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Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries to get upto Rs 15 lakh aid under RAN scheme

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Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries not covered under various packages of the insurance programme and requiring high-cost treatment will be able to get financial assistance of up to Rs 15 lakh under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) scheme, an office memorandum said.The Union Health ministry has issued revised guidelines of the umbrella scheme of RAN in the wake of complaints that poor patients suffering from life-threatening diseases have not been able to avail treatment under it if they are beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY).

The memorandum has been sent to all government hospitals, all regional cancer centres, health secretaries of all states, department of expenditure and the National Health Authority (NHA), the apex body implementing the insurance scheme. "If as per the medical advice, the suggested treatment is not covered under any of the approved listed packages of AB-PMJAY, financial assistance up to Rs 15 lakh can be provided to AB-PMJAY beneficiaries out of umbrella scheme of RAN," the office memorandum with the revised guidelines stated.

In such a situation the beneficiary will get certified from the respective government hospital that his or her condition is not covered under the AB-PMJAY and thus the patient should be allowed to avail financial assistance under RAN, the memorandum stated. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the NHA had written to the Health Ministry suggesting patients deprived treatment under AB-PMJAY could be covered in the RAN umbrella scheme.

They drew the ministry's attention to cases of patients, who were refused under PMJAY as they were suffering from ailments such as blood cancer, chronic liver disease and required organ and bone marrow transplants which do not figure among the 1,393 medical packages mentioned under the scheme. Earlier, in November the Health Ministry had rejected their proposal and rather had suggested the NHA to consider inclusion of transplantation of organs under procedures covered under PM-JAY and also enhancing the ceiling of Rs 5 lakh per annum so that patients eligible under PM-JAY may avail facilities under the programme only.

The National Human Rights Commission recently had sought a report from the Health Ministry over a complaint about patients holding BPL cards not getting RAN benefits if they availed benefits of AB-PMJAY even if they are suffering from life-threatening diseases whose expenditure is much more than Rs 5 lakh, the maximum permissible limit under Ayushman Bharat scheme. Hailing the recent amendments in the guidelines, Dr Vijay Gurjar, a faculty at AIIMS, said several poor patients requiring kidney transplant, bone marrow or liver transplant are suffering and facing problems in getting treatment as they are PMJAY card holders.

Their treatment cost is more than Rs 5 lakh but they are not able to avail benefits under the RAN scheme. "All welfare policies are meant for benefiting poor people so they should be reviewed from time to time if they are not serving the sole purpose. "Policy makers and bureaucracy should be empathetic towards its beneficiaries. Being responsible doctors we also should be vigilant about these things," Gurjar said.

British scientist makes breakthrough in race for coronavirus vaccine

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A leading British scientist has made a significant breakthrough in the race for a coronavirus vaccine by reducing a part of the normal development time from "two to three years to just 14 days", news reported.

Robin Shattock, head of mucosal infection and immunity at Imperial College London, said he is now at the stage to start testing the vaccine on animals as early as next week with human studies in the summer if enough funding is secured.

"Conventional approaches usually take at least two to three years before you even get to the clinic," he told Sky. "And we've gone from that sequence to generating a candidate in the laboratory in 14 days."

The vaccine will be too late for this current outbreak but it will be crucial if there is another one.

Coronavirus Prevention: Luke Coutinho Suggests 11 Ways To Boost Immunity For Preventing Coronavirus

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Coronavirus outbreak: There have been a total of three confirmed cases of coronavirus in India. Over 350 have died suffering from coronavirus. India and several other countries have undertaken operations to evacuate citizens from Wuhan, which is the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak. Currently, there is no medicine or treatment for preventing coronavirus. For preventing being infected from coronavirus, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water regularly. Lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho recently took to Facebook to talk about the various immunity-boosting tips that can help in preventing coronavirus.

Coronavirus affects the upper respiratory system. Symptoms of coronavirus that you need to watch out for are:

  1. Runny nose
  2. Fever
  3. Cough
  4. Headache
  5. Sore threat
  6. Generally feeling unwell
  7. Breathing problems

The coronavirus has an incubation period of 14 days. So, if you have been experiencing these symptoms for 5-6 days or a week, you need to go for an immediate diagnosis.

Tips to boost immunity for coronavirus prevention:

1. Wash your hands: A basic tip like regularly washing your hands can take you a long way in terms of preventing coronavirus. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after your meals. In case you are travelling, use an essential-oil based sanitiser, recommends Luke. Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth etc without washing your hands.

2. Avoid close contact with people having respiratory symptoms: Human transmission has been confirmed for coronavirus and thus it is important that you avoid close contact with anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms right now.

3. Wear mask whenever you are going to crowded places. Wear mask whenever you are outdoors to protect yourself from coronavirus.

4. Avoid consumption of raw foods including vegetables, meat and eggs.

5. Eat anti-viral foods: These foods can give a boost to your immune system. Following are some foods that you can include in your daily diet for giving a boost to your immunity:

  • Garlic
  • Star anise
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Coconut oil
  • Foods rich in resveratrol: Black grapes, raw cacao, pistachios, black raisins, strawberries
  • Foods rich in Vitamin C: Amla, oranges, lemon, bell peppers
  • Have a soup made with sweet potato, garlic, spring onion, parsley and rosemary.
  • Tulsi and oregano are anti-viral spices.

