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India offers 114 COVID-19 tetsing labs

A total of 27 states and Union Territories are having the laboratories currently. India has reported 360 positive cases as of now with seven deaths.

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New Delhi, March 22 : The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday said a total of 114 laboratories have been approved across the country for coronavirus test.

According to a statement from Indian Council of Medical Research — the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research — while 87 of these laboratories are operational, 27 are in process.

While there are six such laboratories for COVID-19 testing each in Kerala and Delhi; Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have seven functional laboratories.

Among the additional laboratories, Delhi will get two, while Kerala will have three. Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu will have one new lab each.

A total of 27 states and Union Territories are having the laboratories currently. India has reported 360 positive cases as of now with seven deaths.

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Pakistan’s Punjab province lifts COVID-19 lockdown

Punjab has reported 24 new cases of the coronavirus and four more fatalities, according to the government’s COVID-19 portal.

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Main Market Islamabad Lal Chowk (Picture @listenAashiq)

Lahore, Aug 3 : Pakistan’s Punjab province, the second worst-hit in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, has lifted a lockdown amid a continued fall in the number of positive cases, it was reported on Monday.

The lockdown was imposed till August 5 across the province ahead of Eid-ul-Adha in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, reports The Express Tribune.

But it was lifted on Sunday, a day ahead of the given date.

In a notification, the provincial health department said all business except those which fall in “negative list” will be allowed to operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday

The new directives came into effect on Monday.

Punjab has reported 24 new cases of the coronavirus and four more fatalities, according to the government’s COVID-19 portal.

This has taken the total cases in the province to 93,197 while the death toll has risen to 2,148.

More than 82,000 people have recovered from the virus in the province so far.

Pakistan has so far recorded a total of 279,966 cases, with 5,982 deaths.

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Patients with coronavirus infections may experience mental problems: Study

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People taken ill by coronavirus infections may experience psychiatric problems while hospitalised and potentially after they recover, warn researchers.

The systematic review, published in the journal ”The Lancet Psychiatry”, compiled results from short- and long-term studies of people hospitalised by recent coronaviruses, namely SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2002-2004, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2012, as well as COVID-19 this year.

The analysis found that one in four people hospitalised with COVID-19 may experience delirium during their illness, a known problem among hospital patients, which can increase the risk of death or extend time in hospital. The post-recovery effects of COVID-19 are not yet known, so long-term risks such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety are based on SARS and MERS studies, which may or may not apply to COVID-19 as well.

“Our analysis focuses on potential mental health risks of being hospitalised with a coronavirus infection, and how psychiatric conditions could worsen the prognosis or hold people back from returning to their normal lives after recovering,” said study co-lead author Dr Jonathan Rogers from University College London in the UK.

For the findings, the research team analysed 65 peer-reviewed studies and seven recent pre-prints that are awaiting peer review, which included data from over 3,500 people who have had one of the three related illnesses.

The review only included results from people who were hospitalised and not people with more mild cases. The findings cover both acute symptoms during the illness and long-term outcomes from two months to 12 years. Almost one in three people hospitalised with SARS or MERS went on to develop PTSD, at an average follow-up time of almost three years, especially if they had ongoing physical health problems.

Rates of depression and anxiety were also high, at roughly 15 per cent one year or longer after the illness, with a further 15 per cent also experiencing some symptoms of depression and anxiety without a clinical diagnosis. More than 15 per cent also experienced chronic fatigue, mood swings, sleep disorder or impaired concentration and memory.While in hospital, a significant minority of people with coronavirus infections experienced delirium symptoms such as confusion, agitation and altered consciousness.

Almost 28 per cent of people hospitalised for SARS and MERS experienced confusion, and early evidence from the ongoing pandemic suggests that delirium could be similarly common in COVID-19 patients. “We need more research on how to prevent mental health problems in the long term,” the researchers noted.

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Young adults more likely to die from epilepsy: Study

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London : A new study has claimed that young adults aged between 16 and 24 may have a six-fold increased risk of epilepsy-related death, a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures.

The study, presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, found that mortality rates for epilepsy-related deaths did not decrease between 2009 (6.8 per 100,000) and 2015 (9.1 per 100,000), despite advances in treatment during this time.

Young adult patients in their early 20s and 30s were found to be at the highest risk, with 78 per cent of epilepsy-related deaths under the age of 55 years classified as potentially avoidable.

The study, being conducted in Scotland, aims identify the burden of epilepsy-related deaths, what proportion of these are potentially avoidable, and ascertain the factors that may put patients at an increased risk.

“Epilepsy patients are at a higher risk of early death than the general population, but reasons for this are unclear,” said study researcher Gashirai Mbizvo from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“We hope that we can use this data to learn lessons and reduce the burden of epilepsy-related deaths in the future, many of which we believe are likely to be avoidable,” Mbizvo added.

Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects around 50 million people globally, making it one of the most common neurological diseases worldwide.

For the findings, the researchers collected anonymous data from healthcare settings for patients that died between 2009 and 2016, identifying 2,149 epilepsy-related deaths.

At least 60 per cent of these patients (1,276) had one or more seizure-related or epilepsy-related hospital admission in the years prior to death, yet less than a quarter (516) were seen in a neurology clinic.

The most common causes of death within the study were sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), aspiration pneumonia, cardiac arrest, congenital malformation and alcohol-related deaths.

The data will be compared with data from living patients with epilepsy of the same age and gender.

“Highlighting such risk factors, and identifying those that could be prevented, might lead to changes in epilepsy care and, ultimately, fewer epilepsy-related deaths in the future,” the researchers noted.

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