Healthcare News Review 5th Jan 2022: As Covid cases spike in India, rising pressure on healthcare professionals

PRmoment's weekly 'The Healthcare News Review' column will look at the biggest healthcare news trends every week and analyse the communications implications of that.

As Covid cases rise in India and the world, healthcare professionals under severe pressure

Early this week, India saw its biggest single day rise in new Covid cases since September 2021, marking 37,379 new cases on the 4th of January.

About 2000 of these cases are Omicron fuelled by Delhi and Mumbai.

French researchers have also detected a new variant IHU, assessment is still on about its impact. 12 people in France have been detected with the new mutation.

The Resident Doctors' Strike, rising infections amongst medical staff

This rise comes in the wake of a strike that was called by The Federation of Resident Doctors association (FORDA), led by Delhi residents over the delay in allotment of seats for post graduation seats through the government examination system called NEET. The delay is due to the criterion for preferential allotment of seats and a decision on this is pending with the Supreme Court. The strike has since been called off, but the threat of doctors withdrawing from service remains.

Doctors, support staff and students have also been testing positive for Covid-9 in places like Patiala (80 positive cases)and Patna ( 168 new cases this week).

India is not unique in this, UK too is facing the same issue in its state run hospitals. 

So, here is the pick for the forthcoming health communication trend: the ongoing pressure on the medical and healthcare professionals.

What does this mean for communicators?

1) There will be media interest in healthcare staff related stories, but just brand campaigns riding on acknowledging their work isn't going to cut it with the media. Real support without an eye to coverage is what will resonate. 

2) Behavior change communication campaigns around the vaccine can become more nuanced. Along with dealing with vaccine hesitancy , the messaging now has to also focus on get the jab, but also wear the mask. The vaccine's biggest impact is that it also reduces the severity of symptoms and this saves lives.

3) A real thought leadership based discussion on the state of the healthcare system, and the digitisation of healthcare is needed. A range of credible scientific health influencers,not necessarily all government based, is the need of the hour.

Why Chile is Chill

Chile become the first Latin American nation to start vaccinating big cats and orangutans' against Covid-19. These are part of the species that have proved vulnerable to Covid-19.

Photo Source: AFP

Why else is Chile the epitome of 'coolth'? It has set up a  155 member 'Constitutional Convention' to rewrite its Constitution, to tackle a climate and ecological emergency. In doing this it's also shaking off the shadow of its current Constitution shaped by military dictator Pinochet. 

Chile is mineral rich, especially in the all important battery component lithium Carbonate.

The other stories that made health news this week are:

1) Dr Reddy's Laboratories launches anti-viral Covid pill Molflu at a affordable Rs. 35/- for 10 pills.

2) 8 countries have made abooster shot mandatory for travel. These include France, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece and Kuwait.

3) The luxury cruise ship Cordelia returns to Mumbai from Goa, as many as 66 aboard are Covid positive. An unusual case as passengers refused to be admitted in Goa and forced a return to Mumbai.

See you next week, if you want to share your views on the stories here, drop us a comment at @PRmomentIndia

News Curated for PRmoment India by:

Impact Research and Measurement 

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