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Omron BP machine sales surge by as much as 30 pc in COVID-19 months

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, Aug 19: COVID-19 has not just changed our world but also altered the way we deal with things, and in most ways for good. Perhaps one of the biggest changes in ourselves is the way we have now become more mindful of our health.

It is for this reason that Omron's Blood Pressure Monitors (BPMs) sales has surged by as much as 30 per cent in the post COVID-19 months. People living in large cities have shown higher awareness levels towards high BP. That's why Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru together lead in BP machine demand and Delhi tops with highest BP machine sales in India.

According to OMRON Healthcare India, the global leader in digital blood pressure home monitoring devices, more number of Indians are buying Digital Blood Pressure Monitors (BPMs) to monitor their vital parameters effectively. The brand has seen a surge in sales of BPMs by as much as 30 per cent in the post COVID-19 months.

People who have high blood pressure, or hypertension, before the age of 40 are at an increased risk of heart disease later in life. Therefore, monitoring blood pressure at home is an important part of managing high blood pressure. Home monitoring can also help you keep tabs on your blood pressure in a familiar setting, make certain your medication is working, and enable the doctors to take more informed decisions to manage potential health

The rise in sales could also have been for the fact that COVID-19 infection has meant that people have largely stayed away from hospitals unless critical. Even in cases of people with asymptomatic conditions, who would have otherwise consulted a physician, are delaying going for consultation in fear of COVID-19. It has also meant that patients with need for regular monitoring are now considering solutions for home monitoring.

Whatever be the case, no one seems to be complaining. After all, a healthy lifestyle is a way of living a long and happy life. Not all diseases are preventable, but a large proportion of morbidities & complications, particularly those from coronary heart disease, can be avoided and well managed with monitoring.

“The trend is more evident in large metros owing to the urban lifestyle and more awarenes than their counterparts in Tier 2 and 3 cities. More than half of the 30 per cent surge has come from large metro cities. Among the large cities, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore witnessed higher inquiry levels for a BP machine than others, Delhi being the highest” says Rohit Saini, GM – Sales & Marketing, OMRON Healthcare India.

OMRON also shared there is a general rise in health awareness and consciousness across the globe as witnessed by the increasing numbers of activities such as marathons, walkathons and proliferation of wearable devices, smart health applications and health forums. “The phenomenon is directly proportionate to the higher disposable incomes in urban India. The propensity to spend more on health and fitness is higher in the cities,” adds Rohit.

Keeping in sync with this trend, the company has recently added new digital BP Monitors in their portfolio with innovative features like 360 degrees arm-cuff feature. Enabled with the ‘Enhanced IntelliWrap™’ technology, the arm cuff ensures impeccable accuracy regardless of how the cuff is worn. Therefore, any variation in the readings that might appear due to incorrect placement of the cuff by the user is mitigated.

The monitors also have ‘Dual Check for Dual Users’. It measures and detects blood pressure along with AFib (Atrial Fibrillation), thus enabling users to have a comprehensive check for their risk of stroke with one device, in one sitting. The dual user function also provides storage and transmission of measurement data of two separate users to their smartphones.

People in general have realised the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, evident by the number of people adopting online workout classes. It, walking, jogging, and even cycling. While people have taken to some sort of physical activity to increase immunity, the importance of home health monitoring is also not lost on them.

Established in 2010, OMRON Healthcare India is a key player in the health care segment providing innovative medical technologies for Monitoring and Therapy. Equipped with OMRON's competent "Bioinformation Sensing" the portfolio comprises of home healthcare products such as blood pressure monitors, respiratory therapy devices, body fat monitors, digital thermometers, pain management devices, etc.

OMRON Healthcare was the first to introduce manual and digital blood pressure units to the home healthcare market in the world. Today, OMRON has the highest market share in the home-use digital BP monitor in India and across the globe.

India Passes 35 Lakh Coronavirus Cases, Sees New Global Record

NEW DELHI, Aug 30: A record surge of 78,761 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours took India's Covid tally past 35 lakh, the Union Health Ministry said this morning. This is the highest single-day jump in Covid infections reported by any country since the beginning of the pandemic. The US set the previous record on July 17 with 77,638 daily cases, according to a tally.

In the last 24 hours, 948 deaths linked to the highly contagious disease were registered, taking the total number of fatalities to 63,498. About 27 lakh people have recovered so far; the recovery rate stood at 76.6 per cent this morning.

Here are top 10 developments on coronavirus cases in India:

India is the third worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic in the world after the United States and Brazil. The country has been recording the highest single-day surge in cases since August 4.

