Lifting Covid-19 emergency status big relief: Doctors’ body
With world health organization (WHO) lifting emergency status of Covid-19, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday termed the declaration a big relief.
“This is very encouraging news that Covid-19 emergency is over,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement to Asian News Hub.
WHO on Friday announced that Covid-19 no longer warranted the status of a global emergency, more than 3 years after it raised the disease to its highest alert level.
Dr Hassan said the decision recognizes the falling impact that covid has now on our lives.
We are no longer seeing major surges in infection, severe illness or death. This is because people have developed hybrid immunity from widespread infections and vaccinations.
“The virus has settled now. Infections are less severe and hospitalizations are minuscule,” he said.
The DAK President said the end of Covid-19 as a global health emergency means that countries no longer need to implement public health measures like masking and social distancing.
“WHO decision makes a symbolic end to the pandemic which has had a profound impact on our lives over the last 3 years,” he said adding pandemic has affected our health, our economy, our everyday activities and caused devastation through the loss of so many lives.
“We have entered into the endemic stage of Covid-19,” said Dr Nisar.
“It is yet another infection joining many other diseases that humanity has learned to live,” he said.
“With the transition from pandemic to endemic stage, Covid is going to stay with us, but will no longer be a disruptor of daily family and community life,” he added.
Health benefits of fasting: Details here
The month of fast along with blessings bring health benefits for people, experts said.
Doctors said that fasting helps in weight loss, improves blood sugar control and decreases inflammation.
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Dr Fayaz Ahmad Bhat Assistant Professor Department of General Medicine at SKIMS Soura told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that fasting gives discipline and patience besides decreasing chances of developing diabetes and other metabolic syndrome disorders.
He said there remains less chances of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver and other diseases in people who fast as compared to people who don’t.
Recent studies suggest that fasting lowers chances of neurological diseases and cancer, he said, adding that it has been also found that people who eat less have good memory besides good overall neurological status and their lifespan is more as compared to those who eat more.
“Fasting helps in regeneration of stem cells that helps in making of any tissue or organ in the body besides that mental stability and it can help you in getting rid of dementia,” he said.
“Stem cells play an important role in regeneration because they can develop into many different cell types in the body and renew themselves millions of times,” he said.
He said that fasting promotes blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance, promotes better health by fighting inflammation, may enhance heart health by improving blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, may boost brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders and aids weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism.
Dr Fayaz said that fasting helps in cancer prevention and increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy besides fasting helps in the detoxification process of body and reboots the immune system of individuals.
Noted doctor S M Qadri told KNO that studies suggest that fasting helps in reduction of weight mainly among men besides that it helps in reduction of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, sometimes called “bad” cholesterol that increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Dr Owais from GMC Anantnag said that fasting has several health benefits as it helps in decreasing chronic inflammations that may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It also helps in weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism and may also help in better brain functioning, he said.
He said that fasting increases growth hormone secretion, which is vital for growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength.
Rising Covid cases may lead to surge in hospitalisation, ICU stays: Doctors
The rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country can lead to an increase in hospitalisation, ICU stays and demand for oxygen, health experts said on Monday.
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India on Monday recorded 1,805 new Covid cases in the last 24 hours, the data issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The total number of active cases in the country has now crossed the 10,000 mark, after a span of 134 days.
“Currently, there is no increase in the hospitalisation so far as the Covid-19 new strain is concerned. But yes, if the number rises further, it might be a possibility that the burden comes to hospitalisation and oxygen demand and ICU stays can really increase,” Rahul Sharma, Additional Director, Pulmonology and Critical Care, Fortis Hospital Noida, told IANS.
The daily positivity rate has been recorded at 3.19 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 1.39 per cent. Six deaths, one each from Chandigarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have also been reported in a span of 24 hours, and two were reconciled by Kerala.
“The increase in the number of Covid cases are due to the Covid variant XBB1.15 and XBB1.16, but there is no need to worry though individuals should follow Covid-appropriate behaviour such as using masks, maintain hand hygiene and avoiding crowded places,” Laxman Jessani, Consultant, Infectious Disease, at Apollo Hospitals-Navi Mumbai told IANS.
