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India will soon be identified as hub for diagnostic solutions: KlinicApp CEO

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India will be soon identified as a hub for diagnostic solutions with the support of government and investments from multinational and domestic players in the industry, said Satkam Divya, CEO, KlinicApp.

Government support and investments from multinational companies and domestic players will make this a reality. Cost-effectiveness and favorable environment will spur India on a promising path with bright future prospects to provide high-quality healthcare services including diagnostic solutions to all, he added.

The healthcare sector in India has witnessed a paradigm shift in recent years. Several technological advancements have fuelled the growth speed of the entire healthcare system. The country is gradually shifting towards designing and manufacturing high-tech medical products and devices. This steady development is stimulated largely due to the implementation of technologies. It has accelerated the rapid growth of the diagnostic sector that broadly gets classified into services, equipment, and reagents. If the key players in the market largely adapt to the current market trends, it will have a positive impact. Meanwhile, the government is taking measures to create a favorable business environment to attract foreign investment for the Indian companies, stated the KlinicApp chief.

But the big challenge is that less than one percent of the diagnostic laboratories across India are accredited. Though the standalone players play a substantial part in the industry, without accreditation and a strong regulation, it poses a threat to the healthcare system as well as the overall wellness of the public, he noted.

The high-end diagnostic service providers are looking forward to making a huge capital investment to provide advanced diagnostic facilities. Undeniably, the leading market players are successfully generating revenue and employment. However, the scarcity of well-trained medical professionals in the segment could take a toll in the future as different challenging health cases are raising heads, said Divya.

In a country like India, low-cost medical and diagnostic expenses are essential. Alongside, the higher capital investment to purchase high-end machinery designed for advanced diagnostic facilities refrains investors to fund. It is here the ‘Make In India’ initiative will foster equipment manufacturing within the country which will ultimately bring the costs of high-end machinery down, he said.

Quoting a report, Divya said that Indian healthcare market may well witness a growth at a CAGR of 23% and increase to US$ 280 billion from US$ 100 billion by 2020. There is a surge of medical tourists in India as many hospitals are increasingly meeting their needs. Apart from that, enhanced awareness on healthcare quality and service that adhere to international standards would transform India as the healthcare hub in coming years.

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No, Coronavirus Isn’t ‘Just Like The Flu’. Here Are The Very Important Differences

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Aches and pains, sore throat, fever – although they may feel similar to those suffering from their symptoms, the novel coronavirus is not the same as the seasonal flu, experts stressed Wednesday.

COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus, proves deadly in around 3.5 percent of confirmed cases.

While this is not the same as its mortality rate, given many people may be infected but not realise it, it is significantly higher than seasonal flu, which typically kills 0.1 percent of patients.

“There is still considerable uncertainty around the fatality rates of COVID-19 and it likely varies depending on the quality of local healthcare,” said Francois Balloux, Professor of Computational Systems Biology at University College London.

“That said, it is around two percent on average, which is about 20 times higher than for the seasonal flu lineages currently in circulation.”

Serious cases

But the true danger of coronavirus is unlikely to be the death toll. Experts say health systems could easily become overwhelmed by the number of cases requiring hospitalisation – and, often ventilation to support breathing.

An analysis of 45,000 confirmed cases in China, where the epidemic originated, show that the vast majority of deaths were among the elderly (14.8 percent mortality among over 80s).

But another Chinese study showed that 41 percent of serious cases occurred among under 50s, compared with 27 percent among over 65s.

“It’s true that if you’re older you’re at greater risk, but serious cases can also happen in relatively young people with no prior conditions,” said French deputy health minister Jerome Salomon.

Contagiousness

Disease experts estimate that each COVID-19 sufferer infects between two to 3 others.

That’s a reproduction rate up to twice as high as seasonal flu, which typically infects 1.3 new people for each patient.

Vaccine/treatment

Salomon said that humans have lived with influenza for more than 100 years.

“We’ve studied it closely,” he said. “This new virus resembles the flu in terms of physical symptoms but there are huge differences.”

Number one is the lack of a vaccine against COVID-19, or even any treatment shown to be consistently effective.

While some trials have shown promise delivering anti-retroviral drugs to serious cases, as well as some experimental therapies, their sample sizes are too small to roll out to the general population.

Hundreds of researchers around the world are working frantically to find a COVID-19 vaccine, but the development process takes months and is likely too late for the current outbreak.

Even if a vaccine magically appeared, getting everyone access it to it is no small order. Health authorities regularly complain that not enough people receive the flu vaccine to guarantee “herd immunity”.

Similarities

But the new virus does share some characteristics with flu, notably the measures each one of us can personally take to slow the infection rate:

Avoid shaking hands, frequently wash your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your face and wear a mask if you are sick.

Such actions can limit new infections just as they can with the flu, gastro illnesses and other infectious diseases.

France’s health ministry says that only two in 10 people regularly wash their hands after using the bathroom.

“And only 42 percent of people cover their mouth with an elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze,” it added, not encouragingly.

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Central government directed PCBs to fast track environmental clearance for bulk drug projects in India

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The Central government has decided to fast track the proposals to set up the bulk drug companies and permission of production of bulk drugs in the country and accordingly has asked central pollution control board and all the state pollution control boards to speed up environmental clearances to enable firms to start manufacturing the bulk drugs in the country to meet the growing demand.