It took India 213 days to cross 35 lakh cases. The country has registered over five lakh cases in the last one week.

In the last 24 hours, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of fresh cases. These five states also recorded the highest number of deaths, according to the government data.

The government on Saturday announced guidelines for the fourth phase of unlocking, allowing metro services to resume from September 7. Lockdowns can't be imposed outside containment zones, the states have been told.

Social, political, academic, sports, religious and other functions will be allowed with a limit of 100 people as part of the new rules from September 21. Schools, colleges, swimming pools and indoor theatres will remain closed. This phase, called "Unlock4", will be in effect till September 30.

India's positivity rate - an indicator of prevalence of the disease- stood at 7.46 per cent this morning; the fatality rate stood at 1.79 per cent.
India, which has a population of about 130 crores, has tested over 4.14 crore samples so far; 10.55 lakh samples have been tested since yesterday.
The country has been recording over 75,000 cases for the last four days; it recorded its last biggest single-day jump with 77,266 cases on Thursday.

For every million population, India's coronavirus cases and fatalities are one of the lowest compared to the global averages, the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on COVID-19 was informed on Saturday. Worldwide, over 25 million cases have been recorded so far; over 8 lakh people have died.

US coronavirus cases approach 6 million

WASHINGTON, Aug 30: U.S. cases of the novel coronavirus were approaching 6 million on Sunday as many Midwest states reported increasing infections, according to a tally.

Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota have recently reported record one-day increases in new cases while Montana and Idaho are seeing record numbers of currently hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Nationally, metrics on new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and the positivity rates of tests are all declining but there are emerging hotspots in the Midwest.

Many of the new cases in Iowa are in the counties that are home to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, which are holding some in-person classes. Colleges and universities around the country have seen outbreaks after students returned to campus, forcing some to switch to online-only learning.

Infections have also risen after an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota drew more than 365,000 people from across the country from Aug. 7 to 16. The South Dakota health department said 88 cases have been traced to the rally.

More than eight months into the pandemic, the United States continues to struggle with testing, seeing the number of people tested fall in recent weeks.

Many health officials and at least 33 states have rejected the new Covid-19 testing guidance issued by the Trump administration last week that said those exposed to the virus and without symptoms may not need testing.

Public health officials believe the United States needs to test more frequently to find asymptomatic Covid-19 carriers to slow the spread of the disease.

While the United States has the most recorded infections in the world, it ranks tenth based on cases per capita, with Brazil, Peru and Chile having higher rates of infection, according to a Reuters tally.

Australian vaccine provides protection against infection, safe for humans: Report

SYDNEY, Aug 26: A potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in Australia has showed positive results in human clinical trials. The vaccine candidate has shown zero side effects in human trials so far and has shown promising results when tried on animals.

In July, the University of Queensland (UQ) and Australian biotech giant CSL began the trial with injecting 120 Brisbane volunteers with the potential shot against the novel coronavirus infection, reported DailyMail.

After the first trial doses were administered on animals, project co-leader Associate Professor Keith Chappell said it was successful.

The UQ vaccine, which uses what is known as "molecular clamp" technology, created the neutralising immune response in animal models, which was better than the average level of antibodies found in patients who have recovered from COVID-19, Dr Chappell was quoted as saying.

Hamsters in the Netherlands were also administered the drug. The UQ team gave doses of the vaccine to the animals and then exposed them to coronavirus to test whether the drug provoked the desired immune response.

In hamster models, the vaccine combined with the Seqirus MF59® adjuvant, provided protection against virus replication, and reduced lung inflammation following exposure to the novel coronavirus, said the report.

Also, none of the 120 human participants who received a single vaccine dose experienced any negative side effects, it said.

UQ's Brisbane project is one of just 17 human trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine undergoing worldwide to halt the global coronavirus pandemic, including in the United States, United Kingdom and China.

On August 19, CSL Ltd had raised hopes of delivering a coronavirus vaccine within a year.

India’s Covid-19 tally rises to 31 lakhs

NEW DELHI, Aug 24: The global coronavirus death toll surpassed 800,000 mark, according to numbers published by John Hopkins University. With the United States, Brazil and India leading the rise in fatalities, the total number of deaths now stands 807,134. While the number of infections worldwide has risen to 23,342,798.

India reported an increase of 61,408 cases on Monday, pushing the infection rally to 3,106,348. The death toll reached 57,542 after 836 people succumbed to the disease.

In the US, Coronavirus-related deaths fell below 1,000 for the first time in five days, while fatalities in Mexico surpassed 60,000. Mexico trails just the US and Brazil in total deaths and has the world’s seventh-highest number of cases.

