Killer superbugs in ICUs; India slips on HDIs; Crackdown against loan Apps

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Opinion Watch

Greed of pharma-doctor nexus along with healthcare failing to become politically populist agenda have turned the people into guinea pigs, as they are pounced to suck money and dumped to die when infected with hospital-acquired super bugs.

The Covid-19 patients would recall long list of prescriptions, as doctors sought to aim at a black cat in a dark room.

The Times of India in its lead Editorial has taken note of a year-long survey of 120 ICUs, which gave frightening results – increasing antimicrobial resistant infections, mortality within 14 days, drug-resistant microorganisms in 3080 blood and 792 urine samples, 38.1 per cent and 27.9 per cent patients with bloodstream and urinary tract infections dying with 14 days respectively.

The daily blamed overuse of antibiotics for making superbugs, and poor standards in the ICUs.

The study also found that the Indian ICUs are hotbeds of gram-negative pathogens. That’s solely accountable for high mortality and fat bills of the patients.

ToI further tells that the UK was in a similar situation in 2000, but in a span of 12 years, the country achieved 86 per cent reductions on all the above listed maladies in the ICUs.

But the first step will be to admit the challenge and shun the habit of denial. Secondly, people should confront the political leaders for lack of public-funded better than private hospitals. That will be a tall call, since votes are cast for castes and the governments of the day, in states and Centre, focus on easy ways to win votes with freebies.

Also, doctors need training, principally on moral values, to know that trust is won, and once lost, cannot be regained.

India slips on human development index

Progress is measured on the scale of human development indicators, and India is struggling, according to the United Nations report.

Among 191 countries, India takes the rank of 132 on human development index. This must be embarrassing, but that’s the findings of the UN Report for 2021-22.

Principal villain for India taking a dive in the ranking is the life expectancy that has gone down from 69.7 years to 67.2 years in 2021, according to the Editorial of The Pioneer. Indeed, the coronavirus killed many, but the mortality wasn’t just an India story.

Globally, the life expectancy has slipped from 72.8 years in 2019 to 71.4 years in 2021.

On the positive note, the gender inequality is on the decline in India, noted the daily, which attributed it for a slew of interventions made by the government in the recent years.

Crackdown against instant loan Apps

After dozens of people died by suicide across the country, the government and the Reserve Bank of India have finally woken up to tame the rogue instant loan mobile Apps, which had mushroomed on account of policy gaps.

The Times of India and The Economic Times in their respective Editorials have hailed the actions of the RBI against the instant loan Apps, which were working on 2-1-0 model; people had to decide in two minutes, while cash would be in the bank accounts in one minute with zero collateral.

Both the dailies have detailed the RBI actions which have resulted in the App Stores deleting many such Apps, while also noting that the conventional banks and the NBFCs have also embraced digital banking at higher scales.

Such Apps, as seen in the investigations by the Enforcement Directorate, were flush with cash, with many of them having the Chinese origins.

But the crackdown came only when scores of people died by suicide after suffering at the hands of the operators of such Apps, which continue to treat the people as commodities by buying personal data for a few bucks. That should as a lesson for government and regulators that they should be steps ahead to deny any scope for such deceitful business operations in the digital space.

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