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Lancet expert panel lists 8 steps for India to fight COVID resurgence, says ‘urgent action needed’

Following are the eight recommendations proposed in the journal that are meant to be undertaken by the central and state governments “to amplify and synthesise what must be done urgently.”
 

Lancet expert panel lists 8 steps for India to fight COVID resurgence, says urgent action needed-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 18, 2021, 5:13 PM IST
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Amid anxiety over a possible and more ferocious third wave of coronavirus, experts in the medical journal The Lancet have listed eight “urgent actions” that need to be taken by India to tackle another resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Authored by 21 people, including surgeon Dr Devi Shetty and Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the document in Lancet’s June 12 issue, notes how a renewed Covid-19 wave in India has been spreading to rural populations and driven the country into a health emergency.

Following are the eight recommendations proposed in the journal that are meant to be undertaken by the central and state governments “to amplify and synthesise what must be done urgently.”

Here are the 8 ‘urgent’ recommendations suggested in The Lancet journal by the expert panel to help India tackle the Covid-19 crisis:

·         The organisation of essential health services must be decentralised. A one-size-fits-all approach is untenable since the numbers of Covid-19 cases and health services differ substantially from district to district.

·         Experts feel that a transparent national pricing policy and caps on the prices of essential health services is needed. “Hospital care should not require any out-of-pocket expenditure and costs should be covered by existing health insurance schemes for all people. All local governments must be allocated their grants as recommended by the Fifteenth Finance Commission to ensure they have the resources to augment Covid-19-related health services,” the authors recommend.

·         Clear, evidence-based information on the management of Covid-19 must be more widely disseminated and implemented. This information should include suitably adapted international guidelines for home care and treatment, primary care, and care in local languages that incorporate local circumstances and clinical practice.

·         All available human resources across all sectors of the health system, including the private sector, must be marshalled for the Covid-19 response and adequately resourced, particularly with sufficient personal protective equipment, guidance on the use of clinical interventions, insurance, and mental health support.

·         The authors of The Lancet commentary said central systems to procure, distribute vaccines free of cost should be established. “Such an approach will optimise prices and minimise cross-state inequities that may result from differential fiscal and capacity contexts,” the authors say, and added that vaccination is a public good and should not be left to market mechanisms.

·         Community engagement and public participation must lie at the heart of India's Covid-19 response. Active collaboration must be encouraged between government and civil society organisations to create and disseminate accurate information, enabling home-based care, emphasising prevention, helping navigate access to live-saving treatment, and promoting vaccination.

·         There must be transparency in government data collection and modelling to enable districts to proactively prepare for the likely caseloads in the coming weeks.

·         The profound suffering and risk to health caused by loss of livelihoods should be minimised by making provisions for cash transfers by the state to workers in India’s vast informal economy who have lost their jobs, as is being done by some state governments.

The authors further called on the central and state governments to act with urgency and in solidarity and across sectors to address “one of the greatest humanitarian crises to stem the haemorrhage of life and the suffering caused by Covid-19 in India”.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

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