COVID-19: Resources and Updates

Message from Dr HS Chhabra, President, ASSI

Dear Colleagues,

These are difficult times due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic which has had an enormous impact globally on health, survival as well as economy. We are witnessing an unprecedented situation, which none of us have ever seen in the past and probably don’t expect to see again in future. We can only pray and hope that the situation resolves soon. As a Society of responsible health professionals, it is also our moral responsibility to try to dampen the impact of the pandemic in whichever manner possible, not only on our constituency, persons with Spinal ailments, but also the community in general.

ASSI is hence constituting a COVID-19 Task Force. The objective is to bring together experts to facilitate discussion and sharing of knowledge, clinical experiences, strategies as well as resources and come out with Guidelines on Best Practices for Spine Surgeons during the COVID 19 Pandemic in Indian Scenario. It is expected that the activities of the Task Force will help improve health system preparedness, response to this evolving pandemic and ultimately the quality of care for persons with Spinal ailments. A COVID-19 web page is also being created on the ASSI website where all related information and resources would be uploaded. Till such time members could refer to our review article on “COVID-19: Current knowledge and Best Practices for Orthopedic Surgeons” recently published in Indian Journal of Orthopaedics.

The Editor and Editorial Board of our journal, Indian Spine Journal, have also been requested to consider encouraging case reports as well as articles related to the topic.

If you have any other suggestions on what ASSI could do during the current pandemic, kindly let us know.

I am sure that all of us would be contributing to the needs of the community, whether through contribution of funds or creating awareness related to prevention and management of COVID-19. As professionals who understand the potential of this pandemic, we should fully support the measures being taken by our respective Government and authorities.

Some of us may be on the front line dealing with COVID-19 patients. In addition there is a large workforce of doctors, nurses, medical staff and other health workers in the front line. We are very grateful to them for their great devotion to duty, professionalism and utmost selflessness. We especially pray for their safety and good health. Our heart also goes out to those suffering from this novel disease and we hope for their speedy recovery.

As you would be aware, the pandemic has forced us to cancel the physical face to face meeting during Spine Week at Melbourne. We are exploring having a scaled down Virtual Conference in late August/September. Our evaluation so far reveals that this should be indeed possible. Since this would be our first endeavour using this technology, we would need to have a scaled down but enriching meeting.

In these trying times we need to stay in closer touch and brainstorm not only on how we can contribute to the resolution of the crisis but also use it as an opportunity to learn from it and build a more positive and inclusive future. Every adversity brings with it an opportunity and as spine community we must use this time wisely to achieve our Ikigai. For most us it will be a combination of our clinical practice, academics and research apart from our personal and philanthropic pursuits.The pandemic also offers significant lessons in courage, team work, banding as well as bonding, compassion, leadership traits, rational management of limited resources, versatility, adaptability to an everchanging fluid situation and the value of systems in practice and organization.

If you have any concerns and questions, you could write to me on

Let’s rise up to the challenge posed by SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Let’s accelerate the movement to serve our constituency.

Let’s take all precautions to stay safe and healthy.

With regards,

  • President, ASSI

    Harvinder Chhabra