Centre Asks States & UTs to Prescribe COVID-19 Test to Any Individual Fulfilling ICMR Criteria
With the aim to remove all impediments in testing, the Central government has asked states and Union territories (UTs) to immediately take steps to facilitate and ramp up testing. In a note, Preeti Sudan, secretary for health department, and Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of ICMR reiterated that ‘test-track-treat’ is the key strategy for early detection and containment of the pandemic.
 
The note says, "States and UTs have been advised to facilitate testing at the earliest by enabling all qualified medical practitioners, including private practitioners, to prescribe COVID test to any individual fulfilling the criteria for testing as per ICMR guidelines."
 
ICMR says it has strongly recommended that laboratories should be free to test any individual in accordance to the ICMR guidelines and state authorities must not restrict an individual from getting tested, as early testing will help in containing the virus and saving lives. 
 
Pointing out that in some states and UTs, the capacity utilisation of the testing labs, particularly the ones in private sector, is grossly sub-optimal, they advised states and UTs to take all possible steps to ensure full capacity utilisation of all COVID-19 testing laboratories.
 
The note says, "While reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the gold standard for diagnosis of COVlD-19, ICMR has recently approved the use of a point-of-care rapid antigen test for early detection of COVID-19. The test is quick, simple, safe and can be used as a point-of-care test in containment zones as well as hospitals, as per criteria specified by ICMR for testing. More such kits are being validated by ICMR to increase the available options to the citizens. ICMR has so far approved a total of 1,056 laboratories for COVID-19 testing. Of this, 764 labs are in public sector and 292 are in the private sector."
 
In order to facilitate testing, states and UTs have also been advised to make efforts in 'campaign mode' by setting up camps and using mobiles vans in high incidence areas to collect samples of all symptomatic individuals as well as their contacts and get those samples tested by using rapid antigen tests. 
 
"The positive individuals should be treated according to the treatment protocol and the negative ones should be tested for RT-PCR. Also, the rate for RT-PCR test by private labs should be finalized by the states and UTs. They have been further advised to make it mandatory for all labs to upload the testing data on the ICMR database as well as report to state, district and city authorities for surveillance and contact tracing," the note says.
 
In addition, the note from the health department and ICMR asks to ramp up and facilitate testing and pay attention to 'contact tracing' as it holds the key to containing the virus. States have also been asked to maintain strict vigil and continue to make all possible efforts for effective management of COVID-19.  
 
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    Ramesh Popat

    1 month ago

    Senior citizens were allowed to test
    without Dr prescription?

    A Person With COVID-19 is Not Expected To Produce Income Certificate before Admission: Bombay HC
    While asking a prominent hospital to deposit Rs10 lakh within two weeks, the Bombay High Court has ruled that a person with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is not expected to produce an income certificate before admission for availing benefits meant for weaker sections and indigent persons. 
     
    In an order passed last week, the bench of justice Ramesh Dhanuka and justice Madhav Jamdar, says, "In our prima-facie view a person who is suffering from the disease like COVID-19 is not expected to produce a tehsildar certificate or certificate from social welfare officer before seeking admission in the hospital for seeking benefits under Section 41AA(4)(c) and (d)."
     
    The bench was hearing a petition filed by Bharat Nagar, Bandra resident Abdul Shoeb Shaikh against KJ Somaiya Hospital and Research Center. The family of Shaikhs with seven members had paid Rs10 lakh out of Rs12.5 lakh they were billed when admitted to the Hospital between 11th to 28 April 2020 for COVID-19 treatment. 
     
    "We are not inclined to accept the submission made by the learned senior counsel Janak Dwarkadas for the Somaiya Hospital that unless such certificate is produced by the petitioners at the threshold, the hospital is not liable to admit any such patient under those categories in the precarious situation prevailing at the date of admission of the petitioners," the bench noted.
     
    On 30 April 2020, Maharashtra government issued a government resolution (GR) capping prices for COVID-19 treatment in private and charitable hospitals. Later on 21st May, the state government issued another GR mandating that such hospitals reserve 20% beds and offer free treatment to the poor.
     
    The High Court also observed that Maharashtra government was required to issue a notification dated 21 May 2020, providing the rates for treatment of such patients and for other diseases in view of the grievances regarding exorbitant amount of money charged by healthcare providers causing hardship to public in general during COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    During the previous hearing on 13th June, the Bombay HC had directed an inquiry supervised personally by the charity commissioner whether the hospital is strictly following reservations for weaker section and indigent persons during the lockdown.  
     
    In an affidavit, the charity commissioner told the bench that despite reserving 20% of its beds for poor and needy persons, the hospital had treated only four such patients—three in May and another in June—during the coronavirus-induced lock-down. 
     
