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Govt issues guidelines for managing mental illness amid coronavirus pandemic

The Union Health Ministry has also said that training on managerial aspects of Covid-19 is important (MINT_PRINT)Premium
The Union Health Ministry has also said that training on managerial aspects of Covid-19 is important (MINT_PRINT)

  • The government has suggested to establish a hotline between a mental health establishment and a nearby COVID designated hospital
  • The guidelines have been prepared by experts from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru

The Union Health Ministry on Sunday issued guidelines for managing mental illness during Covid-19 pandemic, in a bid to minimise the risk of coronavirus exposure and protecting vulnerable patients to psychiatric disorders as well as frontline healthcare workers.

The government has suggested to establish a hotline between a mental health establishment and a nearby COVID designated hospital to facilitate easy transfer across facilities.

The Union Health Ministry has also said that training on managerial aspects of Covid-19 is important. This includes training of all cadres of healthcare workers in frequent hand washing, disposal of waste, sanitizing the establishment, importance of maintaining social and physical distancing, donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), etc, the guidelines said.

The guidelines have been prepared to address specific needs such as manage Covid-19 patients who suffer from trauma or depression, pandemic-induced depression and those who are already suffering from severe mental health issues.

The government said that the authorities should nominate a nodal officer and assigned the task of reviewing these guidelines periodically, update and share them with mental health professionals working in the mental health establishment as well as other healthcare establishments who cater to those with mental health issues.

The government said that the guidelines are based on current recommendations and protocols of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and currently available information on Covid-19 illness. It is important to keep updating and revising the guidelines from time to time. The guidelines provided in this document need to be carried out as per provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 and the Rules, the health ministry said.

The guidelines have been prepared by experts from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru as the country continues to grapple with the pandemic.

The total number of Covid-19 cases summed up to 81,88,101 on Sunday and the deaths reported so far reached 1,22,725 in the country. Presently India’s total active caseload is 5,70,458. The active cases have dropped to 6.97% of the total positive cases of the country demonstrating a steady falling percentage of the total cases. Karnataka has reported a steep decline in the active cases in the past 24 hours. India’s average cases per million stand at 5,930.

17 States/UTs have cases per million lower than the national average. At least 46,963 new confirmed cases were recorded in last 24 hours. Around 77% of these are from 10 States and UTs, the government said. Kerala is still reporting a very high number of new cases with more than 7,000 cases followed by Maharashtra and Delhi with more than 5,000 cases, the union health ministry said in a statement.

At least 470 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. “India’s deaths per million population is one of the lowest in the world and stand at 88,"’union health ministry said adding that 21 States/UTs have deaths per million lower than the national average.

At the same time, the total recovered cases stand at 74,91,513. The national Recovery Rate has further improved to 91.54%, the union health ministry said.

At least 58,684 have recovered and discharged in the last 24 hours.

At least 76% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs. Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra have contributed the maximum to the new recovered cases with more than 7,000 single day recoveries. Delhi and West Bengal, both have added more than 4,000 to the new recoveries, the government said.

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