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People who are claustrophobic or suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are finding it difficult to obey the 'Lakshmana Rekha Prime Minister Narendra Modi has drawn in from of all homes. Pixabay

At a time when over 1.3 billion Indians have been asked to stay indoors, people who are claustrophobic or suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are finding it difficult to obey the ‘Lakshmana Rekha Prime Minister Narendra Modi has drawn in from of all homes.

According to health experts, such people should first unplug themselves from the news around new coronavirus (COVID-19) and divert their minds towards constructive thoughts and engage in indoor games.


“People with OCD and those who are claustrophobic need to try and avoid reading or seeing too much negative news. Instead, they can opt for completing the work pending for some time which is a constructive channelization of the energy,” said Dr Sameer Malhotra, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket. “If under treatment, do not stop the medications at this juncture, and if the symptoms are significant, psychiatric intervention may also be required,” Malhotra told IANS.


People with OCD and those who are claustrophobic need to try and avoid reading or seeing too much negative COVID-19 news. Pixabay

Indians are currently living with 21-day nationwide lockdown, which started from Tuesday midnight. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), OCD is the sixth most disabling psychiatric disorder in the world.

Dr Samir Parikh, Psychiatrist and the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare said that in the face of a pandemic, if you have claustrophobia, OCD or any other form of phobia or anxiety, it is important to ensure that you continue to follow your treatment regimen.

“Stay connected to your doctors, take your medications regularly and also ensure that you continue to take regular therapy sessions through teleconsultations,’ Parikh emphasized. Family too would play a very pertinent role in providing support and being understanding of the challenge being face by the individual.

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“Concurrently, it is important to ensure that one engages in maintaining a work-life balance, take care of certain lifestyle-related elements such as the sleep-wake cycle and also engage in activities of interest during this period,” Parikh noted.

Malhotra said that it is time to rationalize negative thoughts into positive and meaningful thoughts. “Discuss general topics, try and engage in healthy conversations at home. It is also the best time to bond with family members,” he added. (IANS)


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Kerala a part of UN-backed ‘Race to Zero Campaign’.

Health Care Without Harm, the official Race to Zero healthcare partner, on Monday announced that over 50 healthcare institutions collectively representing more than 11,500 healthcare facilities in 21 countries including India's Kerala, are part of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign.

In joining the Race to Zero, these organizations commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. They become part of the largest ever alliance outside of national governments committed to delivering a zero-carbon world in line with the Paris Agreement.

The healthcare organizations in Race to Zero include institutions ranging from individual, public and private hospitals and health systems to entire provincial or state government health departments. In recent weeks several large health systems have signed on to this vital commitment.

These systems include the Directorate of Health Services in Kerala, the international private healthcare and insurance system, Bupa, and CommonSpirit Health in the US.

They demonstrate global leadership in the healthcare sector by committing to net zero emissions and taking immediate climate action.

"It's exciting to see the momentum of healthcare organizations worldwide join the Race to Zero. All health organizations, large and small, can accelerate the transition to a healthier, sustainable, and more equitable world," said UN High-Level Climate Champion Gonzalo Muoz.

"At a time when Kerala is facing unprecedented climate events, the state Health Department has shown its commitment to climate resilience and pledged to achieve net-zero healthcare by signing up to the Race to Zero program. This initiative brings health facilities of the state on track to being low carbon and climate-resilient," said Kerala Minister of Health and Family Welfare Veena George.

"As a global healthcare company, we are very conscious that people's health depends on a healthy planet and we believe we can continue to deliver high-quality healthcare while mitigating our impact on the environment. We can't do this alone, that's why we are so incredibly proud to join the Race to Zero campaign with Health Care Without Harm, setting our ambition to become a net-zero business by 2040 and joining leading healthcare companies that are also committed to driving change for a healthy people and healthy planet," said Nigel Sullivan, Chief Sustainability and People Officer, Bupa.

In the lead-up to COP26, Race to Zero healthcare leadership is part of a diverse and growing global health sector movement for climate action.

National government ministries are making high-level commitments to healthcare decarbonization and resilience, while more than 45 million health professionals have called for aggressive action to protect people's health from climate change.

Health sector decarbonization is critical to reducing global emissions.

Health Care Without Harm's 2019 report shows the sector's climate footprint is equivalent to 4.4 per cent of global net emissions, with the majority originating from fossil fuels used across facility operations, the supply chain, and the broader economy.

To guide the sector's decarbonization, Health Care Without Harm's Global Road Map demonstrates how implementing seven high-impact actions can reduce global emissions by 44 gigatons over 36 years, equivalent to keeping more than 2.7 billion barrels of oil in the ground each year, and potentially saving more than five million lives by the end of the century. (IANS/JB)


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Photo by Manisa Mitpaibul on Unsplash

The R&D team at ITC Savlon, shares some tips to maximize hygiene and ensure germ-free cleaning this Diwali.

With Diwali comes the yearly ritual of disinfectingand deep-cleaning our homes. However, your basic cleaning ritual might not be sufficient to the changing needs of the environment we live in. If the deadly viruses around us have taught anything, disinfection should be as much a goal in our regular cleaning, rather than just the basic visible cleanliness. Therefore, it becomes necessary to know the right way of cleaning and disinfectinghomes that lends itself to a responsible celebration. While we plan to welcome Goddess Lakshmi by cleaning and decorating our living spaces inside out, we should be aware of those corners that are prone to infections, diseases and require our special attention.

The R&D team at ITC Savlon, shares some tips to maximize hygiene and ensure germ-free cleaning this Diwali:

Clean your Kitchen
As the excitement builds for us to be able to open our houses to guests and have the kitchen work overtime to put out scrumptious meals, do spend a moment on considering thorough kitchen disinfection. Bear in mind that the multiple ways in which we use our home kitchen carry with it the burden of microbes that can cause infections.

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Wikimedia Commons

A painting of Raja Birbal, as he was known

Birbal, an intelligent and witty man, was a beloved courtier to Emperor Akbar. He was one of the youngest men of the court, who had the greatest influence on the ruler. Despite his Hindu background, he supported the Mughal ruler and even adopted Din-i-ilahi towards the end of his life. He died in a battle that he led against a rebel army. He belonged to the precious nine courtiers of Akbar's court known as the Navratnas (nine gems).

Born as Mahesh Das, Birbal was renamed in Akbar's court. He solved many petty issues with his wit and is known as a man of practical wisdom. He lives on today in the literature that shapes children's formative years, in application comedy for adults, and in folktales for everyone else. His wisdom is so unique and so practical that it does not take too much to understand it. At the same time, it is not something that can be easily emulated.

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