Amid the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in South Korea, authorities said that they are considering raising social-distancing restrictions to the highest level as risk of a “massive nationwide outbreak” looms.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, Covid-19 tally in Brazil pushed to over 3.6 million after recording more than 23,000 cases in a day. However, President Jair Bolsonaro defended the reopening of retail outlets, saying that his government had done everything possible to curb the spread of Covid-19.

India's Covid-19 tally breaches 30 lakh-mark

NEW DELHI, Aug 23: India's COVID-19 tally hurtled past the 30-lakh mark on Saturday night, just 16 days after it crossed 20 lakh, while the total number of recoveries too surged to 22.71 lakh, according to data from states and union territories.

Union health ministry data updated on Saturday 8 am showed a record single-day spike of 69,874 infections, taking the country's COVID-19 caseload to 29,75,701, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 55,794 with 945 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours.

However, by night, tally showed India's COVID-19 caseload at 30,37,657, death toll at 56,762 and recoveries at 22,71,054. The tally has been compiled as per information provided by the states and union territories.

India is the third worst-hit nation in terms of COVID-19 cases after the US and Brazil.

The Union health ministry on Saturday said the total number of recoveries has surged to 22,22,577 pushing the recovery rate to 74.69 per cent while the case fatality rate has further declined to 1.87 per cent. Recoveries exceeded active cases of the coronavirus infection by more than 15 lakhs.

India also crossed a significant milestone of testing more than 10 lakh samples for COVID-19 in 24 hours on Friday, taking cumulative tests to 3,44,91,073, the health ministry said on Saturday.

There are 6,97,330 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 23.43 per cent of the total caseload, it stated.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India has been conducting on an average 8,89,935 tests in the last five days. The country has tested 3,44,91,073 samples across the country till August 21, it said.

India also has been testing around 74.7 people per lakh population, much higher than WHO's guidelines of testing 14 people per lakh population, the apex health research body said.

US reports over 44,000 new Covid-19 cases, caseload count tops 5.66 million

WASHINGTON, Aug 23: The United States has confirmed more than 44,000 new cases of the coronavirus infection over the last 24 hours, according to data provided by the US-based Johns Hopkins University on Sunday.

Nearly 1,000 Covid-19 patients have died over the same period.

According to the latest figures, the number of those infected in the US has increased by 44,572 and the death toll has risen by 983, compared to 48,693 and 1,108, respectively, registered the day before.

Given the update, the US’ total cases count since the outbreak has reached 5,668,245, while 176,408 patients have died. In addition, more than 1.9 million people have recovered from the disease.

Globally, according to the university, more than 23 million people have been infected with the virus, and over 805,000 of them have died since the outbreak of the pandemic. Meanwhile, about 15 million patients have fully recovered.

WHO hopes Covid-19 can be over in two years: Tedros

GENEVA, Aug 21: The World Health Organization hopes the coronavirus crisis can be over in less than two years, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

The Spanish flu that hit in 1918 took two years to end, he said.

“Our situation now with more technology, of course with more connectiveness, the virus has a better chance of spreading, it can move fast,” he said.

“At the same time we have the technology and knowledge to stop it.”

More than 22.81 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 793,382​ have died.

Australia to manufacture coronavirus vaccine, will give free doses to citizens, says PM Scott Morrison

SYDNEY, Aug 18: Australia has secured access to a “promising” coronavirus vaccine, the prime minister announced Tuesday, saying the country would manufacture it and offer free doses to the entire population.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia had reached a deal with Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to receive the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Oxford University.

“If this vaccine proves successful we will manufacture and supply vaccines straight away under our own steam and make it free for 25 million Australians,” he said.

The Oxford vaccine is one of five globally in Phase 3 efficacy trials, and researchers hope to have results by the end of the year.

India's coronavirus cases today jump by 67,000, highest daily record

NEW DELHI, Aug 13: India on Thursday registered highest single-day spike of 66,999 cases and reported 942 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The country's coronavirus tally touched 23,96,638 including 6,53,622 active cases, 16,95,982 discharged and 47,033 deaths.

Active coronavirus cases in Maharashtra stand at 1,47,820, the highest in the country followed by Andhra Pradesh with 90,425 active cases.

Meanwhile, 8,30,391 samples, the highest in a single day, were tested on August 12 and 2,68,45,688 samples have been tested so far, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The country, with the world's biggest case load behind the United States and Brazil, has now reported a jump of 50,000 cases or more each day for 15 straight days.

