Monzón will bring a series of health challenges – editorials
The southwestern monsoon reached the Kerala coast, its first port of call, on time. As it now enters the interior, the monsoon will also bring with it health problems such as malaria, dengue and leptospirosis. This year, containing these diseases will be more difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic, which could affect the operationalization of the standard operating procedure (SOP) that governments follow to keep other diseases under control.
The SOP (misting, drainage, control of standing water in houses, and public disclosure about protocols related to these diseases) could be hampered because front-line staff (health officials and sanitation workers) are busy addressing Covid- 19; There is also pressure on resources. However, monsoon ailments affect hundreds of people each year, and the season for these diseases is lengthening due to the climate crisis. For example, in 2019, Mumbai witnessed an increase in dengue cases in November due to unprecedented rains.
This year, the problem is further complicated by the symptoms (fever, sore throat, and body ache) of Covid-19, dengue, and malaria, and some other diseases like typhoid fever and the overlap of the common flu. If the patient is infected with one of them, doctors will have to examine them to detect a particular condition and, if they are negative, they will have to perform a Covid-19 test. This will load the test infrastructure. India cannot afford to have another health crisis and more non-Covid-19 patients in hospitals. Governments will have to do everything possible to identify manpower and resources to follow prevention guidelines. Citizens must be careful and take precautions.