April 25, 2022: Leading doctors from across India have come together and shot off an open letter to influential media outlets in the country and abroad, asking them to urgently end the misleading practice of labelling Covid-19 RT-PCR positives as coronavirus cases or infections in their daily coverage of the pandemic.
The veteran doctors, many of whom have served in government positions, have argued that the words ‘positives’ and ‘cases’ cannot be used interchangeably because they are medically not the same things.
Since the WHO (World Health Organisation) declared Covid-19 as a pandemic in March 2020, Big Media – consisting of popular and paid mainstream news networks – has been consistently running news that show RT-PCR positive test results as cases or infections of the disease.
“Calling people (children or adults) with RT-PCR positive report as cases is faulty. A
case is a person who has the disease and presents clinical symptoms, and on subsequent testing, is diagnosed as a clinical case of Covid. Please do not call all RT-PCR positives as cases,” the doctors wrote. “In fact, the term Covid-19 is defined as illness or disease, and it cannot be applied to someone who has no symptoms or illness, merely on the basis of some test.”
In their scathing letter, the doctors also argue that the disease has now entered the stage of being treated as an endemic, and not a pandemic. “The virus has gone through the Indian population enough and is now well established as an endemic infection, which shall keep causing flu-like illness in only a few people as most will not even develop severe symptoms.”
The ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has already called for the suspension of testing people who don’t have any symptoms, the said in the letter.
Here are some other highlights from the letter:
Children have been known to tackle the virus much more easily than adults. Children also do not pass Covid infection to others that adults easily do. Schools have reopened and no single outbreak or severe disease has been documented. Therefore, healthy children must not be tested for Covid anymore, unless the treating doctor in hospitalised cases requires it.
The public should be given complete and relevant information. How many tested positive for RT-PCR is not relevant. Report instead on hospitalisations, and include information on comorbidities and age. Reporting should also give equal weightage to other major killer diseases such as tuberculosis, cancer and others.
Giving an incomplete picture amounts to misinformation and fearmongering. If the true and complete picture is presented, the public will not get into fear or panic mode, and we will be able to take rational decisions. It is responsible media reporting that can keep the public rightly informed rather than misinformed or ill-informed.
20 doctors who signed the letter:
- Dr. Amitav Banerjee, MD, Clinical Epidemiologist, Prof & Head, Community Medicine, Dr
DY Patil Medical College, Pune
- Dr. Praveen K Saxena, MBBS, DMRD, FCMT, Hyderabad
- Dr. Veena Raghava, MBBS, DA, Clinical Nutrition (NIN), Bengaluru
- Dr. Vijay Raghava, MBBS (Family Physician), Bengaluru
- Dr. Arvind Singh Kushwaha, MD, Nagpur
- Dr. Maya Valecha, MD, DGO, Vadodara, Gujarat
- Dr. Megha Consul, MD, DNB Paediatrics, Clinical Fellow (University of Western Ontario),
- Dr. Abhay Chheda, BHMS, CCAH, FCAH (Director, Centre For Cosmic Homoeopathy),
- Dr. Firuzi Mehta BHMS (Mum.) HMD (Lon.) IACH DIHom (Gr.) – Homeopathic
- Dr. Mufassil Dingankar, BHMS, ADND, MSc, Consultant Physician & Medical Researcher,
- Dr. Srinivas Kakkilaya, MBBS, MD, Physician, Mangaluru
- Dr. Gayatri Panditrao, BHMS, PGDEMS, Homoeopathic Physician, Pune
- Dr. Susan Raj – B.Sc. Nurse; MSW (M&P) Behavior Specialist; Doctorate-Humanities;
Certified Mineral Therapist; Director Sustainable Arogya Awas Foundation, Dist.
Rajnandgaon State Chhattisgarh
- Dr. Lalit Kumar Anande, MBBS, Ex Medical Superintendent Group of TB Hospitals
(Mumbai), Special Interest in treatment of Drug Resistance TB and it’s Complications +
Anti Oxidant Therapies
- Dr. K Arul, MBBS, FMMC, Integrative Physician, Chennai
- Dr Sudhir Jagtap, MD (Medicine) Consultant Physician, Nutrition and Wellness Advisor,
- Dr. Gautam Das, MBBS, Kolkata
- Dr. Manigreeva Krishnatreya, MBBS, DLO, MHA (P), Physician and cancer researcher,
- Dr. Geraldine Sanjay, B.Sc, MBBS, DFM, MD, Assistant Professor, SABVMCRI,
- Dr. N. K. Sharma, ND, Ph.D., Founder Chairman Reiki Healing Foundation, Delhi
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