Post-COVID Neuropsychiatric Sequelae in India: Are We Ready for it?
1Director, Spandana Health Care Bengaluru, India
2Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Corresponding Author: Mahesh Gowda, Director, Spandana Health Care Bengaluru, India, Phone: +91 9845134915, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to cite this article: Gowda M, Gowda GS. Post-COVID Neuropsychiatric Sequelae in India: Are We Ready for It? Ind J Priv Psychiatry 2021;15(1):1–2.
Source of support: Nil
Conflict of interest: None
WHAT COULD BE THE PREVALENCE OF POST-COVID-19 NEUROPSYCHIATRIC SYNDROME IN INDIA?
India has had at least 33 million SARS-CoV-2 infections after ignoring the undetected infections, and 67.6% turned seropositive in the fourth round of National serosurvey conducted between June 14, 2021, and July 6, 20219 Parliament of India (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), Lok Sabha, Government of India. If we assume that 50% of SARS-CoV-2 infections result in post-COVID-19 neuropsychiatric syndrome, India can expect 16.5 million people to suffer from post-COVID-19 neuropsychiatric syndrome.
HOW TO BRIDGE THE COMMUNITY’S NEUROPSYCHIATRIC GAP DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC IN INDIA AND WHAT’S NEXT?
Raising community awareness of the post-COVID-19 neuropsychiatric syndrome through information, education, and communication (IEC) activities.
Scaling up and skill-building training of primary care doctors Doctor, Nurses, Community Health Workers and other allied healthcare and mental health professionals to screen and identify patients with anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder, dysautonomia, attention, dysexecutive symptoms, and fatigue among post-COVID-19 survivors to assess the post-COVID neuropsychiatric syndrome.4,6
Allowing telemedicine services to digitally screen for post-COVID neuropsychiatric syndrome and make an appropriate referral to a “post-COVID clinic.”
To begin interdisciplinary “post-COVID clinic” services in secondary and tertiary care centers in India for post-COVID syndrome.
To develop evidence-based national clinical practice guidelines on post-COVID syndrome and enable the safe and effective practice.
To fund research in this area in order to better understand the prevalence, a constellation of symptoms involving various organs, disability, burden, and policy-based clinical practice in India.
Appropriate policies should be developed to allocate independent funding and human resources to provide holistic evidence-based post-COVID syndrome treatment and research.
The authority should monitor the policy implementation on “post-COVID syndrome care”.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic-related mental health problems and post-COVID neuropsychiatric syndrome are major public health concerns both worldwide and in India. The technology-driven “post-COVID-19 clinic” can provide multidisciplinary, integrated, and holistic care to post-COVID survivors. There is a need for research, policy, a separate budget, and resource allocation to help reach the community’s unreached vulnerable population.
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