COVID-19 leaves patients struggling for medical attention in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Patients in various areas of Kashmir have been struggling for medical attention as all the efforts and attention of doctors and paramedics is focussed on COVID-19 infected persons and suspects.

The situation has become particularly difficult for pregnant women who are not being given the required attention by the medics. In many instances that have been reported in the media, pregnant women have lost their lives due to alleged negligence of doctors.

Pertinently, most of the expecting women who have died in the Valley, after the outbreak of COVID-19, have tested negative for the infectious disease.

Bilal Ahmad Sheikh, a resident of Thamuna village in Pulwama, recently lost her wife after she gave birth to a baby. He alleges that her wife wasn’t treated well by the doctors.

“My wife was doing fine after she delivered the baby. More than 24 hours had passed and she could go to washroom on her own. However, the insensitive behaviour of doctors cost me heavily,” he says.

He further adds, “After my wife complained of shortness of breath, the doctors immediately declared her coronavirus positive, even without waiting for test results. The worst thing is they told this in her presence, which contributed to the deterioration of her condition.”

Sajad Ahmad Pala (name changed), another man from the south Kashmir district has the same complaint. He accuses the doctors of ‘murdering’ medical ethics. “I visited SDH Rajpora with my expecting wife but the doctors there referred her to Lal Ded Hospital Srinagar instead of a hospital (designated for pregnant women) in Pulwama. We had to go through a lot of hardships amid the lockdown to reach Srinagar,” he said.

He added, “Doctors have lost all compassion towards patients after the outbreak of COVID-19. They don’t think for a moment as to how the patient could be shifted to Srinagar when the same facilities are available in our own district and the patient is in a critical state.”

Ishfaq Ahmad from Malpora Tahab also saw her wife die “due to medical negligence of doctors.” He complains, “My wife Nargis Akhter, who was aged 25 years, died only because the doctors didn’t know when to refer her. When they finally did, it was too late.”

It is not just that there have been complaints of unnecessary referrals, but people also complain of unfriendliness on part of the doctors, who have, otherwise, been hailed as COVID warriors.

An attendant of a patient in a private Nursing Home in Anantnag district alleged that the patients are not treated well. “Instead, the patients are being looked as suspects of Coronavirus. My cousin sister was attended to by a doctor but he maintained a distance of almost ten feet. It was nothing less than an insult,” he alleges.

As per a report of Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK), patients are not treated with dignity and respect in the Valley hospitals which results in medical conflicts.

Inappropriate behaviour from medical personnel, the report divulged, has created mistrust among people that precipitates medical disputes leading to patient resentment towards healthcare providers. “Any treatment can be undone in just a few moments by doctors’ wrong attitude,” it had stated.

In the days after the coronavirus became a reality in the Valley, most of the staff including doctors have been assigned COVID-19 related duties. As a consequence, doctors are not always available at the community health centres and primary health centres. People, especially those from rural areas, are facing logistical inconvenience due to the travel restrictions.

The lockdown induced by the coronavirus was already causing hardships to patients, but the lack of medical ethics on part of the doctors has been equally damaging. The COVID-19 is a reality but mere prescriptions aren’t enough for the patients, including COVID-19 positive ones, to recover. Sometimes, it just takes a few words of compassion and empathy to boost an ill body towards recovery.

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A Woman Who Touched Over 1 Million Lives Amid Lockdown

Meenaa Mahaajjan’s army, COVID Knights is about building an alternative support system for the community to help build positive energy amidst the crisis.

Meenaa Mahaajjan is a Holistic Wellness Expert and an active proponent of the Vedas and Upanishads. She has been serving the society since the past 26 years now. Her expertise has always been in combining Science and Spirituality seamlessly and delivering individuals an understanding of the natural coexistence and codependence of the two.

During her programmes, her research in Spiritual Sciences and Quantum Mechanics is delivered with ease and effectiveness to the masses. Meenaa Mahaajjan has always been an advocate of spreading her teaching to the masses and reconstructing a more progressive and conscious society.

Siddhi, Powered by Humanity is her endeavour to do so. Siddhi is a non-profit, volunteer-led organisation started with a strong foundation of selfless service and the power of giving. Siddhi works on several social issues and has always been the first to respond whenever any member of the society needs support. All volunteers at Siddhi are able to develop this sense of dedication and responsibility to the society with regular dialogues and training with the founder. 

When asked, what made Meenaa Mahajjan make an army of COVID knights, she says, “The ongoing pandemic and the lockdown have been completely new and unprecedented situations faced by most of us. With a majority of India’s population being young, most have never faced such a situation where one’s freedom is virtually taken away.”