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    COMMENTS

    jjain782

    1 month ago

    Hospital 's license should be canceled

    tillan2k

    1 month ago

    hospitals make money by literally selling corpse body bags ( KAFFANS) a profession thrives on human misery

    ASHWIN MEHTA

    1 month ago

    Just celebrate the Doctor's Day and praise them as "Corona Warriors". But the management (Hospitals) under which these people work, shall continue to suck blood of common man. The doctors are also helpless in this regard. Patients and their relatives are so freightened at the time of admission, that they forgot to ask the cost of treatment before starting of the treatment. All such hospitals should be forced to give a clear break-up as regards to 1) Room Charges 2) Doctor's visit Fees (A debatable charge, when doctors are working in the hospital, where is the question of visit Fee, they are supposed to be at their place of work) 3) Doctor's Fee 4) Medication and consumables estimates 5) Cost of Oxygen cylinder or ventilator (If needed) etc..
    In many hospitals, I have seen, the Main Doctor under whom you are getting admission for a particular procedure or operation etc...will invariably call few of his collegaues working in the same hospital in name of 1) Cardiologist 2) Diabetologist 3) Dietician and what not. Each doctor shall visit the patient, hardly for a minute, talk to Nurses and move away and charging Rs.2000/- per visit, even that patient doesnot need any such specialist. In my own case, when my wife was admitted in Sir H.N.Reliance hospital for 8 days for a Urinary Tract infection, the total bill was made as Rs.1,64,000/-. Out of that Rs.64,000/- was towards visit Fees,as 4 different M.D.s used to visit her daily for a minute or two. S0
    4 X 8 Days X Rs.2000= Rs. 64,000/-. Even after all this, she was passed away, after 25 days of discharge because of Hear attack. Not a single M.D. suggested to keep : Sorbitol or any such medicines handy. (Its their duty to suggest, that she may get a Hear attack after all such heavy Antibiotics and other medicines.) The problem is made so complex that a common man is afraid to speak against any Doctor or the hospital management, as majority time, all these people are never available/ or they are not ready to talk to you. You need to fight your own battle with modern Health care Industry. No one has time to break their head for you.

    US secures almost entire world stock of Covid-19 drug remdesivir
    The Donald Trump administration has secured nearly the entire world stock of antiviral drug remdesivir from US-based Gilead Sciences for the next three months, leaving hardly any stock of the key Covid-19 drug for the rest of the world.
     
    As a result of an agreement with the drug maker announced earlier this week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug for American hospitals through September.
     
    This represents 100 per cent of Gilead's projected production for July (94,200 treatment courses), 90 per cent of production in August (174,900 treatment courses), and 90 per cent of production in September (232,800 treatment courses), in addition to an allocation for clinical trials.
     
    A treatment course of remdesivir is, on average, 6.25 vials, the US Health and Human Services said.
     
    The agreement allows hospitals in the US to purchase the drug in amounts allocated by HHS and state health departments.
     
    Hospitals in the US will receive the product shipped by AmerisourceBergen and will pay no more than Gilead's Wholesale Acquisition Price (WAC), which amounts to approximately $3,200 per treatment course.
     
    "President Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19," US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
     
    "To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. The Trump Administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for COVID-19 and secure access to these options for the American people."
     
    Remdesivir is considered a key drug in the fight against Covid-19 as a randomised clinical trial conducted with the drug on 1,063 patients over 60 centres across US, Europe and Asia demonstrated a faster time to clinical recovery in hospitalised patients as compared to placebo.
     
    To expand supply of remdesivir, Gilead earlier announced non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers based in India, Egypt and Pakistan
     
    The agreements allow the companies -- Cipla Ltd.; Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.; Eva Pharma; Ferozsons Laboratories; Hetero Labs Ltd.; Jubilant Lifesciences; Mylan; Syngene, a Biocon company; and Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd. -- to manufacture remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries.
     
    The countries consist of nearly all low-income and lower-middle income countries, as well as several upper-middle- and high-income countries that face significant obstacles to healthcare access.
     
    The regulatory approval status of remdesivir varies by country, and the distribution of remdesivir within each country is subject to local laws and regulations.
     
    Under the licensing agreements, the companies have a right to receive a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for remdesivir to enable them to scale up production more quickly.
     
    The licensees also set their own prices for the generic product they produce.
     
    The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization declares the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding Covid-19, or until a pharmaceutical product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent Covid-19, whichever is earlier.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    tillan2k

    1 month ago

    still he may not be able to save his presidency .. may not be in the interest of US multinationals.. in the wake of COVID world may become healthier and may not need medicines and health care putting U.S heath care industry under stress and good target for China to acquire assets cheaply

    Ramesh Popat

    1 month ago

    will it help to control the fatality in India?!

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