Top health experts dissect COVID-19 on Voice of Healthcare’s special webinar

Catch powerful healthcare minds across India and Europe indulging in an insightful discussion on the current status and way forward for the COVID-19 pandemic

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New Delhi: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc within both developing and developed nations alike, rendering even the positive factors such as economic prowess and even the healthcare infrastructure irrelevant. Having originated in Wuhan province of China, the virus that spiraled out of control has lead to chaos across the globe within no time. However, amid the lockdown and negativity surrounding it, there is also a silver lining in the cloud. Many countries like India have been able to keep a tab on the virus and the curve is slowly flattening in Europe. What if the bright scientific minds across the world collaborate and share expertise to quickly devise a way out? How much of it is really happening already? Do we have an edge over the virus?

To answer a few such questions, recently the leading healthcare industry association, Voice of Healthcare (VoH) hosted a webinar session to deliberate over the pandemic and possible solutions. The session, ‘Global Sync-up To Combat Epidemic’, witnessed the participation of many powerful healthcare minds across India and Europe who came together to share their valuable expertise. As the topic suggests, the focus was mainly on the current situation including comparative current testing rates, preparations to deal with it in the long run; effects of lockdown; how countries are coping up globally; and the way forward.

The session moderated by Dr Naveen Nischal, Chairman, VoH and Co-Founder, Meddo was attended by top experts such as Dr Stephen Chick, Professor, INSEAD; Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and MD, Medtanta-The Medicity; and Dr Marc Noppen, CEO, University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Click to watch the video of the detailed discussion above.

Outlining the need for improvement in current testing rates, Dr Naveen Nischal called for pushing the COVID-19 diagnostics aggressively and boosting healthcare infrastructure quickly to prepare at a war footing level. Although the graph is flattening in some places I am worried about second wave,” he remarked.

Dr Naresh Trehan in his comments expressed optimism about the virus not spiraling out of control in India. “The lockdown has worked to a great extent in dealing with the initial spurt in cases but we now need better testing. We must increase the testing in rural areas and put the collaboration model with the private players to use,” he noted.

“Given the population in India, the situation has remained in control so far but the worst will depend on how fast it spreads in the immediate future. Post lockdown, here is a dilemma about what needs to open up or not? Life versus livelihood is the question. India might have many factors that are working in its favor. We are hopeful of quick development of a vaccine, plasma therapy, hidden immunity due to BCG vaccination etc.,” Dr Trehan added.

In his remarks, Dr Marc Noppen, CEO, University Hospital, Brussels, shared his views on the situation in Europe. He lauded the quick lockdown as it helped to quickly control the situation. “The healthcare system in Belgium had a good bed capacity in hospitals that worked in our favor. However, the cases are quite high due to many factors including the false estimation of numbers. The country has a maximum number of elderly people and mortality was more among this population. Only one percent of the young population has actually got affected,” he added.

Dr Stephen Chick, Professor, INSEAD believes that dialogue is the only way forward to develop better policies. “It is time to take a call whether we are worried more about the economy or saving lives,” he said while adding, “Lockdown is helping us to prepare for better and think of fresh models to make things work better. We must see how do we create supply chains for essential medical products? We must use scientific analysis in a better way to devise new plans.”