A Woman Who Touched Over 1 Million Lives Amid Lockdown - Meenaa Mahaajjan - Social News Digpu

“The population has never been subjected to such strong measures where the daily life is interrupted so extensively. This is causing a wide spectrum of problems for a different state of the society ranging from food insecurity, financial uncertainty, lack of protection from the disease, lack of awareness and the lasting psychological effect of this epidemic”, she adds.

Being a Wellness Expert and a Humanitarian, she realised the need for a sense of responsibility to ignite in the minds of every member of the community. She felt it was time for every individual to think about collective good, responsibility and collective initiative. As was the lockdown a collective effort, so is the need to support the vulnerable of the society a collective effort. So Meenaa initiated the idea of COVID Knights, who symbolised the collective might of the people to help those who have been affected by this pandemic the most.

Also Read: Dr Meenaa Mahaajjan’s Spiritual Perspective On COVID-19

Meenaa says” My intention behind forming this army of COVID Knights was not just to get food to the needy or medical supplies to the sick, it was about forming an alternative support system for everyone. We have more than 1000 knights from all over the country supporting Siddhi in its endeavour to ease the pressure of this pandemic on the vulnerable.”

COVID Knights are working in three broad areas during this constantly evolving situation. These areas include Support for the Front Line Workers, Support for the Underprivileged and establishing Alternative Support Systems for the Vulnerable groups including the Elderly, Children with Special needs, orphans, etc. 

The first part of this response is the Support for the Front Line Workers including Healthcare workers, Municipality workers, Police and Paramilitary Jawaans, and other essential service workers. This includes the distribution of Personal Protective Equipment like Sanitisers, Face Masks, Face Shields, Liquid Soap and Gowns to all the Front Liners.

The second part to this response is Support for the underprivileged, vulnerable communities, migrant workers, daily wagers. Siddhi is distributing cooked meals, dry ration kits and healthcare services, personal hygiene kits, other essentials to all in need.

The final part to this response is to create a more connected, harmonious and supportive community. Siddhi is reaching out to the most vulnerable groups including the elderly, orphans, children with special needs, etc. who are undergoing added amount of uncertainty, isolation. COVID Knights are acting as an Alternative Support System for these individuals, caring for their needs and offering the much-required human connect during this time of uncertainty. 

As the founder of Siddhi, Meenaa feels fortunate enough to be able to reach the remotest areas of the country. Be it tribal areas of Chandauli district in UP, areas of Siliguri, highways and railway stations of Jabalpur, Aligarh, Andra Pradesh,  Delhi and remote bastis around NCR, Mumbai shelters, the warriors did their best.

About the efforts, she says, “We have not restricted ourselves to cities and have mobilised our teams across the nation. The idea is to help the last person! From the first day of lockdown, we have been distributing cooked food, dry ration packets, personal hygiene kits, sanitisers, masks, PPE kits and essentials to underprivileged, frontliners, Vulnerable groups, tribal areas, migrant workers and daily wagers. I have personally been on the ground doing distributions and helping in preparation and logistics. “

Besides this, COVID Knights is about building an alternate support system for the community so our knights have been doing many awareness tasks to help build positive energy amidst the crisis. We have taken care of the children and the older generation by engaging them with mindful activities like storytelling, yoga, happiness exercises. I have been easing out the economic burden on the daily wagers by helping them clear parts of their loans. Since their livelihood is an issue now and they will face long term consequences we are trying to create a support system for them too.”

It’s time to live a life of a higher purpose and with a shared vision. We must learn to Coexist and live in harmony with each other and the environment. Individual success means nothing if we can’t uplift each other.

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Dr Priya G Modi says COVID-19 came as an alarm to the world

In conversation with Digpu, Dr Priya G Modi, MBBS, MD Radiology, talks about how the global COVID-19 pandemic came as an alarming reality check to the world.

With increasing innovations and technology, our fast-moving lives came to a halt as the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world. The unanticipated lockdown brought everything to a standstill and the time spent in the lockdown has been quite an experience in many ways.

In conversation with Digpu, Dr Priya G Modi, MBBS, MD Radiology, talks about how the global COVID-19 pandemic came as an alarming reality check to the world. She says its time to support local and also asks for forgiveness from the migrant workers for what they have gone through. Here are some takeaways from our conversation with Dr Priya G Modi including the life lessons to be learnt before coming out of this lockdown.

