Covid-19 prompts medical experts to come up with novel solutions

Dr Prathap C Reddy

Chennai: Covid-19 has become a major threat to mankind across continents and the pandemic has taken the lives of more than a lakh people till now. The count of affected persons as well as the deaths is increasing.

Several countries are trying to find a vaccine to arrest or prevent the pandemic. But, success is still eluding. In India, which is always a land of medicinal wisdom, health experts and enterprises are working out novel methods to meet healthcare needs during these tough times.

Apollo Hospitals Group has announced its support of the initiative by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Telemedicine Society of India (TSI) to sensitise and train doctors around the country in deploying telehealth services on a wide scale during the Covid-19 crisis.

Doctors across the country are being asked to join this initiative by attending the training module and upskilling themselves in offering telehealth services to as many people as possible. This will solve the problem of accessibility to quality clinical care and ensure continuum of care across the length and breadth of the country.
Over 2500 doctors across the Apollo Hospitals Group will be participating in the online Telehealth orientation programme, giving a boost to the group’s efforts in empowering healthcare practitioners to effectively deliver Remote Health Care.

Dr Prathap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group said, “As early as 1998, we decided to introduce Telemedicine and on 24 March, 2000, the world’s first VSAT enabled village hospital at my birthplace Aragonda in Andhra Pradesh was commissioned by the then US President, Bill Clinton. Over the last two decades the Apollo Telehealth division has grown exponentially, offering over 10,000 tele-consults a day and running the world’s largest Tele Emergency service as well as many PPP projects. In continuation of our efforts to provide uninterrupted quality care to all sections of the society we are now pleased to support the MCI’s initiative in training doctors to effectively leverage telehealth facilities.”

Dr Gowthaman

Dr Gowthaman, BAMS, an expert in Ayurveda medicine and head of Shree Varma Group of Hospitals, says that the symptoms of both Covid-19 and kaba suram (fever) are mostly the same.

“If the symptoms exhibited under coronavirus and fever are compared, we shall find many similarities between them. So, the treatment for Covid-19 can be found in the alternative medicine of Ayurveda in the form of inhalation and internal medicine”, notes Dr Gowthaman.

Under this mode of treatment, several ayurvedic traditional and natural herbs are used based on the age and body condition of the person showing the symptoms of coronavirus/ fever, he added.

Meanwhile, during these challenging times, as the lockdown continues, India will see a rise in delayed vaccination cases as a large number of children will be unvaccinated/partially vaccinated. While vaccinations are fundamental to one’s health and life, it is imperative to understand that delay in vaccination caused by the current lockdown is unavoidable.

Delay of a vaccine dose may impact the timeline of the subsequent doses, making the child vulnerable to a disease which they would be protected from, if vaccinated. However, experts suggest delayed vaccination is manageable and not as life threatening as the current pandemic. Subsequent vaccine doses have permissible waiting period for interrupted or delayed immunisation as per the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr Priya Biswakumar, pediatrician, said, “Immunisation is a routine process for every child and essential. Owing to the current Covid-19 lockdown, regular OPDs are not functional but routine immunisation specially for young children against Diphtheria, Pertussis, MMR and Pneumonia is of utmost importance. Having said that, government has recommended precautions and it must be followed with adequate precautions and maintaining social distancing. I request parents to not panic and be in regular contact with their respective doctors on the issue of delayed immunisation.”


NT Bureau