Corona Virus Covid 19

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Transmission of Covid through water not a concern: Experts
Source: PTI - Edited By: Roshneesh Kmaneck
May 12, 2021 19:22 IST

Experts on Wednesday said transmission of coronavirus through water is not a concern, after bodies of suspected COVID-19 patients were fished out of the Ganga and Yamuna.



IMAGE: Police personnel at the banks of river Ganga in Chausa village, in Buxar where the bodies were found floating. Photograph: PTI Photo


Satish Tare, professor at IIT-Kanpur, said dumping of dead bodies in the Ganga or its tributaries or sub-tributaries is a serious matter, particularly at a time when the country is grappling with the COVID-19 crisis.
The Ganga and Yamuna are key sources of drinking water for many villages, local bodies along the rivers.
The professor, however, stressed that dumping of bodies will not have a significant effect on transmission.


Tare said dumping bodies in the Ganga or its tributaries is not new, but it has come down significantly in the last 10-15 years. Dumping of bodies primarily leads to pollution of rivers, he said.

“Even if the bodies of suspected COVID-19 patients were fished out, there is a lot of dilution that happens (during the flow of water). The effect may not be significant,” he said.

"If the water is passed for water supply, then it passes through the water supply system. Normal treatment takes care of it,” said Tare, who teaches environmental engineering, water quality and wastewater treatment.

He, however, added that there are patches where people draw water directly from the river. But even during this people do exercise caution.

Tare is also associated with the National Mission for Clean Ganga, the apex body under the Jal Shakti ministry that deals with the cleaning of Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries.

On Tuesday, the Bihar government fished out 71 bodies from the Ganges in Buxar district, where these were found floating in the river, triggering suspicion that the abandoned corpses could be those of COVID-19 patients.

According to Ballia residents in Uttar Pradesh, at least 45 bodies were seen floating at the Ujiyar, Kulhadia and Bharauli ghats in the Narahi area. However, the district authorities did not tell the exact number of bodies found there.

On Monday, residents in Hamirpur district spotted five bodies floating in the Yamuna, creating a scare that these were of COVID patients. The bodies were later fished out and cremated.

Following this, the Centre on Tuesday asked states along the Ganga to ensure strict vigilance and check future incidences of people dumping bodies in Ganga and its tributaries after 71 corpses were fished out of the river body in Bihar.

In a letter to the District Ganga committees which are chaired by district magistrates/ collectors, the National Mission for Clean Ganga also asked the authorities to dispose of unidentified dead bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims in accordance with safety protocols.

"Ensure strict vigilance along length of the river within territorial jurisdiction of the district to prevent and check such future incidences of people dumping dead bodies in Ganga and its tributaries and of any other activities hazardous for river Ganga and health and hygiene of the area,” the NMCG Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said in a letter to the chairpersons of the District Ganga Committees.

It has also asked to submit an action-taken report to the NMCG in the next 14 days, the letter said.

Responding to a question on this in a briefing on May 7, V K Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog said, “Spread of transmission through water is not a concern. Not to worry.”

Principal Scientific Adviser K VijayRaghavan said there is no worry about transmission through such mediums.



Transmission of Covid through water not a concern: Experts
 

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Peak will come but virus can again emerge: Govt
Source: PTI - Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: May 13, 2021 22:12 IST

As the country battles the second wave of COVID-19, the government Thursday said the virus may emerge again and so preparations have to be made at the national level in collaboration with states, infrastructure needs to be ramped up while curbs and appropriate behaviour must be followed.



IMAGE: A young man speaks on the phone after receiving his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, at a school in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

Dismissing allegations that the government was unaware of the intensity of the second wave, NITI Aayog member (health) Dr V K Paul said, "We kept warning again and again from this platform that the second wave of COVID-19 will come.
"It was said that the sero-positivity is 20 per cent, 80 per cent of the population is still vulnerable and that virus has not gone anywhere and other countries were also witnessing a resurge."
At a press conference, Paul said, "The prime minister had conveyed the country about the emerging second wave on March 17 without creating panic and had said that we have to fight it."