1. Respiratory Etiquette: Wearing masks when required should be made a lifestyle. Many serious diseases which infect the lungs mainly spread from person to person contact through the air and other mediums. For instance, when people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.

The incidence of the disease will significantly reduce if we wear mask regularly and prevent ourselves from a deadly disease, we also prevent our other airborne diseases which human beings are highly susceptible Rhinoviruses, Influenza viruses (type A, type B, H1N1), Varicella viruses (cause chickenpox), Measles virus, Mumps virus, Hantavirus (a rare virus that can be transmitted from rodents to humans), Viral meningitis and Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Airborne infections are an increasingly important factor in veterinary centers, quarantine units, and breeding facilities preventing from occupational diseases to a greater extent.

2. Hand Washing and Sanitizing Etiquette: Regular hand washing and sanitizing is directly proportional to healthy life preventing illnesses to a greater extent. Never was the common man so serious about washing hands and using sanitizers, it is because of COVID-19 pandemic that such social awareness has been spread. As part of their daily routine, people are now following these steps. It is especially important for children since it prevents frequent sickness and keeps them healthy.

3. Entire Cities And Localities Getting Sanitized: We have seen cleaning streets with brooms but have never witnessed people spraying sanitizer across public areas, which kills 95% of bacteria and viruses. This sanitization contributes to a cleaner and heathier environment. Even essential supply stores and public transport vehicles are getting regularly washed and sanitized is also preventing the spread of diseases.

By staying indoors each one of us has witnessed less pollution, thus improving air quality index and has seen a drastic decrease in the incidence of air pollution diseases. We have witnessed the positive effects of lockdown on the earth’s ozone layer as well.

4. Getting House Arrest: Being house arrest was a new thing, all of us were so occupied in bustling life, work commitments. The sudden lockdown qualitatively has brought families closer since spending time together prior to the current scenario was limited to a family vacation.

Also Read: Why Are Doctors So Vulnerable, asks Dr Priya G Modi

5. Appreciating local vendors and Indian products: E-commerce had made us so laid back that we did not bother to shop from surrounding shops and street vendors. When online shopping was shut, we actually realized the value of surrounding stores and indeed helped them overcome their financial constraints.

6. Launch of Aarogya Setu App: In April, the Indian government launched a COVID-19 tracking app called Aarogya Setu which uses GPS and Bluetooth to inform people when they are at risk of exposure to COVID-19. It made tracking easy for the people and the authorities as well.

7. Innovators And Entrepreneurs Making India Self-Reliant: They say necessity is the mother of invention and rightly so. When COVID-19 positive cases were increasing, India started making Personal protective equipment (PPE) for our frontline warriors in healthcare and other places. Earlier we never manufactured any PPE but now India makes approx 2 lakh PPE a day.

8. India manufacturing N95 and Homemade Masks: Many Indians came forward and took up an initiative to make N95 masks, homemade masks,  and Face shields approximately 3 lakh masks have been manufactured in India.

9. Sanitizer Dispensers: Foot-operated sanitizer dispenser, automatic sanitizer dispenser, touchless sanitizer dispenser gave a boon to the new invention in India. Manufacturing of drones to supply essential commodities and sanitizing city, manufacturing of respirators, ventilators everything was need of the hour due to the increase of cases and shortage of equipment.

10. Go Local: A loud and very clear message was given out by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost our economy and help each other growing domestic vendors, Swadeshi products and entrepreneurs.

Amid all the good things that happened, there were certain untoward happenings also. The migrant workers were devastated. They were left jobless and hungry. With zero income, hungry stomachs to feed, children and women walking hundreds of kilometres on foot in their desperation to go home.

It was heartbreaking to hear about many migrant women who had to deliver babies on the roadsides, in trains and walking hundreds of kilometres hungry. Many such incidences were reported and shown on social media but never heard those women taken to nearby hospitals and getting proper medical care. It’s just that they could not afford life due to poverty and they felt very let down amid the pandemic.

In conclusion to her conversation with Digpu, Dr Priya G Modi says she is happy that the world has taken life very seriously, yet she asks for forgiveness from the people who suffered due to the pandemic.

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Chaitanya Pandey – India’s Young Tiger Woods

Chaitanya Pandey finds the present time most appropriate to celebrate the anniversary of his triumph at the European Championship held in Scotland last year.

With the world in lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the casualties has been sports which had to take a back seat due to government-imposed travel restrictions and new laws on social distancing. Golf has been one of the sports most affected with courses shut up.

