World over, people are facing the worst ever pandemic in their living history. As on 25 April, 2020, there have been 28 lakh cases of the Coronavirus and close to 2 lakh people have lost their lives. COVID-19 is a novel virus, very little is known about it. Currently the treatment being given is not very specific. Some antiviral, some anti-parasitic drugs are being tried. Oxford University has recently started the human trials of a possible vaccine and this raises hopes for victory in the war against this deadly virus.
Globally, social distancing and lockdown are being tried to stem the spread of this highly contagious disease. Governments around the world are also now relying more and more on use of modern technology, ubiquitous instruments, sensors and powerful algorithms. In the war against COVID-19, several governments have implemented these new surveillance tools, the Internet of things (IoT) and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The outbreak of coronavirus is alerting the world about global public healthcare. Now, it is time to think of building a healthcare network with a national buffer and global pump house for public health services.
The challenges before the India health care case system are manifold. The National Health Policy (NHP), 2017 aims to double the government healthcare spending from the existing 1.2% of the GDP to 2.5% by 2025. The Coronavirus crises also create an opportunity of adopting E-health technologies that can create a transformational shift in Indian healthcare and can ensure efficiency in healthcare. There are potential uses of AI for the current situation created by COVID-19 and the potential exponential spread amongst the populations – the single biggest threat to the Indian people for a generation.
The war against Corona also demands to have a suitable response to the increased fear, stress and apprehension among society due to the mortality and morbidity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, an intervention such as yoga which reduces psychological stress may have an important role to play in strengthening the immune system thereby reducing spread of infections and preventing complications.
The whole world waits with a bated breath as to when we will overcome this deadly situation. Simultaneously, the Government of India is committed to achieve a transformational shift in Indian healthcare wherein technology plays a crucial role.