A study on patient data sharing in India – privacy and security during COVID 19 Pandemic – Ms. Milan Pramod Toraskar

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered corona virus. On January 20, Chinese health officials confirmed human-to-human transmission of Corona Virus. There is no vaccine for this yet, but what can help currently is the data. Data collection when it comes to infectious diseases is difficult at the best of times. Pandemic are known for data so that using the authorised data the right steps can be taken to minimise the losses. Rapid data sharing is the basis for public health action. In India, though precise data is not available regarding medical errors, gathering the authorised data can be used to give a quick snapshot of how the virus has spread across regions and how local outbreaks are connected. The outbreak of a new ‘mysterious’ virus named 2019-novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) in China has raised alarm bells among health officials the world as number of people infected and the resultant death toll continues to rise. Since December 2019, a new type of corona virus called novel corona virus (2019-nCoV, or COVID-19) was identified in Wuhan, China. The COVID-19 has then rapidly spread to all over China and the world. Most of these cases have been reported in Wuhan, a major city in China’s Hubei Province, where the infection started. A novel corona virus was identified as the causative virus for the outbreak and tentatively named 2019‐nCoV by the World Health Organization (WHO). Though health officials are still tracing the exact source of this outbreak, initial investigations have indicated it started at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan. Most of the infected patients in Wuhan had either worked or visited this market. It has been shut since January 1. The 2019-nCoV is a new strain of corona viruses and has not been previously seen in humans. Corona viruses form a large family of viruses and the illness they cause can range from common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). These viruses are zoonotic, which means they are transmitted from animals to humans. The WHO had earlier said there was no clear evidence of any human-to-human transmission of this virus, but on January 20, Chinese health officials confirmed they have identified some cases of human-to-human transmission.1 The 2019‐nCoV is considered a relative of the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) corona viruses causes symptoms including fever, difficulty in breathing, cough, and invasive lesions on both lungs of the patients. It can spread to the lower respiratory tract and cause viral pneumonia. In severe cases, patients suffer from dyspnea and respiratory distress syndrome. Two very recent studies have suggested bats or snakes to be the potential natural reservoir of 2019‐nCoV. However, based on the latest statement by WHO on 23 January 2020, the source of 2019‐nCoV is still unknown.2 The 2019‐nCoV appears to cause symptoms similar to SARS based on clinical data from the initial 41 cases and seems to be capable of spreading from humans to humans and between cities, according to two latest studies published in Lancet on 24 January 2020.


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