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Confusion over Remdesivir’s price and patent, says Harsh Vardhan

Meanwhile, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country crossed 42,000 mark with over 1,300 deaths.

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remdesivir antiviral drug

New Delhi, May 4 : Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that there is a confusion over pricing and patent of experimental anti-viral drug Remdesivir.

The Health Ministry had recently said that it is examining Remdesivir, which was used during Ebola outbreak, as one protocol in the treatment for Covid-19.

In a series of tweets after a meeting with the heads of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and its various laboratories through video conferencing, the Minister said: “On the drug Remdesivir made for the treatment of COVID-19, there is confusion on many issues, such as its pricing and patent.”

He also appealed to the scientists to expedite their work. “It will make no sense until the benefit of scientific research reaches public and is discussed in the world.”

In another tweet, he also said: “I released the guidelines for the Public Transport and Feeder Modes, saying that given the importance of social distancing, it will prove to be very helpful in the operation of Traffic.”

Meanwhile, the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country crossed 42,000 mark with over 1,300 deaths.

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Health ID for all: Centre rolls out Digital Health Mission in 6 UTs

Vikram Thaploo, CEO of Apollo TeleHealth, also lauded the launch and said that digital technology is going to play a key role in improving health service delivery.

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National Digital Health Mission

New Delhi, Aug 15 : On the occasion of the 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the National Digital Health Mission, which will leverage the power of technology to ensure the attainment of the highest-possible level of health and well-being for citizens.

The scheme will be rolled out through a pilot launch in the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep from Saturday.

It comprises six key building blocks — HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine — that will enable access to timely, safe and affordable healthcare through a ‘citizen-centric’ approach. All these digital products, except e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine, are up and running.

Making the announcement from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister said that the mission will bring about a revolution in the health sector and that a Unique Health ID will be provided to every citizen which will have details of the diseases, diagnosis, reports, medication etc., in a common database through a single ID.

The NDHM is a holistic, voluntary healthcare programme that will reduce the existing gap between various stakeholders such as doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, pharmacies, insurance companies, and citizens by bringing them together and connecting them in an integrated digital health infrastructure.

The National Health Authority, the attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been given the mandate to design, build, roll-out and implement the mission in the country.

Expanding on the key components, Dr Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Authority, said, “The core building blocks of the mission is that the health ID, DigiDoctor and Health Facility Registry shall be owned, operated and maintained by the Government of India.”

Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate and create their own products for the market, Bhushan said, adding that the core activities and verifications, for example, generation of Health ID or approval of a doctor will, however, remain with the government.

“The additional components, like Personal Health Record and Electronic Medical Record solutions can be developed by private players as well, in line with guidelines that will be issued. All such products by private participants shall be as per official guidelines taking care of security, privacy and standards of the NDHM ecosystem,” Bhushan said.

The mission aims to liberate citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, seeking appointment, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets, among several others and will empower people to make an informed decision to avail the best possible healthcare.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan welcomed the announcement and said, “Based on the initial learnings in the UTs, we will gradually work in partnership with the States to launch the NDHM. I seek the whole-hearted support, inputs and cooperation of doctors, healthcare facilities, citizens and state governments to adopt this game-changing scheme.”

Welcoming the step, Nimesh Desai, Director at the Delhi government-run Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS), said, “It is an excellent step and need of the hour since everything is moving to digital. However, I hope it should be linked with Ayushman Bharat and equal emphasis should be given to the patients of mental health.”

He added, “Till date, it is being neglected but it is high time to put focus on it. The insurance providers, especially in the private sector, still do not consider mental health issues an illness. We need to change this discourse to remove the stigma attached with such patients and inclusion of government health insurance with the digital health mission could prove very helpful in it.”

Vikram Thaploo, CEO of Apollo TeleHealth, also lauded the launch and said that digital technology is going to play a key role in improving health service delivery.

“The launch of the National Digital Health Mission could not be more timely. Health ID cards will help consolidate medical records, ensure uniform standard of care, and minimize errors in record keeping,” he added.

He suggested that if electronic health records are linked to the Aadhaar card, it can be used to create patient registries for big data analytics, which will allow physicians to track the health status of their patients, perform better predictive analyses, and improve health outcomes.

“We also need to incorporate smart devices into our healthcare service delivery systems. Most patients living in urban regions use a glucometer, digital thermometer, pulse oximeter and an electronic blood pressure monitor these days. As these are attached to a mobile app, the readings are sent to a physician directly, who can then advise them on the best course of treatment,” Thaploo added.

By Aakanksha Khajuria

(Aakanksha Khajuria can be contacted at [email protected])

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Three Covid Vaccines currently in testing phase in India: PM Modi

The Prime Minister’s assurance came at a time when the number of India’s Covid-19 cases have crossed the 24.50-lakh mark.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

New Delhi, Aug 15 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said three vaccines are currently under testing phase in India and their mass production will begin as soon as the scientists give the green signal.

As the world inches closer to a Covid-19 vaccine with many vaccine candidates under final trials, the Prime Minister speaking from the rampart of the Red Fort on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day, assured the nation that the fight against the pandemic was progressing in the right direction and at right pace.

The Prime Minister’s assurance came at a time when the number of India’s Covid-19 cases have crossed the 24.50-lakh mark.

“Not only one or two, there are three Corona vaccines presently under testing phase in India. As soon as the green signal is received from the scientists, the country’s preparation is also ready for their mass production,” Modi said in his 90-minute address to the nation.

Modi’s announcement came just three days after the first meeting of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, a NITI Aayog panel in which the Union Health Ministry has said that the country would leverage domestic vaccine production capacity.

The Prime Minister reminded everyone that there was only one lab for testing in our country when the Coronavirus first appeared in the country and now India has more than 1,400 labs.

The Prime Minister also lauded the efforts of Covid warriors, saying “in this extraordinary time of corona, our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, ambulance personnel, sweepers, policemen, servicemen, and many other people are working continuously round the clock, regardless of their lives, with a sense of service”.

Modi expressed his condolences to all those people in various parts of the country who have been facing natural calamities and disasters and assured them his full support in their hour of need.

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Entertainment

Kubbra Sait compares Covid-19 test with sex

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Kubbra Sait

Mumbai, Aug 14 : Actress Kubbra Sait jokes she has lost her virginity to the Covid-19 test, adding that it was not as bad as she imagined.

“I lost my virginity to the covid test. Really it wasn’t half as bad as my mind had conjured it to be. It was a quick in and out. Reminded me of a few ex lovers. It made me sneeze. Ok bye,” Kubbra tweeted.

However, the “Sacred Games” actress did not share the reason behind taking the test.

Earlier this year, Kubbra had shared that she feels people should stop whining about lockdown, adding that since it is not in our control the best thing is to “just chill out”.

“Stop whining about the lockdown, it makes no sense. It is not in your control. So please stop whining, it is not going to change if you whine a little more or little less today so just chill out,” Kubbra had said.

“I think, let us just accept what’s happening right now. I know it is an old cliche, but it works especially in the times that we are in right now,” she had added.

Talking about how her habit changed during lockdown, she said: “The thing is that I used to hate brushing. I always felt I have no time to brush my teeth. I used to be like who is going to spend five extra minutes to brush their teeth. So yeah, now I brush like three to four times a day and I am very proud of myself. I hope my dentist would be just as proud of me.”

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