Health

From zero to export, here’s how India ramped up PPE making

US and China are its biggest trade partners

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With a 1.3 billion population, India is a highly dense country. The imposition of a sudden lockdown meant critical equipment like PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), masks, and other medical equipment were in low supply. Due to the global outbreak, imports were also difficult to find since the demand was too high.

The initial cases of Coronavirus were detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in November 2019. While the outbreak was limited initially, it gradually spread across China, followed by other countries, and reached a critical stage in March.

Many countries implemented a strict lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. While these curfews helped reduce the spread of the virus, it also handicapped industries because the normal flow of goods and production was adversely affected. Adding to this, developing countries were worse hit because their healthcare system is weak and under-equipped.

India rising to the occasion

However, India was able to find a home-grown solution. The country went on to start exporting Coronavirus goods within a few months. California-based financing company Drip Capital released a detailed report that gives us an insight into India’s production response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The report considered 14 categories of medical-related products that were shipped between January and July of 2020. The data is directly compiled from India’s Directorate-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). These categories include textiles, disinfectants, test kits, soap, rubber, gloves, footwear, and other medical equipment.

In a nutshell, the industry clocked a growth of US$ 150 million when compared to the same period last year. The country was in a lockdown state for almost two months. PPE demand among medical workers, contact tracers, and other essential workers was extremely high. The textile category alone contributed to the growth of US$ 40 million, followed by test kits at US$ 26 million, disinfectants at US$ 28 million, and soap at US$ 12 million.

PPE production in full swing

What’s even more interesting is, India had zero domestic manufacturing capacity for PPEs in January. A few restrictions were placed on exports in January due to a shortage of inventory, and a complete ban was placed in March. The government released massive tenders to encourage domestic production, and the country was making 700,000 to 800,000 PPE kits a day by June.

Once domestic demand was fulfilled, the government opened up exports, and a milestone was reached in October when India delivered 1.8 million N95 masks to the US. The effect is quite easily visible as the country exported goods worth US$ 539 million in the first seven months of 2020.

In comparison, India exported goods worth US$ 532 million in the whole of 2019. Hence it’s safe to assume this year’s exports shall be almost twice that of last year.

70 percent of all exported goods originated from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. On the other hand, India’s top trade partners were spread across the globe. The US single-handedly imported goods worth US$ 98 million, followed by China at US$ 37 million, Germany at US$ 30 million, and the Netherlands at US$ 22 million.

Indian goods were in high demand in smaller countries like the UAE, Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. A natural edge that Indian goods have is their pricing. Being a developing economy with a substantial population engaged in agriculture and textile, PPE was a perfect commodity that helped grow small scale industries.

Apps

mWell: new health & wellness app for Filipinos

Because, really, we needed this.

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Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation (MPHTC) is looking to transform the digital health care ecosystem. With what, you ask? Well, with mWell. mWell is a health and wellness app made for every Filipino’s holistic well-being by providing you the medical aid you deserve through a secure digital space.

mWell has partnered with CareSpan, Philcare, Keralty Clinic, board-certified doctors and health practitioners. That way, they can give you access to the best digital medical aid.

For doctors, clinics, and hospitals

Doctors, clinics, and hospitals all over the country are welcome to sign up to mWell. With it, they can set up their own virtual clinic and virtual labs for free. From there, they’ll be able to easily book and manage digital appointments, access patients’ confidential medical records, and issue e-prescriptions.

If you’re a board-certified doctor who isn’t tech savvy, don’t worry. You’ll be given a quick and easy training to be able to access all of mWell’s services so you can immediately digitize your practice and reach more patients nationwide.

For the everyday Filipino

mWell provides everyday Filipinos access to professional consultations, wellness programs, products, and drug delivery services. With the partnership of Medicard, you can book COVID-19 testing services.

Starting August, mWell will let you access e-Pharmacies. From buying prescribed meds and getting them delivered to your doorstep, to buying PhilCare health insurance products for dengue, accidents, and emergencies, they’ve got you covered. They’re even launching nationwide virtual medical missions.

More coming

On September, mWell is partnering with Aktivolabs to let you monitor and track physical activities, sleep schedule, and stress so you can work on improving your health and wellness. And, for PLDT Home customers, you can avail free consultation with mWell doctors. The app is available for Android and iOS.

