COVID-19 ails other diseases in India

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Routine care for tuberculosis , HIV/AIDS , mental health disorders and other chronic ailments have been affected, along with reproductive and Child Health Services including deliveries and immunization.

Dr. R.S Dahiya, Ex-Professor, PGIMS Rohtak

The outbreak of covid19-India in India has caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with a total of 6682073 cases and more than 10 lac active cases as on 6th October, 2020 , making India to have the second highest caseload of COVID-19 in the world , America being still on top with 7679197 total COVID-19 cases.

The continuing rise in the number of covid cases is putting enormous strain on the health system in this country . Even before the erection of the covid-19 epidemic the public health infrastructure in many states is struggling to meet population Health Care requirements and the diversion of this already outstretched system for meeting the covid-19 crisis is impacting access to health care for patients with other severe ailments .
Routine care for tuberculosis , HIV/AIDS , mental health disorders and other chronic ailments have been affected, along with reproductive and Child Health Services including deliveries and immunization, due to restrictions imposed by the lockdown and the engagement of Frontline Health Workers in covid-19 duties. Even the emergency trauma care has also been hit due to the disruption in transportation and reduced availability of staff to handle emergencies.
In response to the above situation the centre and the state governments are taking special measures to provide much-needed Healthcare to people. They have insourced private hospitals temporally to provide covid-19 care free of charge to its citizens and capped the cost of treatment.
The government has been proactive in taking measures for reducing the difficulties emerging due to the pandemic for people of the country. Measures concerning employment, Health Care, migration, economic stimulus as well as measures to ease the lockdown gradually with proper guidelines for every aspect are being taken by the central government as well as the state governments.
However patients may need guidance enabling them to obtain required care in public health facilities and the guidelines and measures to be followed by the private Healthcare sector is not always followed. There are repeated instances of patients facing problems in getting admission to designated covid-19 facility , overwhelming denial of treatment, stigmatization , discrimination , patients not being provided formal report etc.
All such issues faced by the residents of India, which include not only the patients but health care providers, family of the patients and the society at large, indicates violation of human rights. The rationale of this advisory is to bridge the gap , complement and support the existing advisories and guide lines thereby empowering each individual and strengthening our health care system.
Given the need for systemic protection of health rights and patient’s rights , and keeping in view the human rights imperative to ensure that all patients with COVID-19 are able to access healthcare without financial or other barriers , the state governments should issue their advisories in this matter.

In the office of WHO in Geneva in Switzerland , who has said that Covid19 infected persons real number can be 80 crores whereas only about 3and half crores cases have been reported .

The total number of people affected worldwide in the Covid-19 pandemic has gone past 35 million, even as WHO said it estimates roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide may have been infected by the coronavirus — more than 20 times the number of confirmed cases. Total case tally in India has now breached the 66-lakh mark with over 1 lakh deaths.

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