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Insurers boost phone consultation services amid coronavirus lockdown

The move comes as experts push for social distancing and the country is in a 21-day lockdown to combat spread of the infection

March 27, 2020 / 03:33 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Top insurance providers in the country have reportedly stepped up to facilitate telemedical check-ups for customers amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Insurers Religare, TATA AIA, Max Bupa, HDFC Ergo and online platform Policybazaar have boosted remote medical services to scrutinise applicants and provide telephonic doctors’ consultations, The Economic Times reported.

The move comes as experts push for social distancing and the country is in a 21-day lockdown to combat spread of the infection. It allows reduction of risk for customers and doctors and lets insurers carry on with services. Insurance is an essential service under the lockdown period.

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“The process which would earlier require in-person consultations are now conducted via telephonic calls. It requires a prescription history of past ailments for health and term insurance,” Santosh Aggarwal, Chief Business Officer, Life Insurance – Policybazaar, told the paper. Conversion rate has increased nearly 35 percent over the past month, he added.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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“For our new customers, our team of doctors is working 24x7 to underwrite new policies,” Max Bupa CEO Ashish Mehrotra told the paper.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 27, 2020 03:33 pm

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