6. Break down excess mucous: If you have excess mucous, it is important that you break it down and spit it out. A tea made with ginger, garlic, honey, thyme and oregano can help in breaking down excess mucous and makes it easier for you to cough it out.

7. Essential oils: Thyme, oregano, eucalyptus and star anise essential oils can help in breaking down mucous. You can add these essential oils to a diffuser.

8. Maintain Vitamin D3 levels: Spending some time under the sun, eating mushrooms and egg yolks can help in boosting your Vitamin D3 levels.

9. Eat probiotics and prebiotics: Foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics like apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha can facilitate better gut health and a stronger immunity.

10. Give up on white sugar: White sugar can weaken immunity. Make sure you cut down on white sugar immediately.

11. Zinc and selenium: These are two important minerals for boosting immunity. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and cashews can provide you with sufficient zinc and selenium.

Regular exercise and sleep well to help your immune system work efficiently and also give it time to rejuvenate. Following all these steps can improve your immunity and prevent onset of coronavirus.

Weight Loss Tips: 6 High-Fat Foods That Are Super Healthy For Your Weight Loss Goals

weight loss tips

Weight loss diet: If you believe that fat makes you fat, then you are wrong. The very popular keto diet or ketogenic diet for weight loss actually works on the principle of consuming high fat, moderate protein and low carb foods for quick weight loss. And not just for keto diet, but including fats in your diet is important for assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamins A, D, E and K. In this article, we are going to talk about some high-fat foods that are super healthy.

Weight loss: High fat foods that are super healthy:

1. Avocados

An excellent source of potassium and fibre, avocado is a popular keto food. This is mostly because the fruit is rich in good fats. They can fill you up quickly and keep you full for longer. Potassium content in avocados make them great for high blood pressure patients as well.

2. Ghee

Ghee is a powerhouse of nutritious and healthy fats. Celeb fitness experts like Rujuta Diwekar and Luke Coutinho recommend regular intake of ghee for weight loss and good health. You can add ghee to lentils, legumes, sabzis, rice, khichdi etc. 3-6 tsp of ghee every day can moisturise your skin and hair and also improve your energy levels.

3. Eggs

Eggs are rich in protein and fat. It is one of the best and highly nutritious keto-friendly food which can provide you vitamins and minerals vital for good health. Eggs provide you with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. They are also a good source of iron, selenium, Vitamin A, D, B6 and B12.

4. Fatty fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your heart health and brain health, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines are a great source of them. What's more is that fatty fish is keto-friendly and can be included in weight loss diet as well.

5. Nuts and seeds

Want to snack healthy? Replace ready made poha, upma, chips, biscuits, etc with nuts and seeds and your healthy snacking goals are sorted. Nuts and seeds are protein and fat-rich foods that can help you weight loss and maintain good health. Nuts and seeds are considered to be one of the best sources of plant-based protein and they must be a part of your diet.

6. Coconut or coconut oil

Coconuts are rich in fat and fibre. Including them in your diet, be it in the raw form or in the form of cooking oil can be beneficial your heart health, weight, and digestive health. All in all, coconut makes for a great addition to a healthy diet and is one of the healthiest high-fat foods.

Delhi air quality remains 'critical' for sixth consecutive day

For the sixth consecutive day, the air quality in Delhi remains under "severe" category on Saturday morning. According to System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the major pollutant PM 2.5 recorded in Delhi was at 435 mark in the morning around 10 am, which falls under the 'critical' category.

Moreover, due to this alarming rise in pollution, the Supreme Court-mandated pollution control body EPCA, on Friday, declared a public health emergency in Delhi-NCR and banning construction activity till November 5.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) task force convened a meeting to enforce the ban on all construction activities till November 5 and also ordered the closure of coal-based industries (except power plants) in NCR.

The EPCA Chairman Bhure Lal also asked chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to take immediate stringent action to stop stubble-burning in Punjab and Haryana.

Air quality monitoring agency, SAFAR said that the share of stubble burning in Delhi's pollution rose to 46 per cent on Friday due to farm fires in Haryana and Punjab.

"A slight improvement in AQI is expected by tomorrow but in the same severe category. By November 3, significant improvement in air quality to the upper end of very poor is expected and by November 4 further improvement to the very poor category is expected," the SAFAR added.

With poor air quality prevailing in Delhi for past one week, there has been a rise in the number of patients visiting out-patient departments (OPDs) or emergencies with respiratory or cardiac-related problems as well.

Air pollution has aggravated the condition of those having pre-existing health issues such as asthma, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases.

Doctors at several private hospitals also reported around 25-30 per cent rise in footfall of patients at the OPDs and emergencies.

"The percentage of people who are complaining of respiratory ailments have majorly increased to about 20 per cent. Our routine patients, on the other hand, are cancelling their regular visits so as to avoid outdoor pollution," Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, Respiratory medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital said.

Meanwhile, Arvind Kejriwal -led Delhi government on Friday decided to shut all schools in the wake of a spike in pollution level. In a tweet, Kejriwal said Delhi has turned into a "gas chamber" due to smoke arising out of crop burning in Punjab and Haryana.

He said the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh were forcing their farmers to indulge in stubble burning causing a spike in pollution in Delhi.

Thereafter, Kejriwal urged school-going children to write letters to chief ministers of the two states requesting them to control the burning of crop-residue.

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