Second Wave's impact on Healthcare Industry

The second wave not only brought down the general health of the population, but also twisted the economic systems behind the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. The second wave has had a ripple effect: though the health care systems have been badly affected, the impact of the second wave has not failed to reach other aspects of our life as well. Even though we had heard that the country was putting great emphasis on building infrastructure to counter the coronavirus in the near future, the entire health system collapsed as soon as the second wave gained momentum. India is one of the few countries that have been successful in producing effective vaccination for the virus. The vaccine was also available to the public much before the arrival of the second wave. However, despite the presence of a strong vaccination producing firm, India faced unprecedented and devastating conditions in the second wave. The profit maximizing mentality of the health care agencies prevailed over the well-being of the population and black marketing of essential medicines and supplies was widespread. India’s inability to keep up with the rapid speed at which Covid-19 spread in April stood testament to the fact that the reforms and increased investments in the healthcare sector were, in fact, redundant. India’s policy of distributing Indian-made vaccines took a turn for the worse. The vaccination process of the Indian population was halted by India’s careless allocation of vaccines, which further aggravated the second wave.

The novel coronavirus of 2019 (2019-nCOV), also known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has reached the planet, wreaking havoc with its rapid spread. In December 2019, the virus spread from an unspecified reservoir (possibly bats) in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The disease crossed borders and caused many cases and deaths due to its ease of transmission through contaminated droplets and isolation, prompting the WHO to declare it a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in January 2020 and a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. The incubation period for the disease varies from two to fourteen days, but it is usually asymptomatic. If symptomatic, the most common signs and symptoms are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, throat infection, and in extreme cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, which may lead to multiple organ failure and death if left untreated. The elderly, young children, and patients with pre-existing co morbidities are more likely to have a serious presentation of the disease and its related complications. Isolation, quarantine, strict infection control actions, touch protection procedures, and social distancing are the mainstays for COVID-19 prevention. Though, for the last year, the world's brightest minds have been working nonstop on a vaccine, which has resulted in the delivery of many promising vaccines to people all over the world.

As of 8th May, 2021 there were a total one hundred fifty seven million nine hundred eighty

three thousand one hundred forty cases and three million two hundred ninety thousand eight hundred ninety deaths globally. In the economic front, this disrupted the operating pattern of supply chains, causing concern to businesses around the world. The recession began to take hold, and people began to lose their jobs. Consumer behaviour improved, and hoarding of products resulted in shortages in a variety of necessities. Instability and sharp declines was observed in global economic markets, with erratic consequences in a variety of fields. Various countries were impacted, and the severity of the effects varied depending on the country's pre-existing financial arrangements and other factors. The healthcare industry was one of the hardest hit by the epidemic.

India, a financial centre with massive global connectivity of trade, economy, defence, community, outsourcing workers, manufacturing, and services, was directly impacted, resulting in the impending collapse of economic markets. The healthcare sector has undergone numerous changes, which has had a direct effect on the entire population of the country. Since India is the world's second most populated nation, with a population of 1.35 billion, the pandemic has the potential to affect one-sixth of the world's population, necessitating an analysis of its patterns and predictions in order to devise effective strategies.

In light of the above, this paper aims to comprehend the various aspects of the Indian healthcare system's economic challenges and formulate practicable steps to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in India. The aim of this paper is to examine the pandemic's short- and long-term effects on India's health-care system. It was written with the aim of analysing the observed and potential economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Indian healthcare system in terms of productivity and equity, as well as formulating mitigation strategies.

Sub-Centres, Primary Health Centres (PHC), and Community Health Centres are the three tiers of the Indian rural health care system (CHC). There is a present shortage of health facilities: 18% at the Sub-Centre level, 22% at the Primary Health Care level, and 30% at the Community Health Centre level (as of March 2018). Despite the fact that the number of institutions has grown over time, the staff availability remains far below the World Health Organization's recommended limits. There are 3.2 government hospital beds per 10,000 persons in rural India. The number of rural beds in many states is much lower than the national average. The state with the most COVID-19 cases, Maharashtra, has 2.0 beds per 10,000 people, whereas Bihar has 0.6 beds per 10,000. At the CHC level, there is a general shortage of specialists (81.9 percent ). There is a deficit of surgeons (84.6%), obstetricians and gynaecologists (74.7%), physicians (85.7%), and paediatricians (85.7%). (82.6 percent ).

India's health-care services and systems are still in the early stages of development, with personnel shortages, absenteeism, insufficient infrastructure, and low-quality care among the issues. Despite the government's commitment and the National Health Mission, adequate and affordable healthcare remains a mirage. Rural India's healthcare system is beset by a chronic scarcity of medical personnel, which has a negative impact on the quality and accessibility of care for rural residents. The state's focus has been on curative care, whereas public health emergencies like COVID-19 are difficult to address due to limited infrastructure and poor coordination across line departments. The health-care infrastructure in rural areas, particularly in several northern Indian states, is insufficient or unprepared to restrict COVID19 transmission due to a scarcity of doctors, hospital beds, and equipment, particularly in densely populated underdeveloped states. In the past, we have failed to respond to catastrophic medical emergencies, such as the malnutrition-related deaths of nearly 150 children in Muzzafarpur, Bihar. With the onset of a new pandemic, public health challenges such as eliminating persistent communicable illnesses like tuberculosis and ensuring equitable health care add to the challenges ahead. The true numbers of the outbreak in rural regions are yet unknown. We are at a crossroads in the country, and we are unsure which way it will go. It is possible that the outbreak will take either a positive or negative turn. COVID-19 poses a unique problem because to the lack of testing services, surveillance systems, and, most importantly, poor medical treatment, which includes the previously mentioned shortages. The government's policies have been influenced by a lack of complete understanding of the virus and the realisation that there is no viable cure, as evidenced by official activities.

The COVID-19 prevention method does not appear to be very novel. It is based on three concepts created by John Haygarth's 18th-century "laws of prevention" for eradicating smallpox: discover every case, isolate the diseased individual, and immunise all of the infected individual's contacts. In the case of COVID-19, no vaccination or medicines are currently available. The plan, however, has progressed from a focus on individual patients and their contacts to a strategy that encompasses the entire population. The closure and complete prohibition of regular people's normal activities is intended to prevent the spread of the community. But, of course, the obvious question is how long? These procedures are thought to be able to inhibit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. At the present, these are simply educated guesses based on previous outbreaks, particularly SARS and Ebola epidemics. The effects of this epidemic, particularly the social lockdown tactic, are multi-faceted. What is potentially significant in terms of public health is the impact on the employment of millions of individuals in rural areas who are migratory workers in numerous cities, as well as educational opportunities. The emotional consequences of the tactics could exacerbate this. After losing their employment in the metropolis, people are walking back to their villages in groups traversing 500–1000 kilometres, which is worrying and may compound the problem as the risk of community transmission grows. This could disperse or spread the disease in rural areas, in addition to causing economic hardship to an already impoverished people. We don't know what these people have been exposed to or how infected they are. It's a big problem because, even if 1% of them become sick, we won't be able to stop the pandemic from spreading due to resource constraints, poor health services in rural regions, and other considerations.

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