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Port St. Lucie doctor still seeing high cases of COVID-19 patients

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 26, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — As overall COVID-19 cases decline, a local infectious disease doctor says that doesn’t mean a decline in his workload.

Dr. Moti Ramgopal monitors several dozen COVID patients daily.

Even though the number of patients he sees now is still quite high, the Omicron variant is less severe.

“Compared to Delta, which was one of the worst periods of my life to be honest,” said Ramgopal Wednesday from his Port St. Lucie office.

Ramgopal has been at the forefront of clinical trials, gaining access to monoclonal antibodies, not long after former President Donald Trump was treated back in 2020.

“We’ve never seen the number of monoclonal antibodies developed at such a quick rate,” he said.

He understands why monoclonal antibody sites were recently closed, as the FDA said their effectiveness against the Omicron strain of the virus was limited.

However, he’s upset that the government hasn’t yet made anti-viral pills widely available.

“You go to India and it's available, but we still don’t have it available in Florida to the extent it should be given to every patient or most patients who are infected very early," said Ramgopal. "When we look at the data, it shows a 90-percent reduction in hospitalization.”

WPTV reported last week that the pills were only available with a prescription at a handful of places around South Florida, and nowhere on the Treasure Coast.

“It’s shocking, distressing, concerning and worrying how is it we can’t make this happen,” Ramgopal said.

He also wishes vaccination rates were better.

“Once patients get vaccinated, once you have a booster, we don’t see those patients admitted and if they are, they’re admitted for something else, the COVID is incidental, and they’re discharged in a few days,” said Ramgopal.

“The game is still not over yet. We still have a ways to go but we are two or three steps further along,” he added.