New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Most urban Indians and global citizens endorse the introduction of Covid-19 vaccine passports for citizens for travel and other purposes, including visiting events and commercial places, showed a WEF-Ipsos survey.A 'Vaccine Passport' is a record or health data certificate that would carry information about whether a person has been inoculated or has tested negative for Covid-19. The information would be accessible electromagnetically, on mobile apps, or as printed documents or cards.An Ipsos statement said that an overwhelming majority of urban Indians and global citizens favour Covid-19 Vaccine Passports for citizens to aid in different ways. Around 78 per cent global citizens and 84 per cent Indians support the use of the vaccine passports for entering any country. Around 73 per cent global citizens and 82 per cent urban Indians agree that the passports would be important for making travel & large events safe.As many as 67 per cent global citizens and 82 per cent urban Indians agree that the passports should be used for entry at large public places, like concert halls and stadiums. Further 1 in 2 global citizens agree and 78 per cent urban Indians want that such documents should be needed for visiting shops, restaurants & offices.In fact, at least 81 per cent of urban Indians polled foresee vaccine passports becoming a reality by the end of the year. Two third of global citizens (66 per cent) too expect positive outcomes with the vaccine passport decree."Covid-19 Vaccine Passports or Health Certificates will provide the best safety measure to citizens, to usher in normalcy. Majority of urban Indians advocate its implementation and global citizens too," said Amit Adarkar, CEO of Ipsos India."After mass vaccination and testing, certification should be the next logical step. Such resounding popular support suggests an overwhelming desire of people to return to a sense of normalcy. Vaccine passports could be a good enabler to overcome vaccine hesitancy," he added.--IANSrrb/sn/vd
<br>The uncertainty about their present and future, coupled with government mandates to stay at home, is all exacerbating mental illness. The feeling of being cooped up at home, distant from their loved ones, devoid of social support and fear about new variants is increasing mental illness, according to mental health experts."The current situations are affecting the mental well-being on account of the uncertainty of the present and the future, the impact on the physical health of the self and loved ones, impact on work and productivity, and as a result, an effect on the relations that surround them," Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare, told IANS.While the current scenario is affecting all individuals, regardless of their age, gender or other demographics, more adolescents and adults have reached out seeking help for mental health issues."Since the beginning of April, there has been a rise in tele-psychiatric consultations by at least 20 per cent. While the face to face consultations have plateaued, teleconsultations requests for seeking help have steadily increased," Dr Satish Kumar, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Manipal Hospitals, Bengaluru, told IANS.The most prominent problem reported by people is anxiety and depression. Teens are more stressed out about their future plans, resulting in an existential crisis while the adults are overwhelmed by the fear of survival, financial insecurity and job security.These fears are coupled by "Covid anxiety/pandemic anxiety. People fear that they are going to die, increasing their death anxiety issues", Kumar said."People are also worried about being spreaders and causing harm to their loved ones. Even those people who never had mental health issues, even in their family history, are now reaching out for medical support as they are facing a lot of emotional stress," Kumar."Many experience guilt around not being able to adequately support those around them. These experiences can impact people's sense of self, their confidence and belief in the worldviews they hold as well as their positivity, optimism and resilience to cope with situations," Parikh said."Anyone else feeling survivors guilt? I certainly am. Each death I hear of is like a hard blow," Bollywood actress Pooja Bhatt shared in a tweet last week.To cope with the current situation, Parikh suggested that one must: focus on the here and now; try and look at the things that you can control; attempt to maintain a routine and follow a balanced schedule; integrate relaxing and recreational activities to help unwind and relax; not engage in excessive information overload to not feel overwhelmed; focus on the small good things that will allow you to maintain positivity in your thoughts; speak to people around and maintain social connectedness; and ensure to follow all safety protocols and maintain Covid appropriate behaviour.While the general public has the luxury to take a break from the situation, frontline workers including policemen, healthcare workers and journalists suffer from what is called occupational hazard.The frontline workers are more likely to get demotivated when they are taking the effort and yet people do not follow appropriate Covid behaviour."The only way to cope with the situation is by having an optimistic outlook and repeating the mantra, 'this too shall pass'. Policemen, doctors, nurses and journalists should practice positive self-talk every day, and also engage in de-stressing activities, at least 10 mins a day by watching comedy or by talking to their loved ones or by indulging in their favourite activity. A positive end to the day is the only way to cope with the situation," Kumar noted.The lockdown-related stress, in 2020, reportedly caused over 300 cases of suicides from March 19 till May 2. As a result, in September 2020, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment introduced a 24X7 toll-free mental rehabilitation helpline 'KIRAN' (1800-599-0019) in 13 languages.Several others have announced a Covid emotional support helpline number, where people can reach out. This includes PeakMind (08047092334), Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS) and NGO, Parivartan (07676602602).India on Tuesday recorded 3,23,144 coronavirus cases and 2,771 deaths.(Rachel V Thomas can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>rvt/vd
