Impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector

Impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector

On November 17, 2019, the first case of China in the Hubei Province went unrecognized. In December, eight more reports emerged with investigators pointing to an unknown virus. The virus continued to spread in the next three months via direct and indirect communication with many people in Hubei. Because we live in a global society, it is suspected that foreign travel has brought the virus all over the world. It reached such a scale that by March 2020, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic as it reached to 784,794 cases worldwide and caused 37,788 deaths by Mar 30, 2020. The first case was registered in India on 30 January. By March 30, India reported 1251 cases and 32 fatalities.

Impact on the healthcare sector:

 COVID-19 Pandemic has strained the healthcare system of even the most developed nations and is predicted to trigger an unprecedented economic recession in recent history.

 "A good health infrastructure is the strongest protection against any epidemic" COVID-19 reveals how fragile many of the world's health care systems and services are, forcing countries to make difficult choices about how best to meet their people's needs.

 COVID-19 pandemic affects health care networks around the world. The rapidly rising demand for health care services and health care staff is threatening to leave some health systems overstretched and incapable of functioning effectively. At more than 1.6 million positive cases globally, the number of people diagnosed with this virus has surpassed any other pandemic in recent history.

 An outbreak of this proportion needs to deal with some infrastructure. Neither country, developed or developing or weak, has such an infrastructure. The Covid-19 infection has potentially exposed the networks of so-called developed countries to the limits. From basic supply transportation to health care services, all in almost all nations is super-strained.

India’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

 The Indian government was quick to enable its health management program at the very first stage and issue required travel advisories. Screening of all travelers from affected countries arriving in India was started as early as January 2020.

 By 20 March India had suspended all travel, both domestic and international. India announced a total lockdown for 3 weeks on 24 March. Well-coordinated action plans include careful airport inspection, active health laboratories, and rapid quarantine establishment throughout the country. The Government's policy was to stick to the concept of 'prevention is better than cure.'

Impact on India’s medical devices industry

 The medical devices industry, too, has made a profit. The country is importing consumables, disposables, and capital equipment from China including orthopedic implants, pads, syringes, bandages, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging tools. Because of the current crisis in China, it is difficult for medical device manufacturers across India to procure essential raw materials and electronic components from the Chinese factories.

 Also, though some of China's factories have resumed service, there is still a shortage of some essential electronic parts and raw material. This adversely affects the margins and competitiveness of Indian companies that import medical devices and small components for finished product manufacture. This can also in the short term put upward pressure on medical device costs.

Impact on Economy:

Pandemic and recession

 This situation is similar to the global recession, except it means the virus is not seasonal (infected in the northern hemisphere by spring). Case growth increases across Q2 and Q3, potentially crippling healthcare facilities worldwide and driving the recovery of patient trust to Q3 or beyond. This scenario leads to a recession, with global growth dropping from – 1.5 to 0.5 percent in 2020.

COVID-19: Pandemic Outreach

  • COVID-19 is now quickly spreading across the world. Nearly every country has cases reported but the burden is spread asymmetrically. In the past seven days (April 6–12), 46 percent of new confirmed cases were reported in Europe and 39 percent were reported in the To some extent, this is because the countries are at various stages of the pandemic. Some who were successful at initial containment, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, has seen a revival and are taking more action to address it.
  • Others, like many Western European countries, have seen or are beginning to decline the number of new cases plateau and are debating the right approach to reopening their economies. Countries like Russia and Turkey are witnessing a recent speeding India, too, has witnessed a substantial rise in the number of cases since early April and has developed its response plan, including expanding the nationwide lockdown.
  • Measures including physical distance, travel limits, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, monitoring and identification, and surge capability in healthcare require more or less focus, depending on the disease process and local context. Local use of these steps differs considerably — physical distancing can be almost impossible in crowded urban environments, for example, and communication tracing apps and digital devices like those used in China may not be suitable elsewhere. The dependencies of these measures are another challenge: to take one example, the timeliness and stringency of physical distancing measures greatly affect how other methods can be implemented.
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