"Was such a peak expected," he said, "well, no modelling can predict the size of a peak as the unexpected behaviour virus is well known."
"So peak will come, the virus can again emerge, we know. So preparations have to be made at country level in collaboration with states, infrastructure has to be ramped up, containment measures have to be implemented and COVID appropriate behaviour has to be followed.
"We had not created panic... other countries have faced multiple peaks after all it's a pandemic," he said.
He said it is the nature of the disease that it will ultimately go to villages.
This epidemiology is well known, Paul said as he urged people to follow COVID appropriate behaviour and embrace vaccination.
Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that plateauing in daily new COVID-19 cases and a slight decline positivity rate have been recorded in the country over the past three days, but added 10 states still have a positivity rate of more than 25 per cent which was 'worrisome trend'.
He said as many as 12 states have more than 1 lakh active COVID-19 cases, while 24 states have more than 15 per cent case positivity rate.
"There are 10 states --Goa, Puducherry, West Bengal, Karntaka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha where the COVID-19 case positivity rate is more than 25 per cent while there are eight states including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala where it is more than 20 per cent, which is a worrisome trend," he said.
He, however, said the number of districts with week-on week rise in COVID-19 tests, yet decline in positivity rate has increased from 125 in April 22-28 to 338 between May 6 and 12.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan,Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa and Telangana were among 20 states and union territories showing continued plateauing or decrease in daily new COVID-19 cases.
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal,Punjab, Assam, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Pudusherry and Manipur were among 16 states and union territories showing continued increasing trend in daily new COVID-19 cases and remain area of concern.
There 316 districts showing an increasing trend in COVID-19 cases since last two weeks while 187 districts have relatively shown a decline in COVID-19 cases during the same period , he said.
India has been reeling under a catastrophic second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, the country added 3,62,727 new coronavirus infections, taking the COVID-19 tally of cases to 2,37,03,665, while the death toll rose to 2,58,317 with 4,120 daily fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated this morning.
The active cases have increased to 37,10,525 comprising 15.65 per cent of the total infections.


Peak will come but virus can again emerge: Govt
 

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Bodies in Ganga: NHRC issues notices to Centre, UP, Bihar
Source: PTI - Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
May 13, 2021 20:21 IST

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, after receiving complaints about several bodies found floating in the Ganga river in the two states.



IMAGE: Bodies found floating in Ganga being buried on the banks in Chausa village, Buxar, on Tuesday. Photograph: PTI Photo

'It (NHRC) has issued notices to the chief secretaries of both the states and the secretary, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, today calling for action taken report within four weeks,' its statement noted.

According to residents in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, at least 52 bodies were seen floating at the Ujiyar, Kulhadia and Bharauli ghats in the Narahi area. Similar reports of bodies floating in the Ganga have come from Bihar.

In its statement, the NHRC said that it seems the public authorities have failed to take concentric efforts in educating the masses and checking the immersion of half-burnt or unburnt bodies into the Ganga.
India has been badly hit by the second wave of coronavirus infections and cremation grounds and burial grounds across the country have been overburdened.
The NHRC's statement said, 'The practice of disposal of dead bodies in our sacred river Ganga is clearly in violation of guidelines of the National Mission for Clean Ganga project of the Ministry of Jal Shakti.'
It said it received a complaint dated May 11, 2021, based on several media reports, wherein apprehensions were expressed that these bodies floating in the Ganga were of COVID-19 victims.
The complaint noted that the disposal bodies in such a manner may seriously affect all those persons who are dependent on the Ganga for their day-to-day activities, the NHRC mentioned.
'It (complaint) further stated that even if these dead bodies were not of COVID victims, then such practice/incidents are shameful to the society as a whole as that amounts to violation of human rights of even deceased persons,' the NHRC added.

India added 3,62,727 new coronavirus infections in a day taking the COVID-19 tally of cases to 2,37,03,665, while the death toll rose to 2,58,317 with 4,120 daily fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The active cases have increased to 37,10,525 comprising 15.65 per cent of the total infections.

Bodies in Ganga: NHRC issues notices to Centre, UP, Bihar
 
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'People are dying. We are helpless'
By PRASANNA D ZORE
May 11, 2021 07:42 IST

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'Some VIP or minister should come to the ward and see how people are suffering.'
'The pain and suffering of the relatives of the patients who are admitted; let them hear their desperate pleas for medicines and oxygen and ventilators and ICU beds; the cries of the kith and kin of doctors and nurses who are being eaten by the pandemic.'




IMAGE: A son performs the last rites for his mother who died of coronavirus. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo


Dr J A Jayalal is president of the Indian Medical Association which has sent a letter to the Union health ministry to 'wake up'.
The IMA -- a pan-India voluntary organisation with a membership of 350,000 doctors -- has lost 126 doctors to the second wave and 736 doctors to the first wave.
"Pregnant women are dying, young children are dying, doctors are dying, nurses are dying; the elderly are dying," Dr Jayalal tells Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com in the first part of a revealing interview.

