How Covid-19 Is Affecting The Healthcare Industry?

Healthcare
How Covid-19 Is Affecting The Healthcare Industry?
23 Mar 2020

Covid-19 is one of the most powerful and serious global emergencies faced by the world in recent times. Covid-19 is basically the name given to emergence and spread of corona virus by WHO. Originated in Wuhan, China, this virus has spread in more than 60 countries of the world with major outbreaks in countries like Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan. Even India is not left untouched with this pandemic with its first case of Covid-19 detected in Kerala on 30 January.

Though Indian government is committed to take every possible measure to prevent explosive outbreak of the disease in India, till now 294 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 5 deaths due to it has been registered. This sudden national emergency will take its toll both from economic and social fronts of the country.

Let us discuss the impact of Covid-19 on various aspects of healthcare industry.

Hospitals in India

One of the greatest challenges all the government hospitals are facing at the moment is over-crowding. It will be interesting to note that 85% is marked to be safe occupancy rate in any hospital. Hospital is expected to keep certain percent of its in-surge capacity to be vacant in order to meet sudden challenges such as war, pandemic or a natural calamity.

It is quite unfortunate that in India hospitals usually have hundred percent occupancy and this sudden outbreak of Covid-19 has led to situation of over-crowding. Now the hospitals in India has to bear the brunt of this additional pressure as they are expected to work efficiently at the occupancy rate of 120% or even more. All this is leading to serious consequences like patients and ambulance backlogs, delaying or cancellation of surgeries, early discharge of non-essential patients, shifting of patients to other hospitals, etc. Both government and hospital management are taking measures for emergency infrastructure building to increase the capacity of the hospitals. Government has also initiated tie ups with private healthcare institutions in order to share the burden and fight a united war against the national emergency.

Testing labs in India

Another aspect of healthcare industry working tirelessly to fight Covid-19 is labs. India has NIV and 52 other labs registered under ICMR. All these labs are well equipped to test the presence of coronavirus in the given sample. It will be interesting to note that each lab in the country can efficiently test up to 25000 test samples. Government is constantly working to add new labs in the list in order to prevent delay of testing the samples.

Pharmaceutical industry in India

Despite all the proactive measures by the government, situation is not very promising in the pharmaceutical industry. India imports 85% of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) from China. This over dependence for API on China has led to conditions like disruption of supply of raw material and price volatility in the country. Though some big pharmaceutical companies have decided to airlift API from China, all thanks to limited land and water movement, still it is difficult to meet sudden increase in demand in the nation of 1.3 billion people.

Low capacity utilization of approximately 30 to 40% is another major problem faced by Indian pharmaceutical industry.

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