New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) As the country grapples with the worst surge in Covid cases amid the lethal second wave, thousands of people across the country have flooded various social media platforms, requesting authorities and users to arrange or inform about where to find ventilator beds, plasma from recovered patients, oxygen cylinders and drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, among others.People were posting pictures of relatives, friends and common people in dire need of ventilator beds, oxygen cylinders, plasma and life-saving injections meant for emergency use authorisation (EUA)."Bangalore Tweeple.. Is there a bed available somewhere for a covid patient? My uncle is in dire need. O2 levels going down. Checked so many.. All beds full in Banshankari area. Anywhere in Bangalore would be fine," Saurabh Joshi said in a tweet.Stuti Sardana from Delhi tweeted: "Urgent help needed. A bed and oxygen cylinder are required for a Covid positive young girl who is critical. Oxygen level is going down".Several others asked users to inform about remdesivir, currently in short supply.Delhi Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal on Saturday admitted there is shortage of beds and oxygen amid exponential surge in Covid-19 patients in the national capital.Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said that coronavirus is spreading exponentially, and nobody knows when it would reach its peak."Delhi is fast running out of beds, oxygen and the life-saving drug Remdesivir as Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours have reached 24,000. The situation is very serious and worrisome. The cases have gone up really fast," he said.Sensing the shortage, the government has slashed the prices of the 'life-saver' Remdesivir injection by nearly 50 per cent, to Rs 2,450 per injection now, according to official sources.In such difficult times, some came forward on social media to help those suffering from Covid infections."If you're in isolation in #Gurgaon or have elders living alone, I can do grocery/medicine runs for you or your family. DM me the things needed and the address. I'll get them, and leave the bag outside your door," tweeted Abhishek Baxi.India has reported 2,61,500 fresh Covid cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single-day spike ever, pushing the country's overall Covid tally to 1,47,88,109, according to the Health Ministry data released on Sunday.This is the fourth consecutive day that the country has registered over two lakh Covid cases. India recorded 2,34,692 cases on Saturday, 2,00,739 and 2,17,353 cases on Thursday and Friday, respectively.--IANSna/sdr/
Within no time, the symptoms became severe with respiratory complications, and his family rushed from one hospital to another earlier this week to find a ventilator bed but to no avail. Critical, he passed away on Thursday, leaving his near and dear ones bereaved.As a lethal second Covid wave hits people in all age groups, including children below age 12 and even infants, those between 30 and 45 years of age, who were spared last year, are now falling victims amid acute shortage of ventilator beds in the national capital and beyond, according to health experts.The novel coronavirus that has gone through several mutations is hitting healthy adults with some kind of a vengeance. The second surge swung into action in March: From about 15,000 new cases per day in the beginning, it reached around 55,000 fresh cases a day towards the end of the month. By April 1, active cases in the country touched 610,927, from 165,000 just a month ago. In the last 24 hours, India reported over 2 lakh new Covid-19 cases, the biggest single-day spike ever, according to the latest Health Ministry data. The overall number of confirmed cases stands at 1,40,74,564."In phase 2 of Covid starting March 2021, the impact seems higher in young adults," Ramakanta Panda, VC and MD at Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, told IANS."This time, the virus is more infectious and is spreading fast. The young adults are at utmost risk primarily because they haven't had their doses of vaccine and are being exposed to the wave as they step out for work," added Rajesh Chawala, Senior Consultant, Pulmonary Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. Besides lack of vaccinations for the group, carelessness and Covid-related inappropriate behaviour -- not wearing masks and not adhering to social distancing measures -- are the major reasons behind the 30-45 age group getting affected more, the experts noted.The symptoms that were prevalent last year were high-grade fever and persistent fever, cold, cough and rapid deterioration of oxygen levels. In the second wave, the symptoms are more wide ranging. "This time, we are seeing symptoms like stomach upset, pain in the abdomen and eyes, which were not seen last time," said Umar Zahoor, Head (Emergency), Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi. During the first wave, the virus was known to attack more on the lungs. However, the second surge seems to be affecting other organs as well. "Joint pain and stomach-related symptoms have now emerged, which prove that Covid is affecting more organs than before. There are also gastrointestinal symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc," said Panda."We hardly know about the disease and it is possibly the strain that is causing more infection this time," added Zahoor.Beginning January 16 this year, India has administered over 114 million coronavirus vaccine doses across the country to date. The jabs have been administered to healthcare and frontline workers, and for those between the age of 45 and 59, but the next high-risk category -- under the age group of 30-45 -- is yet to be notified for the Covid jabs.