You have written a letter to the Union health ministry and suggested it 'wake up' and mitigate challenges'. What kind of inadequacies do you find in the health ministry's handling of the COVID-19 second wave?
The Indian Medical Association has suggested implementation of a complete, nationwide lockdown for 15 days. But the Union government doesn't seem to be in favour of this suggestion.
We had also asked for free vaccination for all Indians irrespective of their age brackets.
All the poor people in the 18-44 age groups may not have enough money to spend on the vaccines and they might opt out of getting vaccine shots, thereby putting them at risk of infections. By extension, they can then expose more people to the risk of infection.
The Union government announced that all those between 18-44 will get vaccines after May 1, but now the situation is that vaccine doses are not available. There are long lines of those wanting to register on the Cowin app, but are unable to do so for whatever reasons.
You may have your reasons, but once you make an announcement it is your job to make the vaccines available. Instead of reasons, please offer solutions.

There are lots of options with you that you can use. I am not saying that you are not facing difficulties,, but when the prime minister has made an announcement, then the administration should work doubly hard to make it happen.
Manpower is yet another problem.
They postponed the NEET PG exam and now there is chaos. Even after one week nowhere are junior doctors joining (the fight against COVID-19).
There are 178,000 such doctors. Well-trained doctors waiting to join the fight against the pandemic, but for some reason they (the National Board of Examinations) are not conducting the exam; they will postpone the exams to protect these test-takers from Covid.
You are conducting these exams to make these doctors work in the Covid ward, then what is the difficulty in conducting the exams for them?
This is not like postponing the exam for Class 10 or Class 12. That is not going to have any impact. By not conducting the exam you are denying these doctors, these frontline healthcare workers, from joining the fight against the pandemic.
The Government of India is listening to the people who are conducting these exams (the National Board of Examinations) and other bureaucrats, but you are not listening to the people who are facing an acute shortage of manpower on the field to fight the pandemic.

The IMA has suggested a complete lockdown. To what extent will this help in breaking the spread of COVID-19?
The chain can be broken once we deploy measures to prevent its spread from one person to another. One infected person can easily pass on the infection to 50 other people.
We are not having adequate testing facilities. There are lots of infected people who are roaming around with symptoms like mild fever, running nose, and cough without even knowing that they are positive. But for the next 14 days they will remain positive and as they come in contact with more people around them they silently keep spreading the virus exponentially.
If you don't go for a lockdown, infections will continue to spread unchecked.
When you go for a lockdown, which may not have an immediate effect in bringing down the number of cases, but given the maximum incubation period of the virus is 14 days, and once these positive people stop roaming around and spreading virus due to the lockdown, the onset of the third wave will be delayed to a great extent (in terms of numbers) and time.
Going for things like 'micro containment zones', 'focused lockdowns', is not going to stop the spread of COVID-19. It will spread like wildfire.
Do we have the manpower to handle the same pandemic when it swells during the third phase? We simply don't have that kind of manpower.
When you have a centralised lockdown, it may lead to financial worries, but then plan the lockdown to the last detail and do it in a time-bound manner. Give people time to prepare for it. Give them money to cope with the lockdown.
People need to be convinced that the nationwide lockdown will be to their benefit. The economic hardships of not going for a lockdown now will be far greater than going for a lockdown and giving the people enough money to survive during this lockdown.

Has not announcing a complete lockdown worsened the COVID-19 pandemic in India?
Definitely.
Look at the states where lockdowns were strictly implemented and compare their situation with states that went for anything less than complete lockdown. There were decrease in the number of cases and positivity rates in the former case, but in states like Tamil Nadu where there was no lockdown the cases are increasing rapidly now. They have announced a lockdown from today (May 10) but this will take the next 14 days for the number of cases to come down.
Hospitals are now full with patients. There is not enough manpower to deal with the deluge of cases, not enough medicines, ICU beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, etc.
Suppose if the country is at war, then everybody has to get used to restrictions. Today, India is at war with COVID-19; it is a far bigger and powerful enemy than any we have around us; without restrictions on the movement of people, winning against this enemy will bring in enormous economic, mental and health costs.
Now, when Tamil Nadu is under lockdown, and if Andhra (Pradesh) is not under lockdown (for instance), then the people living along the borders of these two states will continue to intermingle and move around.
Localised lockdowns will prove highly ineffective; we need a uniform, nationwide, lockdown.
Tamil Nadu had fewer cases two-three weeks ago, but today the number of cases has jumped to more than 27,000-28,000 every day.
When you are anticipating such scenarios, then it is imperative you take a decision.

