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Home visits: Punjab’s tri-city residents get a new healthcare option



Max Healthcare

By Jaideep Sarin 

Chandigarh, Oct 30: Residents of the tri-city – comprising Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali — will not have to rush to a hospital or clinic for routine ailments from now. A new facility, extended by a leading private hospital chain, will provide doctors, nursing attendants and physiotherapists for home visits.

The facility, [email protected], initiated by Max Healthcare will bring medical expertise, comprising over 200 certified medical professionals and caregivers, including nurses, patient aids, physiotherapists, phlebotomists and physicians and patient-care to people in the comfort of their homes.

“The idea of [email protected] came from our observation of trends in the social fabric of the family system, which is especially observed in Punjab, where most of the geriatric population lives alone. Also, the disappearance of family doctors, especially in metros and urban centres, and people coming to tertiary hospitals for even basic healthcare services prompted us to initiate this,” Rohit Kapoor, Senior Director and Chief Growth Officer, Max Healthcare, told IANS here.

The tri-city region has a combined population of around 1.6 million.

“The new venture in healthcare will facilitate real-time patient monitoring by connecting doctors, dedicated case managers, trained nursing staff and emergency services through an efficient technology infrastructure,” Kapoor said, adding that the home visits would be backed up by state-of-the-art hospital services.

“We have forayed in to this new vertical starting with Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, to help patients in the tri-city recover faster and lead a comfortable life with independence and dignity. [email protected] is providing nursing care attendants, physiotherapists and doctors for home visits. We also arrange for home sample collection, free medicine delivery and facilitate medical equipment on rent,” Sandeep Dogra, senior vice president, Max Hospitals-Punjab, told IANS.

With hospital-related infections becoming a major concern among patients, the new facility will help them recover fast in the safer environs of their respective homes.

“Patient care services would extend beyond nursing care to the treating doctor. A dedicated supervisor will update the treating clinician regularly about the progress of the patient. A weekly supervisor visit to ensure protocol adherence and a care plan designed with the treating clinician and team will be worked out.

“Comprehensive kits would be provided to support on-site requirements. The uniqueness of the services would be the infection control cover at home, where the surveillance culture testing would be done to ensure hygienic surroundings,” said Vaibhav Poddar, senior vice president and head, [email protected]

“The cost for the tests will depend upon the gravity of the patient’s problem. For getting nursing assistance, the patient will pay between Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,000 per day for a 12-hour shift. For physiotherapy, the patient would be charged between Rs 700 and Rs 900 per visit. The prices for pathology services would vary according to the test which is to be undertaken, with no additional charges for sample collection. X-Rays would be carried out by trained technicians on a portable 20-kg machine by next month,” Poddar added.

Among the services being offered, the X-Ray will be helpful for patients who are immobile due to illness or disability or at high risk.

“The unique feature of these services would be the availability of medical equipment at home which is a new feature in the region. [email protected] will offer a wide range of products, including orthotics, patient beds, resuscitation devices, etc. There would be usage flexible — the option of renting and buying and service support,” said Sunit Aggarwal, GM Operations, Max Hospital-Mohali.

The [email protected] would also provide for free home delivery of authentic medicines, while also ensuring reminders for patients with repeat medication requirements.



Air pollution ups COVID-19 deaths by 15% worldwide: Study

In a major global study, researchers have revealed that long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to 15 per cent of COVID-19 deaths worldwide




Delhi Pollution

In a major global study, researchers have revealed that long-term exposure to air pollution may be linked to 15 per cent of COVID-19 deaths worldwide.

According to the study, published in the journal Cardiovascular Research, in Europe the proportion was about 19 per cent, in North America it was 17 per cent, and in East Asia about 27 per cent.

“Since the numbers of deaths from COVID-19 are increasing all the time, it’s not possible to give exact or final numbers of COVID-19 deaths per country that can be attributed to air pollution,” said study author Jos Lelieveld from Max Planck Institute in Germany.

“However, as an example, in the UK there have been over 44,000 coronavirus deaths and we estimate that the fraction attributable to air pollution is 14 per cent, meaning that more than 6,100 deaths could be attributed to air pollution,” Lelieveld added.

The researchers used epidemiological data from the previous US and Chinese studies of air pollution and COVID-19 and the SARS outbreak in 2003, supported by additional data from Italy.

They combined this with satellite data showing global exposure to polluting fine particles known as ‘particulate matter’ that is less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (known as PM2.5) to create a model to calculate the fraction of coronavirus deaths that could be attributable to long-term exposure to PM2.5.

The results are based on epidemiological data collected up the third week in June 2020 and the researchers said that a comprehensive evaluation will need to follow after the pandemic has subsided.

Estimates for individual countries show, for example, that air pollution contributed to 29 per cent of coronavirus deaths in the Czech Republic, 27 per cent in China, 26 per cent in Germany, 22 per cent in Switzerland, 21 per cent in Belgium, 19 per cent in The Netherlands, 15 per cent in Italy and 14 per cent in the UK.

Referring to previous work that suggests that the fine particulates in air pollution may prolong the atmospheric lifetime of infectious viruses and help them to infect more people. Lelieveld said: “It’s likely that particulate matter plays a role in ‘super-spreading events’ by favouring transmission.”

According to the researchers, the particulate matter seems to increase the activity of a receptor on cell surfaces, called ACE-2, that is known to be involved in the way COVID-19 infects cells.

“So, we have a ‘double hit’: air pollution damages the lungs and increases the activity of ACE-2, which in turn leads to enhanced uptake of the virus by the lungs and probably by the blood vessels and the heart,” the authors wrote.

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Ramdas Athawale, Sunil Tatkare test COVID positive, go into isolation

Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale and Nationalist Congress Party MP from Raigad Sunil Tatkare have tested positive for COVID-19, on Tuesday



Ramdas Athawale

Union Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale and Nationalist Congress Party MP from Raigad Sunil Tatkare have tested positive for COVID-19, on Tuesday.

Both leaders made the announcement through social media and appealed to all those who came in contact with them to undergo tests and exercise full precautions.

Athawale, 60, had attended a crowded function in Mumbai on Monday when actresses Payal Ghosh, Soni Kanishka, lawyer Nitin Satpute, realtor Yogesh Karkera and businessman Ankush Chaphekar, formally joined the Republican Party of India (A).

The father of Minister of State Aditi Tatkare, Sunil Tatkare, 65, assured that his health condition was fine but as a precaution, he has been admitted to a city hospital for treatment.

This week, there were other notables, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das who tested Covid positive and are under treatment.

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Lack of contact-tracing capacity driving coronavirus into ‘darkness’ – WHO



Michael Ryan WHO

GENEVA : A lack of contact-tracing capacity in Europe, despite very high rates of positive tests, will drive the coronavirus further into the “darkness”, the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert told an online briefing on Monday.

“We are seeing very, very high positivity rates and an increasing lack of capacity to do any effective form of contact-tracing, which is going to further drive the disease into darkness,” Mike Ryan said.

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