(Rachel V Thomas can be contacted at [email protected])--IANS<br>rvt/na/arm
New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Amid the pandemic, India saw a steep growth in online communities on Facebook and 92 per cent respondents said they received some form of support through online community groups amid the deadly Covid wave last year, a new Facebook-New York University (NYU) report said on Friday.Over 38.8 per cent people in India said the online groups have become "significantly more important", as compared to responses from the rest of the world (29.5 per cent), according to the report by The Governance Lab (The GovLab) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering in partnership with Facebook.More than 5.5 million people in India are part of active parenting groups on Facebook. At least 43.8 per cent of Indians find a sense of belonging in online groups and 42.1 per cent of Indians' most important group is online."The pandemic has shown how important these online communities are. Digital communities have brought people together around a shared trait or interest and have become spaces for people to find compassion and support," said Ajit Mohan, VP and MD of Facebook India."The findings reaffirm our mission of connecting people and bringing the world closer together and online communities continue to be a big part of that mission," he said in a statement.Nearly 91 per cent of the respondents globally said they were able to provide some form of support via these online groups, whether it was helping local vulnerable residents with their groceries during lockdown, sharing vital information from health authorities, emotional support or providing financial support to local businesses.The report found that more than 1.8 billion people across the world use Facebook Groups every month, more than half of all users are in five or more groups, and over 70 million admins and moderators are running Facebook Groups. The GovLab interviewed 50 leaders of Facebook Groups from 17 countries, 26 digital community experts in 11 countries, along with Facebook internal research, literature review, and a parallel survey conducted by YouGov involving 15,000 respondents from 15 countries to reach the conclusion.--IANSna/
Kathmandu, April 15 (IANS) Indian traders and businessmen doing business in China are now queuing up in hospitals in Kathmandu to get the Chinese Covid-19 vaccines, according to officials.The officials said that there was an acute surge of Indian businessmen and traders in Kathmandu hospitals this week.We started probing this issue after we noticed that Indian businessmen are getting jabs, two senior Nepal government officials told IANS.After the probe, we came to know that Indian businessmen flying to Kathmandu to receive the jab and going back after the immunisation, they added.Some Indian traders had shown their identity cards written in Chinese and they spoke in Hindi, the officials said, adding that it was later found they were flying from India only to receive the jab.Over 30 Indian traders who are doing business in China got the Covid jab on Wednesday, while a huge number are still looking for the jab, a senior official at the Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku told IANS.Since Beijing has made Covid vaccination mandatory to enter the country, Indian traders and businessmen are submitting the identity of doing business in China, the official said. But only later we came to know that they were Indians, the official added. On March 16, the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu issued a notice and informed that anyone visiting Beijing should have to submit a certificate of Covid-19 vaccination manufactured in China while applying for the visa.Nepal has recently received 800,000 doses of Chinese vaccine called "Vero Cell" developed by Sinopharm as a grant and started inoculating its selected population.On Thursday, a similar line of Indian businessmen are queuing up in Kathmandu-based government hospitals to get the jabs, the officials confirmed.After the incident came into the light, authorities will now shut down the facility to the Indian businessmen and asked anyone seeking jab should provide a Nepali citizenship.After receiving the Chinese vaccine, the Nepal government has started inoculating those involved in essential services; students studying in China under the Chinese government scholarship but are currently stuck in Nepal due to pandemic; Nepali students preparing to leave for China for the higher study; and people involved in cross-border trade between Nepal and China.As of Wednesday, 54 000 individuals have received the Chinese jabs. Amid the worsening Covid situation in India, Nepal is in also a spot. Covid cases are rising in Nepal particularly people coming from India using the open border.--IANSag/ksk/
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