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India to vaccinate teens, provide booster for health workers

India will begin vaccinating teenagers from the ages of 15 to 18 from Jan. 3 and also administer booster vaccine doses for health-care workers a week later, as omicron-fueled Covid-19 cases spike, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Citizens who are older than 60 years and suffer from co-morbidities can also get booster shots of Covid vaccines in January, Modi said in a televised national address.

“India needs to be vigilant about the spread of the coronavirus, Modi said, adding that people should not pay attention to rumors nor panic about rising infection numbers.

India has so far reported 415 cases of omicron infections from across 17 states, according to the latest data from the federal Health Ministry Saturday. The South Asian nation’s confirmed Covid cases so far total nearly 34.8 million.

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Shortly after the prime minister’s speech, local vaccine maker Bharat Biotech International Ltd. said in a Twitter post that its Covaxin inoculation had received emergency use approval for use on children 12 and above.

“In our country, a nasal vaccine and the world’s first DNA vaccine will also start soon, Modi said, adding that “since the beginning, India’s fight against Corona has been based on scientific principles, scientific opinions and scientific patterns.

Besides widening the vaccination drive, Modi urged citizens to follow Covid-appropriate behavior, but stopped short of announcing any nationwide curbs to stem omicron’s spread.

His government has kept the budget loose to support the economy, while the nation’s central bank has vowed to keep monetary policy easy to ensure a durable recovery even as infections tick up.

“This is a material and a positive change in the country’s strategy against the virus, said Abhay Agarwal, fund manager at Piper Serica Advisors Pvt. “The investor community had been wondering on when India would expand its vaccination band as a number of countries have included the younger population in the inoculation plan.

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Read more:

India reports 200 omicron cases across 12 states

India reports highest COVID-19 fatalities since July as states update tallies

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Healthpoint launches new procedure to help treat sleep apnea after success in 35-year-old patient

  • The new procedure provides same-day results and can help physicians identify and resolve underlying conditions that can cause high blood pressure or cardiac issues
  • It also helps diagnose patients with respiratory issues undetected by traditional screening options

Abu Dhabi, UAE; 06 February 2023: Healthpoint, a Mubadala Health partner, has introduced a new diagnostic procedure in the UAE that helps treat people with obstructive sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder that impairs breathing and results in poor sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when airflow is blocked during sleep. This causes the patient to stop breathing for a short period of time, which deprives the body and brain of oxygen. This interrupts sleep, causing loud snoring and choking noises, and results in the patient feeling tired, even after sleeping a full six to eight hours. Untreated, it often becomes the silent cause behind other common comorbidities such as hypertension, cardiac diseases, diabetes, and metabolic disorders, as well as strokes or heart attacks.

The patient who had been living in the UAE for five years, suffered from OSA. After trying many different traditional treatment options, including a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, he turned to Healthpoint’s multidisciplinary team, made up of specialists in sleep, anesthesiology, orthodontics and ear, nose and throat (ENT) issues.

Dr. Favas Thaivalappil recommended the newly introduced DISE-PSG procedure to the patient, and the team was able to use the comprehensive 3D evaluation procedure to diagnose and classify his complicated respiratory issue on the same day.

The DISE-PSG procedure involved an evaluation of the patient’s upper airway performed at various sleep stages. This, coupled with a synchronizing polysomnogram, also known as a sleep study, allows physicians to observe the stage of sleep a patient is in as well identify episodes of air flow obstruction, which was not previously possible.

The patient said, “After feeling a bit helpless from not seeing results from the various treatment options, it was a huge relief that after a few short and painless hours, Healthpoint’s multidisciplinary team were able to pinpoint exactly what the issue was and the different treatments options available to me, all in the same day. I literally walked away with a customized and alternative treatment option. From this approach, I am now able to consider different options that we know will work, from oral appliances to a specific type of surgery to treat my OSA. After years of struggling with this condition, I am looking forward to that first night of rested sleep soon.”

Dr. Favas Thaivalappil, Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Consultant and Head of Sleep Center, Healthpoint said: “We often see a lot of patients affected by sleep-related breathing disorders complaining about a lack of sleep, many of which have underlying conditions that can cause high blood pressure or cardiac issues. We can usually determine the root cause of the issue and treat the conditions effectively. However, in patients who are unable to comply with traditional sleep therapy options, a personalized approach is essential to identify their underlying cause and to plan the treatment accordingly,”

“For this patient, this procedure helped us identify the site of the obstruction in more detail, allowing us to offer customized alternative treatment options of sleep apnea including reconsideration of an oral appliance or surgery. The DISE-PSG procedure is a very useful investigation method for selected patients who have had a bad night’s sleep for far too long. Through Healthpoint, we are now able to bring this new procedure to the region to help detect and diagnose complicated respiratory illnesses and provide modern treatment options to them, and probably of the benefit to their wider family too,” continued Dr. Favas.

Healthpoint specializes in sleep-related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome (RLS), excessive day time sleepiness, disorders related to the circadian rhythm and parasomnia. With a dedicated team of multidisciplinary experts, including sleep physicians, surgeons, dentists, psychologists and qualified sleep therapists, Healthpoint’s Sleep Medicine Center is designed to diagnose and help to treat patients suffering from sleep and respiratory illnesses using precision-based technology.

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WHO launches bid to tackle inequalities behind global breast cancer threat

A UN-led global initiative to tackle breast cancer could save 2.5 million lives by 2040, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, just ahead of World Cancer Day.

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Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: UNODC report

Trafficked medical products kill almost half a million sub-Saharan Africans every year, and action is needed to stem the flow, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) states in its new threat assessment report.

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