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Dr Naresh Trehan On The Learnings From The Coronavirus Pandemic And How Technology Can Help Save The Environment


  1. We should use this opportunity to realign our priorities: Dr Trehan
  2. Practise hand hygiene, masking, social distancing as religion: Dr Trehan
  3. We can live without wasteful travel and wasteful consumption: Dr Trehan
New Delhi: 

The Novel Coronavirus has indeed turned the lives of people upside down but there is a positive side to it as well - while humans are locked up inside their homes, nature is showing signs of recovery. For years, poor air quality in India has been as issue, especially in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai where air quality index would cross the 1,000 mark making it difficult for even a healthy person to breathe. With the lockdown, the air has cleaned up; the water in rivers like Yamuna and Ganga are clearer and fit for consumption; skies are blue, birds are back. These beautiful changes have shown that we can have clean air and water, it's possible but the question is how do we sustain these changes once the lockdown is lifted.

Also Read: #TheCycleOfChange: Its The Right Time To Make Roads Safer For Cyclists, Says IIT Delhi Professor Geetam Tiwari

Speaking at the Hero Cycles-NDTV #TheCycleOfChange telethon, Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta - The Medicity, a hospital that is fighting the war against coronavirus from the frontline, talked about protecting the environment in the long run.

Talking about the lessons COVID-19 has given us, Dr Trehan emphasised on resetting ouR priorities and said,

This is a wake-up call. Viruses are going to get more and more prevalent. The environment is the one that has to actually neutralise these things that are happening around us. If we learn our lesson well and reset our priorities, we will be able to not only live in a better world but we will be much better prepared for our environmental dangers.

Further stressing on learning from the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Trehan said, this is a great lesson to learn. If we forget it in a short period, we will be suffering again. He added,

I think that if each one of us makes sure that we participate in this war, we will neutralise the present situation and as we move forward, we have to neutralise all the other things that have enabled our life to reach this stage.

Also Read: Most Pathogens That Have Impacted Humans In Last 50 Years Came From Deforestation: Conservation Activist Vandana Shiva

Talking about changing the environment, Dr Trehan suggested,

We just have to use this opportunity to realign our priorities. Don't travel if you don't have to travel. Leisure will come but this has also taught us that electronically we can conduct meetings much better than we do by travelling miles to meet somebody. We can do a lot FOR our life today by not doing wasteful travel, wasteful consumption.

While it is important to look after the environment, Dr Trehan said it's also pivotal to be insured because life is uncertain and we don't know when we might catch a disease.

You may be the healthiest person running a marathon but you may be gone tomorrow because of some unknown problem that you may develop.

Also Read: The Environment Benefits During The Lockdown Are Coming At An Economic Cost: Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot

Keeping in mind the current situation, Dr Trehan believes that social distancing will become the norm and maintaining hand hygiene and wearing a mask should be our mantra to beat the Novel Coronavirus causing COVID-19. He added,

I think the world will be different. There are three things you need to practise as a universal religion – hand hygiene, masking, and social distancing. Be responsible and we will win this war and corona will be defeated.

Signing off, Dr Trehan also talked about the concept of telemedicine and how that will stop wasteful travel, will be convenient to patients and provide immediate treatment to patients while preventing unnecessary overcrowding. He said,

There are two kinds of hospitals now – COVID-19 hospitals which are dedicated to Coronavirus patients and non-COVID-19 hospitals for people suffering from any other disease and seeking treatment. So, now one can go to the hospital without any fear.

Other than that, telemedicine – providing consultation to patients remotely – has grown immensely; people understand the technology. According to Dr Trehan, earlier if 100 patients were consulted through electronic media, now over 500 patients are provided treatment through telemedicine.

Also Read: #TheCycleOfChange: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Talks About The Learnings Of Coronavirus Lockdown

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COVID-19 remains a health emergency and a deadly threat, especially to the most vulnerable. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been responding to the global pandemic since it began. MSF doctors and nurses are treating patients and supporting communities across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

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