He said people who are eligible for booster doses should consider getting them, especially if they are at higher risk for severe disease or have weakened immune systems.
“Booster doses can help boost immunity and provide additional protection against new variants of the virus,” Jessani noted.
According to Sharma, the most important symptoms to watch for are persistent fever which is not improving, and cough with sputum production; and falling oxygen level below below 92 per cent.
If patients are having increased weight loss, loss in appetite, chest pain, and atypical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, they should immediately seek medical attention or maybe probably need hospitalisation, he explained.
“The symptoms are generally mild and self limited or can be easily managed with the help of mild symptomatic medicines in the form of paracetamol, some kind of anti allergic, etc. But people, especially elderly above the age of 60-65 years and young children could be more prone to developing some kind of serious infection from Covid,” said Tushar Tayal – Consultant – Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital Gurugram, told IANS.
In addition, people suffering from any kind of health issues like cardiac diseases, hypertension, diabetes, malignancies, immunocompromised patients, cancer patients, could also be at the maximum risk of Covid infection, the doctors said.
66 percent women in Jammu and Kashmir Anaemic: Report
Majority of women in Jammu and Kashmir are anaemic, said statistics published in the latest ‘Women and Men in India 2022’ report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
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According to the report released recently, a copy of which lies with news agency—KNO, 66 percent women in Jammu & Kashmir have anaemia, including 25 percent with mild anaemia, 38 percent with moderate anaemia, and 3 percent with severe anaemia.
“Anaemia is particularly high among rural women, women aged 15-19, and other backward class women, but anaemia exceeds 40 percent for every group of women.”
As per the report, during NFHS-4, 49 percent non-pregnant women aged between 15-49 were anaemic, which has increased to 67.3 percent during NFHS-5.
However, slight improvement has been in anaemic condition of pregnant women aged 15-49 as during NFHS-4 46.9 percent women were found anaemic while during NFHS-5 44.1 percent women were found anaemic.
Over all the anaemic condition of all women aged 15-49 has increased from 48.9 percent in NFHS-4 to 65.9 percent in NFHS-5.
Notably, anaemia is a condition that is marked by low levels of haemoglobin in the blood. Iron deficiency is estimated to be responsible for about half of all anaemia globally. Still, anaemia can also be caused by malaria, hookworms, other nutritional deficiencies, chronic infections and genetic conditions.
Moreover anaemia can result in maternal mortality, weakness, diminished physical and mental capacity, increased morbidity from infectious diseases, prenatal mortality, premature delivery, low birth weight, and (in children) impaired cognitive performance, motor development, and scholastic achievement.
Furthermore, anaemia is a major health problem in Jammu & Kashmir, especially among women and children.
Several doctors while talking to KNO said diet is playing an important role in this regard as most of the women aren’t eating nutrient rich diets.
Dr Sabeena, a gynaecologist at SDH Bijbehara told Kashmir News Observer that a lack of nutrition diversity in meals — inclusion of quality sources of proteins, micronutrients in households cis one of the main reasons behind anaemia.
In women of reproductive age, heavy periods and pregnancy are the most common causes of iron deficiency anaemia as their body needs extra iron for their baby during pregnancy, she said.
If iron deficiency anaemia is left untreated, it can make you more susceptible to illness and infection, as a lack of iron affects the body’s natural defence system (the immune system), she said.
Dr Rakshanda, another gynaecologist told KNO that Iron deficiency is common in a Kashmiri person’s daily diet, as people here usually overcook the vegetables,” she says. “As a result, the nutrients are lost.”
Even pregnant women who have access to iron tablets often don’t take them because they feel uncomfortable or nauseated – common side effects of pregnancy, she said adding that in far off places women don’t have access to these things due to poverty and other issues.
The reason for rising cases of anemia is lack of awareness, lack of education regarding dietary habits, nutritional deficiencies, ignorance of menstrual health, she said.
Anemia is a major public health problem especially in reproductive age women because of their high demand for iron, she added.
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