Staff Reporter

AIIMS Director Prof Randeep Guleria speaks at 29th Down Town Public Oration programme

GUWAHATI, Feb 15: “Although the vaccine for COVID-19 is now available, we should still wear a mask when in public places. As per findings of latest studies, wearing a mask is very important to reduce the exposure to new variants of the coronavirus,” said Prof Randeep Guleria, Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi while delivering his lecture at the 29th Down Town Public Oration programme here today.

The event was held as part of the 32nd anniversary of Down Town Hospital.

Prof Guleria asserted that both, the use of masks and vaccination, would work as double protectors against the pandemic. He pointed out that the nationwide lockdown which had also drawn criticism at large, was very useful in containing the pandemic in India.

Commenting on production of vaccine, he said, “Amid the ongoing pandemic, India is doing a commendable job in production of vaccine. Especially, our country is producing around 60 per cent of the vaccine for children and pregnant women. Now we are a vaccine hub for the world. We have also achieved surplus in production of PPE kits.”

Prof Guleria also pointed out the challenges that India has been facing in the fight against COVID-19. According to him, the challenges are protection of healthcare workers, ensuring adequate numbers of ICU beds, mentoring and capacity building of all line institutions, etc.

According to Prof Guleria, in case of other diseases it took 10-15 years to produce vaccines, but the COVID-19 is an exception for which a number of vaccines have become available within a short span of time. He further said that people with comorbidities still have high risk of fatality; as such they should get priority in vaccination.

As per latest studies conducted across the globe, steroid is playing a very important role in treating COVID-19 patients. But the timing is very important. Steroid is very useful while the viral replication is limited, Prof Guleria added.

On the occasion, president of the Asam Sahitya Sabha Dr Kuladhar Saikia released a book Xoru Xoru Kothar Xophura - 2 penned by Dr NN Dutta.

At the same event Dr Nandita Choudhury, Dr Pranjal Deka and Gayatri Gogoi were honoured with the Award for Excellence in Medicine-2021, Prof Jogesh Mahanta Award and Prof Pratul Goswami Award respectively.