COVID-19 patients' phone call detail records (CDRs) were being used by the police in Kerala as part of adopting innovative and scientific methods for effective contact tracing, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday. He assured the details would not be used for any other purpose and there would be no intrusion into the privacy of the patients. "...the state Police chief had given instruction to collect the call detail records (CDRs) of COVID-19 patients.

The government on Wednesday said a single central system will be set up to procure covid-19 vaccines for pan-India requirements, which will be supervised by the Centre, and advised states not to initiate separate mechanisms to buy the antigen.

Russia approves first Covid-19 vaccine for use, Putin says his daughter inoculated

MOSCOW, Aug 11: Russian President Vladimir Putin says that a coronavirus vaccine developed in the country has been registered for use and one of his daughters has already been inoculated.

Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has proven efficient during tests, offering a lasting immunity from the coronavirus.

Putin emphasized that the vaccine underwent the necessary tests. He added that one of his two daughters has received a shot of the vaccine and is feeling well.

Russian authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to be inoculated.

Russia is the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine. Many scientists in the country and abroad have been sceptical, however, questioning the decision to register the vaccine before Phase 3 trials that normally last for months and involve thousands of people.

WHO chief points to ‘green shoots of hope’ in COVID-19 pandemic

By Deepak Arora

GENEVA, Aug 10: Although COVID-19 cases are on track to hit 20 million worldwide this week, and 750,000 deaths, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has pointed to “green shoots of hope” amidst the global crisis, while urging both governments and people everywhere to work to suppress the new coronavirus.

“I know many of you are grieving and that this is a difficult moment for the world”, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, in his latest briefing to journalists.

“But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter where a country, a region, a city or a town is – it’s never too late to turn the outbreak around.”

Tedros underlined two elements for addressing the pandemic effectively, namely that “leaders must step up to take action and citizens need to embrace new measures.”

He praised New Zealand as a “global exemplar” in the pandemic. This weekend the country celebrated 100 days with no community transmission of the virus, while Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has also stressed the need to remain cautious.

“Rwanda’s progress is due to a similar combination of strong leadership, universal health coverage, well-supported health workers and clear public health communications”, he added.

The UN’s top official also commended nations in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which took early action to suppress the virus.

Countries such as France, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom, which faced major outbreaks, also were able to suppress the virus to a significant extent, after taking action.

Throughout the pandemic, WHO has been recommending measures such as rapid case identification, contact tracing, physical distancing, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing.

Tedros said countries facing new spikes of the disease “are now using all the tools at their disposal”.

He cited recent stay-at-home measures implemented in the UK, as well France’s decision on the compulsory use of masks in busy outdoor spaces in Paris.

“Strong and precise measures like these, in combination with utilising every tool at our disposal are key to preventing any resurgence in disease and allowing societies to be reopened safely”, he said. “And even in countries where transmission is intense, it can be brought under control by applying an all of government, all of society response.”

The WHO chief stressed that virus suppression is crucial for societies to re-open safely, including for students to return to school.

“My message is crystal clear: suppress, suppress, suppress the virus. If we suppress the virus effectively, we can safely open up societies,” he said.

WHO has underlined its support to Lebanon following the devastating explosion last week that destroyed large parts of the capital, Beirut, leaving more than 200 dead according to news reports on Monday, more than 6,000 injured, and hundreds of thousands homeless.

WHO has issued a $76 million appeal for Lebanon, while staff are on the ground working alongside Lebanese and other UN partners to assess the impact on the health sector.

The agency is shipping $1.7 million-worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) items to supplement COVID-19 and humanitarian supplies destroyed by the blast.

“We are also working closely with national health authorities to enhance trauma care, including through the deployment and coordination of qualified emergency medical teams,” Tedros told journalists.

“We’re also mitigating the COVID-19 impact, addressing psychosocial needs and facilitating the rapid restoration of damaged health facilities.”

India crosses 20 lakh covid-19 cases

NEW DELHI, Aug 6: As Covid-19 cases in India breached the 2 million mark on Thursday, India currently stands at third position in the world in term of covid-19 cases and only behind Brazil and the US. India also being the second most populous country of the world is also recording a fast increase in covid-19 cases.

“It is not even one percent of population therefore country like India where population is more than 1300 million it is expected to have high number," said Dr Jugal Kishore, professor and head, department of community medicine, Safdarjung Hospital.

“If we do more test could be more cases will be added. What is important that mortality should be avoided and early detection can do that work by effective management," he said.

India recorded its first covid-19 case on 30 January and the disease burden started growing. The country’s covid count reached 1 million on July 16 which further doubled to 2 million in three weeks.