As already the imports of APIs and other key starting materials (KSMs) have completely stalled from China the inventory stocks of APIs and other KSMs required for manufacturing medicines stocked by the pharmaceutical manufacturing firms have started fast receding, the central government is mulling various ways and means to ensure adequate bulk drugs and APIs are supplied to the pharmaceutical industries so that there is no dearth of shortage of medicines.

“With the novel coronavirus spreading at a faster pace underneath, the central government has decided to take early preparatory steps to ensure adequate bulk drug supplies are available to the pharma firms in the coming days to meet the growing domestic demand. Keeping this in mind the central government has released a notification directing all the pollution control boards to fast tract environmental clearances for all kinds of bulk drug manufacturing proposals within the country,” informed a senior officer from Telangana Pollution Control Board.

As per the notification released by the ministry of environment and forest office, clear instructions and directions are issued to the PCBs to give permissions and clearances on a fast track for all the bulk drug and bulk drug intermediaries so that projects could go on stream expeditiously. A ministry official memorandum had said that the issue has been cleared and will be implemented with immediate effect.

“This is a welcome move by the central government. In fact this indication should have been given two years ago by the government, however though late it has come well in time. It may take some time for the bulk drug firms to set up facilities, but overall this decision by the central government is definitely going to boost the bulk drug sector in the coming days,” said P V Appaji, former director general of Pharmexcil.

In fact, the central government’s move to facilitate manufacturing of APIs with in the country has come in response to the earlier calls given by the industry, who had earlier expressed their concerns over the spread of corona virus and advised the central government to take immediate measures to push its domestic industry to get ready with the growing demands of medicines to contain the further spread of the virus in the country.

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Karnataka first state to notify epidemic diseases COVID-19 regulation 2020 following WHO declaring pandemic status

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Karnataka has become the first state in the country to notify norms to stall the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The move follows after the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 as pandemic.

The new regulations titled as The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases COVID-19 regulation 2020 notified in the gazette under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 Karnataka will be in effect for a year from March 11, 2020.

Under the regulations it has categorised the authorised persons as director, health and family welfare, director medical education at state level and deputy commissioner, district health officer, district surgeon, Taluk health officer and for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike it is the chief health officer. The effort by the government is also in response to the 76 year old first fatal case reported from Kalburgi in north Karnataka.

All hospitals in the state should have Flu Corners for screening of suspected cases of COVID-19. The medical centres should record the travel history of patients or have been residing in an area where COVID-19 has been reported apart from coming in contact with the conformed case.

If a suspected case of COVID-19 refuses admission or isolation under Section 3 the patient could be forcefully admitted and isolated for a period of 2 weeks from the onset of the symptoms and till the lab reports are received.

In case of COVID-19 reported from a defined geographic area, then the district administration can have the right to seal the zone, bar entry and exit, closure of schools, ban public gatherings vehicular movement, initiate active and passive surveillance, isolate suspected cases in hospitals.

The staff of the government departments should be at the disposal of the district administration of the concerned area to ensure containment measures are adhered to.

The District Disaster Management Committee headed by the deputy commissioner is the authorised person to prepare the planning strategy regarding the containment measures for COVID-19 in the respective 30 districts.

The regulations also indicate that persons found violating any provisions of the said norms would be deemed to have committed an offence Under Secton 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Here the additional secretary, health and family welfare department or deputy commissioner of district many penalise any person or institution or organisation if found violating after giving him an opportunity to be heard.

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Those Who Recover From Coronavirus Can Be Left With Reduced Lung Function, Say Doctors

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People who recover after being infected with the novel coronavirus can still be left with substantially weakened lung capacity, with some left gasping for air when walking quickly, doctors in Hong Kong have found.

The Hong Kong Hospital Authority made the findings after studying the first wave of patients who were discharged from the hospital and had fully recovered from COVID-19.

Out of 12 people in the group, two to three saw changes in their lung capacity.

“They gasp if they walk a bit more quickly,” Owen Tsang Tak-yin, the medical director of the authority’s Infectious Disease Centre, told a press conference Thursday, according to the South China Morning Post.

“Some patients might have around a drop of 20 to 30% in lung function” after full recovery, he said.

Tsang added, however, that patients can do cardiovascular exercises, like swimming, the improve their lung capacity over time.

While it’s too early to establish long-term effects of the disease, scans of nine patients’ lungs also “found patterns similar to frosted glass in all of them, suggesting there was organ damage,” Tsang said, according to the Post.

Current coronavirus patients’ CT scans show “ground glass,” a phenomenon in which fluid builds up in lungs and presents itself as white patches, as Business Insider’s Aria Bendix has reported. The scans below, taken from one coronavirus patient at different points in time, show that the person’s “ground glass” became more pronounced as their illness progressed.

Screen Shot 2020 03 13 at 2.15.40 pm(Lei et al., Radiology, 2020)

As of Friday morning, 69,607 people had recovered from COVID-19 out of 128,392 confirmed cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 4,700 people have died of the disease.

The disease appears to affect the elderly or infirm worse than any other demographic, as the outbreak in Italy has shown.

“Among those who are infected, most will recover,” the World Health Organisation’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Monday.

The most commonly reported symptoms include a fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and some 80% patients will experience a mild illness, according to the WHO.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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