiratory distress syndrome. According to medical experts, this position helps in improving oxygen flow in patients who are critical, in turn ensuring that they are less likely to require ventilator support. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, ‘awake prone position’ facilitates the patients with severe ARDS or severe pneumonia in maintaining the supply of oxygen to the body tissues. Since medical institutes are overburdened and limited ventilators are available, ‘awake prone positions’ can reduce not only the burden on hospitals but also decrease the need for ventilators. This method needs to be followed by patients admitted to COVID hospitals and COVID care centres.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

End IPL Spectacle

THE BCCI should bring to a close the IPL spectacle of cricket. It is quite incongruous that you should play cricket when the whole country is in the throes of a pandemic. A number of players have opted out of the IPL for their own reasons. Looking at that Saurav Ganguly and the BCCI should bring the IPL to a close. Cricket should not be all about making money; the BCCI should support and fight the war against COVID. If 50 per cent of the profits from the IPL are donated by the BCCI, IPL sponsors, team owners and broadcasters to fight the pandemic then it may be tolerable to continue with the tournament as long as the players remain protected. There is a parallel here with ancient Rome where games of skill and prowess were held in Coliseum in Rome. Huge crowds were pulled in the arenas so that minds of the people were diverted from the problems of governance or natural calamities affecting the people. The idea was to insulate the authorities from criticism, and also to quell public unrest. Such tactics were mostly used in the years when the Roman Empire was in decline and when public unrest was common.

S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ

Repair Leaky Valve In Ponda

A valve of main water supplying pipeline has been leaking at Bakhale Motor Works in Ponda for the last several months, leading to wastage of precious water. I urge the public works department to repair the leaking valve on priority basis to prevent further wastage of water, which must be used judiciously.

PRAVIN U SARDESSAI, ADPAI

Guilt Of Poll Panel

THE Madras High Court has severely reprimanded the Election Commission of India over the COVID-19 second wave in the country, holding the poll panel ‘singularly’ responsible for the spread. The High Court must have perused damning evidence which very strongly suggested that the EC did not take cognisance of the deteriorating situation brought about by the pandemic. Lacking any kind of exercise of authority, the ECI has been criticised for being the most irresponsible institution over the last few months in not stopping political parties from wanton abuse of the COVID-19 protocol. Of course, these observations were made by the bench while hearing a plea moved by Tamil Nadu Transport Minister seeking direction to the ECI to follow a slew of measures aimed at ensuring fairness in the counting of votes on May 2 in one of the constituencies there. But the story of indifference during this last one month of elections in the five states which went to polls couldn’t have been more contemptible. Allowing huge political rallies during a pandemic in which social distancing norms and masking were thrown to the winds, the Election Commission without a doubt is grossly guilty of disregarding the orders of the court in this matter. If constitutional authorities are to be reminded that public health is of paramount importance, one can well gauge the emphasis given to this aspect of safety during the pandemic.  As so rightly said, it is only when a citizen survives that he will be able to enjoy the rights that a democratic republic guarantees. Hence the warning that the High Court will stop counting of votes unless a blueprint for COVID-appropriate behavior is in place should serve to remind the ECI that it cannot behave arbitrarily on such matters! However, while understanding that elections are another way of exerting constituent power, it is somehow difficult to comprehend the manner in which the government has gone about declaring and conducting elections in the recent past with complete disdain for the safety diktats prescribed as regards the pandemic. The municipal elections held in Goa pretty much conform to these irregularities. With healthcare, education, business and other aspects of everyday life acclimatising to the ‘online’ craze during the pandemic, isn’t it time the nation also thought about conducting elections online! 

PACHU MENON, MARGAO