“The spread of the virus in rural districts is ominous. Till June, the virus was predominantly in the urban areas with broken health systems. With the pandemic going to smaller cities and towns, without modern healthcare facilities, the situation is grim," said Amir Ullah Khan, Senior Research Fellow a Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS), a policy think tank.

“It won't be surprising if we surpass the US numbera by the year end. We need the state to act now, spend money generously on testing and putting into place location specific lockdowns," he said.

Public health experts have said that given India’s population size, there will be large number of positive case and preventive measures are the only option for now till a vaccine is available.

"The virus will continue its march till we get a safe and effective vaccine. The only preventive measure presently available are use of face mask, keeping safe distance, washing hands, respiratory etiquettes. These are all connected with changing behaviour of community. This is not easy and takes time," said Lalit Kant, a scientist and former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

“We have a tried and tested strategy of testing, isolating, tracing and testing. We need to just carry on with that. In States where large number of infections are reported, it is essential that testing is ramped up," he said adding that in some of the more populous states equitable access to healthcare is an issue which may delay early medical attention. It is great that India has been to keep its mortality rate low. This give confidence," he said.

Meanwhile, the total recoveries of covid-19 patients have jumped to 13,28,336 with 46,121 patients being discharged in the last 24 hours taking the recovery rate to 67.62% . With such consistent increase in recoveries, the gap between recovered patients and active covid-19 cases has reached 7,32,835, the union health ministry said.

“The actual case load of the country is the active cases (5,95,501) which is 30.31% of the total positive cases. They are under medical supervision either in hospitals or in home isolation. The Case Fatality Rate stands at 2.07%," said the health ministry adding that the active cases as a percentage of total cases have seen a significant drop from 34.17% on 24th July 2020 to 30.31% as on today.

India's Covid-19 tally races past 17 lakh

NEW DELHI, Aug 1: India's COVID-19 tally of cases went past 17 lakh on Saturday evening, of which 11.1 lakh were reported in July alone thus accounting for about 65.48 per cent of the total instances of the viral infection reported in the country so far.

While around 7.32 lakh new cases were registered between July 15 and 31, the past month also so 19,111 lives lost due to the disease, which is around 52.34 per cent of the total 36,511 deaths recorded so far.

According to Union health ministry data updated at 8 am on Saturday, the country recorded 57,118 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours taking the tally to 16,95,988, while the death toll increased to 36,511 with 764 people succumbing to the disease during the same period.

At the same time, the number of recoveries too surged to 10,94,374.

This was the third consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50,000.

However, by the evening, a tally of figures showed that India's COVID-19 count has crossed the 17-lakh mark and the number of recoveries has gone past 11 lakh. The tally has been compiled with information provided by respective states and union territories.

The health ministry had in the morning reported that there are 5,65,103 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country. The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients was recorded at 64.53 per cent, while the fatality rate had further dropped to 2.15 per cent, the data showed.

The total number of confirmed cases also includes foreigners.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), cumulatively 1,93,58,659 samples have been tested up to July 31 with 5,25,689 of them on Friday.

Of the new 764 deaths reported on Saturday, 265 are from Maharashtra, 97 from Tamil Nadu, 84 from Karnataka, 68 from Andhra Pradesh, 45 from West Bengal, 43 from Uttar Pradesh, 27 from Delhi, 23 from Gujarat, 16 from Punjab, 14 each from Bihar and Telangana, 12 from Jammu and Kashmir and 11 from Rajasthan.

Ten fatalities have been reported from Madhya Pradesh, eight from Odisha, four each from Assam, Haryana and Uttarakhand, three each from Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, two from Chhattisgarh while the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Manipur and Puducherry registered one fatality each.

Of the total 36,511 deaths, Maharashtra has reported the maximum at 14,994, followed by 3,963 in Delhi, 3,935 in Tamil Nadu, 2,441 in Gujarat, 2,314 in Karnataka, 1,630 in Uttar Pradesh, 1,581 in West Bengal, 1,349 in Andhra Pradesh and 867 in Madhya Pradesh, the data showed.

So far, 674 people have died of COVID-19 in Rajasthan, 519 in Telangana, 421 in Haryana, 386 in Punjab, 377 in Jammu and Kashmir, 296 in Bihar, 177 in Odisha, 106 in Jharkhand, 98 in Assam, 80 in Uttarakhand, 73 in Kerala, according to the health ministry data.

Chhattisgarh has registered 53 deaths, Puducherry 49, Goa 45, Tripura 21, Chandigarh 15, Himachal Pradesh 14, Ladakh seven, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Andaman and Nicobar Islands five each, Arunachal Pradesh three, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two and Sikkim one, the health ministry data showed.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.


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