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Health

5 workouts you can do anywhere to get you “In the Zone”

Together with Samsung, Rebel, and #TeamGalaxy coaches

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Samsung Philippines teamed up with Rebel, a popular fitness app, to co-create a 5-part workout series called “In the Zone” comprised of yoga, meditation, cardio, and strength training.

The workouts are accessible through the Rebel app, led by coaches and #TeamGalaxy members, Carla Piscoso and Eduardo Lara. In this story, Piscoso and Lara demonstrated the routines while sharing their experience working out with the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.

Full Body LIT

Short for low-impact training, the Full Body LIT is a 20-minute routine that’s perfect for beginners. It consists of 10 moves — most of which are dreaded by most people — guaranteed to make you stronger. For instance, reverse lunges to deadlifts, modified burpees, bicycle crunches, and more.

Piscoso was able to immerse herself into the workout when she used the Galaxy Buds Pro’s 360 Audio feature. The surround sound experience pumped her up, allowing the sound to match all her dynamic movements.

Upper Body HIIT

If you’ve been working out for a while now, you probably know HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training — the workout that gives fitness newbs mixed feelings. It’s a mix of short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest squeezed in between.

This intense workout was led by Lara through a 16-minute routine that focuses on the chest, back, shoulder, and arms. And what better way to enjoy a sweaty session? A piece of heart-pumping music delivered with superior sound quality.

Running

In the Rebel app, “Basics of Running” introduces you to a program where Lara guides you on proper form, skip drills, and warmups designed to condition the body.

If you’re starting to keep an active lifestyle for a while now, this workout is the perfect routine to start. Per Lara, the Galaxy Buds Pro’s Active Noise Cancellation helps tune out the background noise effectively, so he can focus on running.

Vinyasa Yoga

To Piscoso, doing a Vinyasa sequence can help improve energy levels, promote relaxation, and lower stress — perfect for ending a tiring day or week.

Like Lara, Piscoso found the Active Noise Cancellation helpful in keeping her focused, too, especially during meditation.

Jump Rope Workout

Whoever told you jump ropes are boring surely hasn’t seen Piscoso in action. The fitness instructor took jump rope workouts up a notch with variations such as butt kicks, high knees, and double unders.

She didn’t even worry about the Galaxy Buds Pro falling off due to its comfortable and secure fit, which definitely stayed in place despite having an insanely vigorous workout.

Photo by GadgetMatch

A chance for a healthier you

If you decided to turn your life around this year but got derailed, fret not. Rebel community members get an exclusive 20% discount voucher when they buy the Galaxy Buds Pro until July 31, 2021.

Non-members who want to get their hands on the limited-time voucher can download the Rebel app and sign up for an account to get the promo code on the “In the Zone” series’ description. Promo code can be used to purchase the device via Samsung Online Store.

On another note, Samsung is also holding an online contest for Samsung Members and the Rebel community. Five lucky winners can get a chance to take home a Galaxy Buds Pro and one-month free Rebel+ subscription, and 25 winners of a one-month free Rebel+ subscription. For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, visit samsung.com/ph.

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Health

Android will soon support COVID-19 vaccine cards natively

The handiest feature of 2021?

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vaccine

Google has revealed it’ll open up Android’s built-in passes system to let users digitally store their vaccine cards. The company calls it “COVID Card,” and the feature will first roll out in the US with support for healthcare providers, regional governments, and other authorized agents.

Users will not be required to install any particular app to store or access the digital card on their devices. The native supports means that the operating system can seamlessly load the card, and health agencies can leverage its APIs to deliver confirmations.

Once a digital version of the COVID Card is stored in a device, users can easily access your vaccine data via a shortcut on their device home screen, even when offline or in areas with no data service. The real-life experience will be similar to iOS’s Wallet, which acts as a central repository to store tickets, confirmations, and other cards from third-party apps.

The information stated on the card will not be synced with Google’s cloud, and no ads will be delivered based on its content. The COVID Card will show information such as the name of the vaccine and when you took its first and second doses. If a user wants to access this information on multiple devices, they will need to store it on each device manually.

In April 2020, rivals Google and Apple made an unprecedented announcement. The two rivals joined hands to help governments in tracing contacts of Coronavirus-positive people. In other words, the software links up to the government’s own contact tracing applications through an API or application programming interface. The joint effort bore positive results for many smaller governments that couldn’t afford to create a new solution from scratch amid a raging pandemic.

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