One such golfer has been rising Indian star 8-year-old Chaitanya Pandey, whose meteoric rise to the top of his sport has been halted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the boy who has been compared to a young Tiger Woods, and who been described by the Indian Minister of Sport, Kiren Rijuju, as part of India’s future and one of the world’s best young players has time on his side, and it will not be long before he is striding the fairways and the greens again on the way to yet another brilliant title win.

In the meantime, celebrating his European win anniversary, it seems an appropriate time to relive some golden memories when Chaitanya travelled to Longniddry in Scotland last year, and returned home triumphant with the European Championship in his possession.

Chaitanya Pandey went to Scotland as one of the youngest in a glittering field of featuring competitors from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, as well as the substantial home-based contingent.

And, for many of them, the Longniddry course, which is famed for its difficulty, posed a unique set of challenges with hundreds of trees lining the course, deep bunkers and the adverse weather conditions.

And Chaitanya Pandey certainly had to contend with all that the famous old course could throw at him over the three days of the tournament. Friday was the best day weather-wise and Chaitanya took full advantage scoring a superb 30, which was 6 under par for the 9-hole course, enough to earn him a share of the lead with one of his closest rivals from Thailand.

On Saturday, things got tougher and Chaitanya could only score a par 36, still highly respected in the circumstances, but with Thailand rival managing a two-under-par score, Chaitanya had slipped to second in the overall standings.

However, the final day Sunday was to prove decisive. Not only were the conditions difficult again, particularly playing shots into the wind and heavy rain, but pressure also began to play its part, particularly in the case of Thai rival who shot six over par to end his chances. Chaitanya meanwhile kept his nerve and composure superbly, continued to find the fairways from the tee, and made sure that his putting was up to its usual brilliant best.

He shot par again, the third-best round of the day, and enough to give him a marvellous and thoroughly deserved victory by two shots from the South African Lex Foxcraft. It was the biggest success of his fledgeling career to date and made him the youngest Indian to win the European title.

Typically modest after his record-breaking win, Chaitanya was quick to praise those who had helped him achieve such success at an early age, including his coach Romit Bose and Aditya Sachdeva who prompted him to play golf, the Delhi Golf Club, especially its President, Mr RS Bedi and Captain, Rohit Sabherwal, and his school K R Mangalam World School. Above all though, his gratitude was reserved for his parents without whose tireless support and devotion, none of his achievements would be possible.

Since then he has won a number of major events maintaining his pole position in India in Indian golf Union merit list, US Kids Golf India and finished third in the Kids’ World Championship in Malaysia.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he will not get a chance to defend his European title this year that has had to be postponed for a year, along with many of the other major championships in the United States he was due to compete in later this year, including the IMG World, FCG Callaway, and US Kids’ World Championships, which were all scheduled to be staged in the USA.

However, when play does resume, it is a certainty that Chaitanya will once again be amongst the favourites to win all the big titles.

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Coronavirus: J&K increases testing capacity to be on top in India

Now, 8k tests being done per day, local authorities say

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir has now become number one in the country in COVID-19 testing with the testing rate of over 10,000 per million.

The testing capacity in the Union Territory has gone up from just about 100 tests/day in March to 8000 tests/day now. In the last one month alone, the testing capacity has been enhanced from 1800 tests/day to 8100/day – an increase by a whopping 350%.

The information was provided earlier this week by Principal Secretary to Government, Power Development Department and Information, Rohit Kansal, who is also the official spokesperson of J&K Government.

He said that aggressive and sustained testing is the only effective weapon against the disease and the administration shall continue to pursue it effectively.

J&K increases testing capacity to be on top in India
A Policemen Stands Guard In Pulwama Town For Enforcing

The official also stated that the Government has taken a slew of measures on the health, economic and welfare fronts. “Jammu and Kashmir was probably one of the first States or UTs to take note of the emerging situation and initiate action and many of our interventions have not only been fast but effective too.”

It may be recalled that the total number of COVID 19 cases in J&K is 1759. The number of recovered cases are 833 while as 25 people have died of the infection.

Health officials say that while J&K had been able to achieve a low growth rate and a doubling rate of over three weeks, this should not become a cause of complacency.

Effective lockdown, strong containment policy, aggressive testing and cooperation by the people of J&K has played a key role in containment of COVID 19.

Meanwhile, the government has claimed to be adopting a policy of testing 100% of all returnees. All the returnees are being tested, and as a result of the strategy, the administration has been successful in tracing more than 450 positive cases so far.

