Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:29 March,2020

Loss of smell, taste early symptom of Covid-19: Report

HOUSTON: A loss of smell and taste may be the early symptom of Covid-19 infection, according to a latest report by a leading American professional association of medical specialists.
Currently, there have been reports of taste and smell disorders related to Covid-19 from multiple countries around the world as well as within the US, said James C Denneny III, MD, executive vice president and CEO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS)....read more

CMAAO IMA HCFI Corona Myth Buster 21

Loss of Smell & Taste is not a screening test
NEJM: The American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery has proposed to add anosmia and dysgeusia to the list of screening items for potential COVID-19 disease.
Informally, these symptoms have been noted among some patients whove tested positive for COVID-19, and in some cases, anosmia was the only symptom....read more

28th March COVID-19 Update - Deaths will cross 30,000 in 199 countries, Minimum 27052

1st one lac cases in 67 days, 2nd in 11 days, 3rd in 4 days, 4th in 3 days, 5th in 2.5 days, 6th in 2 days
0.1% population of Italy infected; Italy and Spain report more deaths than China
5909 new cases and 919 new deaths in Italy; Highest number of new deaths since the beginning of the epidemic in Italy. 46 doctors have died to date. 6414 health workers have tested positive. (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/)....read more

Five Types of People - from Nastik to Astik

Following are the five types of people:
1.Nastik: Those who do not believe in God.
2.Astik: For whom God exists.
3.Those who believe that God also exists in them (I and the God are the same)
4.Those who believe in Tat Tvam Asi (God not only exists in me but also in you)....read more

How Corona Aware Are You

Health Sutras By Dr K K Aggarwal

Always take your medications as instructed by your doctor. When in doubt, ask your doctor.



Healthcare News Monitor

Shortage Of API: Bengal Chemicals Can Only Supply Only 10 Lakh Hydroxy-Chloroquine
Medical Dialogues

PSU pharma company Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPCL) on Tuesday said it can provide only a maximum of 10 lakh hydroxy-chloroquine tablets due to the shortage of a key component, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of hydroxy-chloroquine for healthcare workers involved in the care of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases and the asymptomatic household contacts of lab-confirmed cases as a preventive treatment measure. Bengal Chemicals is possibly the only company from this part of the country having the capacity to produce hydroxy-chloroquine. "Whatever raw material (API) we have that can be good for only 10 lakh malaria tablets (having hydroxy-chloroquine)," BPCL managing director PM Chandraiah told. API is the term used to refer to the biologically active component of a drug product such as a tablet, capsule. India imports 80 percent of API from China, from where the novel coronavirus originated, to meet its requirements. "In India, only the private sector IPCA produces API and we had been told that we are in the queue and our turn will come in May-June," he said. According to the data updated Tuesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases rose to 492, including 446 active cases. Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. located in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is a Public Sector Undertaking in founded in 1901 by Prafulla Chandra Ray.

Workforce order has Baddi pharma units in limbo
The Tribune

Manufacturers of sanitisers and essential medicines are facing problems in operating their units in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) area following the new directions issued by the DM. Unit managements were directed to keep their workforce within their premises as per directions issued by the District Magistrate last evening. The unit managements were also strictly directed to observe all santisation protocols for their premises as well as the employees and in case any Covid-19 patient was found positive, the unit would face a lockdown and the staff was to be placed under quarantine. These directions were a major jolt to the pharma manufacturers as they have limited space to house all workers. “It is not possible to provide space for 100 workers within a unit even if half the workforce is engaged. Being a technical process industry, all sections have to operate simultaneously and such restrictions can’t allow a unit to undertake manufacturing”, informed Surinder Kumar, a pharma company official at Baddi. Investors pointed out that contrary to these directions, secretary, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has clearly stated in its latest directions that the units engaged in manufacturing essential commodities like medicines, sanitisers, masks, etc., and their ancillary support services should be exempt from the mobility restrictions to ensure continuous availability of medicines. With several pharma manufacturers approaching the central authorities to lodge their protest against these directions, the district administration today interacted with the industry representatives through a video conferencing at Baddi to seek their views.

Private hospitals to start treating Covid-19 patients
Mint- Neetu Chandra Sharma

As covid-19 patients continue to increase in the country, private hospitals on Thursday geared up to tackle the unfolding health crisis. Some of the private hospitals were already preparing to handle the patient burden by creating isolation wards. Several noted hospitals across the country said that they now are ready for treatment of the novel coronavirus patients after mock drills and dry run for the specialised treatment. Max Healthcare, one India’s largest chain of private healthcare network on Thursday said that it will begin admissions of Covid-19 patients starting Friday. The treatment will be made available in specially designated isolation wards of their hospitals – East block of Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket and Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj. Apart from this, the diagnostic facility of hospital-- Max Labs-- will also begin testing for COVID-19 for samples collected from four units across Delhi-NCR. However, the testing samples will be collected at selective Max Hospitals – Saket, Gurgaon and Patparganj. “With this initiative we aim to lend a helping hand to the government in fighting against this colossal pandemic by admitting Covid-19 positive patients at two hospitals across our network for treatment. We hope this will help the country as a whole tackle the disease more efficiently," Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director – Max Healthcare said.

Coronavirus Pandemic: India’s largest COVID-19 hospital to be set up in Odisha
Financial Express

The country’s largest COVID-19 hospital to be set up in Odisha! As the number of cases reaches above 650, Odisha’ state government has taken a step forward in setting up India’s largest COVID-19 hospital, ANI reported. According to the report, the hospital will be treating patients tested positive for the novel Coronavirus exclusively. It also said that the hospital will have 1,000 beds and will be completely functional in the next 15 days. The tweet also said that a tripartite agreement has been signed between the state government of Odisha, medical colleges as well as corporates that will help put all the 1,000 beds required to treat COVID-19 infected patients. Meanwhile, Odisha has asked more than 82,000 people to keep themselves in self-quarantine, PTI reported. Many people in the state have either come from outside India or from other states within the country. The chief spokesperson of the state government Subroto Bagchi has said that 78,233 people returned from other states and 4,015 people have come back to India from foreign countries. As other states are also affected by the novel Coronavirus, the Odisha government asked people to stay at homes only. The positive cases in the state are currently two. In India, more than 650 people have come under the radar of Coronavirus infection. According to the data provided by the government’s COVID-19 portal, there are 593 active cases in India and 43 are those who are cured, discharged or migrated cases. Apart from this, 13 people have succumbed to the deadly Coronavirus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for a nationwide lockdown for 21 days in order to curb the impact and outbreak of the Coronavirus. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, after Modi’s statement, has also finalised an economic stimulus of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for relieving the distressed sectors of the country amidst the Coronavirus lockdown.