“There is need for more public awareness about the correlation between Diabetes and Covid, as there are certain misgivings about the cause and effect relationship between the two,” said Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, also a diabetologist.
He said that over the last two decades, India has seen a surge in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, which has now acquired pan-Indian proportions, a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry said.
Type 2 Diabetes, which was till two decades ago prevalent mostly in South India, is today equally rampant in North India and at the same time, it has also moved from metros, cities and urban areas to rural hinterland, the minister said.
Singh said diabetic patients are immuno-compromised, and hence more vulnerable to infections like coronavirus as well as consequent complications.
This, he said, may lead to vulnerable situation when a patient suffering from diabetes also has kidney involvement or diabetic-nephropathy, chronic kidney disease etc, it said.
However, Singh hastened to add that there is no room for panic, because the basic rules of strict glycemic control of blood sugar levels and safeguards against target organ damage, which are otherwise also practised in diabetes, are equally applicable even during the pandemic, the statement said.
He emphasised, what is important to understand is that while every diabetic need not necessarily get Covid, at the same time every Covid infection may not necessarily lead to complications in case of a diabetic.
In his address, Dr Akhtar Hussain, President-elect, International Diabetes Federation said that India is the second most affected country after China so far diabetes is concerned and the number of patients is witnessing a continuous surge in the past few years.
He also warned that in the post-Covid era, complications are going to grow.