It is in place to mention here that the UT Government has issued SoPs for the reopening of markets, industry and trade. Similarly, SOPs have been issued for returnees and passengers.

Given that the increased testing rate will be helpful to test all potential positive cases, the next challenge for the government is to convince people to keep staying in their homes as there seems no likelihood for the lockdown to be relaxed in the days to come.

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Use AI and Agile Research to succeed in the current market says Numr

In conversation with Digpu, Numr CEO Amitayu Basu unravels how businesses can endure the uncertainty, chaos, and volatility of current times. His answer is simple- Adapt.

Numr is a tech-led market research company that helps other companies attract new customers, delight existing ones, and innovate their product. They do this by utilising Agile Market Research.

When asked what Agile Market Research means, Amitayu Basu explains, “Agile MR is the only way to respond to the changing dynamics of this current crisis. Agile Research is real-time, dynamic, flexible, and collaborative. At its core, it entails responding to change as and when it occurs, rather than following a rigid plan. Instead of shying away from uncertainty, it embraces it. This is crucial in the current crisis.”

Here are some takeaways from our conversation including his tips on how businesses can flourish right now, and how Numr incorporates them.

1. CX Is Important, So Delight Your Customers

“Did you know that 89% companies now compete mostly based on Customer Experience?” He adds, “Delivering outstanding CX has become increasingly important, especially in the current panorama, which is why, our AI-led CX platform uses NPS® to collect real-time customer feedback across multiple channels such as SMS, WhatsApp, Phone, and IVR.”

What differentiates Numr from other CX companies is that they collect feedback at ‘the moment of truth’. This data is analysed automatically using AI, prioritized, and then distributed in real-time with customisable dashboards to the people who need to act on it. This allows companies to cut costs while delivering superior CX.

Numr also use sentiment-analysis and AI to help companies obtain insights from comments, reviews and massively reduce Churn. Additionally, the company uses predictive analytics to find customers with the highest chance of leaving and helps in focusing a company’s efforts on recovering high-value customers.

2. Evaluate Your Content To Get New Customers

Numr’s agile platform deploys Intuitive-Association (System-1 Thinking) to evaluate a company’s written content.

About the sales funnel, Amitayu says, “Potential customers usually go through a Sales Funnel before they convert.  This includes going through your website for the first time, subscribing to your newsletter, reading your blogs over a period, talking to a salesperson, and finally deciding to buy your product.”

After a customer has become aware of the product, he moves into the consideration stage of the funnel where he spends some time forming a definitive opinion about the company. During this evaluation stage, the customer is nurtured through various blogs, case studies, promotions etc.

We, at Numr evaluate what a potential customer felt during this stage (e.g. informed, increased trust etc.) when he encountered these nurturing tools.” Using these feelings, each customer is given a prime score, which is used to specifically retarget customers with the highest probability of converting.

Basically, Numr provides automated hot alerts directly to the sales team when a potential customer has reached a score where he can be converted easily.

3. Analyse Your Market Space and Brand Perception

 Amitayu says, “We empower companies to understand their Brand Perception by discovering words and phrases that consumers associate with their brand vs the competition.”

The company does this by presenting a target group with a survey about the words they intuitively associate with a brand. Numr’s proprietary algorithm uses a factor of the speed of the response as a predicator for the strength of the association with a word or phrase.

“This wide space analysis allows you to differentiate your brand from pre-existing ones by showcasing a way to cultivate uniquely distinctive assets that can be used in marketing and sales”, Amitayu Basu states.

4. Perform Concept and Idea Testing Before Launching Your Product

Launching a new product is an expensive affair. Before investing money and resources into developing a product, it is wise to uncover if people have a need for it.

“While Concept Testing is a lengthy process with Old-school Market Research,” says Amitayu Basu, “our agile methodology delivers results in a matter of hours.”

Numr’s platform presents the concept (e.g. poster, video or actual schematic of the product) to a group of potential customers to uncover how likely are they to try the product. Then, the trial rate is compared to previously tried concepts or the industry trial rate.

Numr utilises this trial rate to predict the market share the product will occupy way before the product is manufactured.

5. Perform Price Testing To Find The Perfect Price-Point In The Market To Maximise Success

Price Testing helps companies find the perfect price point to sell their product for. Numr uses Conjoint Analysis to quickly identify what product features the consumers want, at what price point.

In conclusion to the conversation with Digpu, Amitayu Basu asserts, “This is not the time to go off on a hunch. To flourish during these times, make sure all your business decisions are backed by data and research.”

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