Dr. Rohini Handa clarifies the possible risk patients with rheumatic diseases such as arthritis on various disease-modifying drugs face during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also mentions that regardless of this, it is incumbent upon all the doctors to reassure and give hope to their patients during global outbreaks.
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Little could have one prophesised that a pneumonia of unknown cause detected in faraway Wuhan, and first reported to the WHO country office in China on 31 December 2019, would trigger a cataclysmic chain of events leading to declaration of COVID-19 disease as a pandemic. The rest they say is history. A world sans borders gave way to lockdowns by countries, globetrotting was replaced by quarantine, and social distancing became the new face of socialising while ‘hand shake’ made way for ‘Namaste’.
The academic impact can be gauged by the fact that a search on PubMed with a start date of 1 January 2020 reveals 447 publications with the keyword ‘coronavirus’ and limited to humans (accessed 1 April 2020). Concepts are being updated and paradigms rewritten by the day as the information juggernaut on COVID-19 seems no signs of slowing.
Venerable journals like NEJM and The Lancet, among others, have made COVID-19-related content free to all readers and there is a scramble to publish on this topic. All this pales into insignificance when one sees the incessant media coverage with channels inviting one doctor or the other to educate lay public about health issues relating to corona virus.