Why do you think is the Union government dithering on announcing a complete lockdown?
Maybe, they are worried about the economic fallout of such a decision. Even otherwise, the economy is going through a downturn; from the last one year people are suffering (economic hardships).
But look at this dilemma this way: when one patient gets infected, S/he spends so much money on medicines, hospitalisation, ICU beds, et.
People as young as 30-35 years are getting paralysed, dying because of the Covid infection. This one person then spreads the infection to 50 more and then you repeat the cycle of hospital spending, running desperately for oxygen and other life-saving drugs and then you have 50 more people spending the same amount of money as did the first one.
You cannot compare the deaths of people to people losing their jobs and their earning capacity. While both need to be controlled and taken seriously, the need of the hour is a complete, national lockdown.
The government, however, always cites economic hardships for the people belonging to the lower economic strata for not imposing a national lockdown like the last year.

What's the situation on the ground as far as providing for adequate Covid medical care is concerned?
People are dying just like that. We are helpless.
I was in the ward the other day. Just ten minutes ago I saw a patient with 95 saturation (oxygen level) and when I came back after finishing my round the person was no more.
That's the situation on the ground.
Pregnant women are dying, young children are dying, doctors are dying, nurses are dying; the elderly are dying. IMA too has lost hundreds of doctors to the second wave.
Somebody, some VIP, some minister should come to the ward and see how people are suffering. They should not go to only Apollo Hospital or AIIMS. Come to see (the situation on the ground in) local, regular hospitals.
Let them come and see the difficulties the entire ecosystem of healthcare workers are going through. The pain and suffering of the relatives of the patients who are admitted; let them come here and hear their desperate pleas for medicines and oxygen and ventilators and ICU beds; the cries of the kith and kin of doctors and nurses who are being eaten by the pandemic.
Five-six ambulances will always be in waiting outside such hospitals because there is not enough oxygen or ICU beds available as these hospitals are filled to overcapacity.
When there is no oxygen available in government hospitals, people rush to private hospitals. But the situation is no different there. Where to go, how to manage such deluge of patients is the question facing everybody.

We are in a very difficult situation; this is not the time to talk politics; not the time to point out who is at fault. We ae not saying that the PM is at fault, or the health minister is at fault.
I am saying that the bureaucrats are responsible for all this (mess; the shortage of life-saving equipment and medicines to fight COVID-19).

'People are dying. We are helpless'
 

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No Covaxin Supply 'Under Government Instruction': Delhi Cites Letter
Bharat Biotech has said it will not be able to supply vaccines to the capital citing directives of the government and limited availability, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
All India
Reported by Shonakshi Chakravarty, Edited by Deepshikha Ghosh
Updated: May 12, 2021 4:47 pm IST


Manish Sisodia accused the Centre of controlling supply of Covid shots and of "vaccine mismanagement".

New Delhi:
Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech has refused to supply doses to Delhi "under instructions" from the central government, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged today, accusing the Centre of controlling the supply of Covid shots and of "vaccine mismanagement". The company said it was "disheartening" that some states were complaining about its intentions.
Bharat Biotech has said it will not be able to supply vaccines to the capital citing directives of the government and limited availability, Mr Sisodia said at a digital press meet.
"The Covaxin manufacturer has, in a letter, said it cannot provide Delhi government vaccines due to unavailability, under instructions of the concerned government official. It means that the central government is controlling the supply of the vaccine," he said.
The Delhi government, Mr Sisodia said, had asked for 1.34 crore vaccine doses to vaccinate those between 18 and 44 - equal doses of Covaxin and Serum Institute of India's Covishield. "They say that the Centre will decide who will get how much vaccine," he told reporters.
He also shared on Twitter the letter from Bharat Biotech chairman Krishna Ella responding to the Delhi government's request on May 7.

"There has been an unprecedented demand for our vaccine and in spite of increasing production every month, we are unable to keep up with the demand. Further, we are making dispatches as per the directives of the concerned government officials. We therefore sincerely regret that we cannot make any additional supplies as required by you," says the letter from Dr Ella.
Bharat Biotech co-founder Suchitra Ella, in a tweet, said, "Covaxin dispatched 10/5/21.18 states have been covered though in smaller shipments. Quite disheartening to the teams to hear some states complaining about our intentions. 50 of our employees are off work due to Covid, yet we continue to work under pandemic lockdowns 24x7 for you."

Mr Sisodia also said the Centre must immediately stop exporting vaccines and share the vaccine formulae with a wider group. "Like Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal suggested, since both companies have limited production capacity, the formula should be taken from them and given to other companies who can make vaccines and there should be mass production," he said.

It was the central government's responsibility to procure vaccines from the international market and deliver it to states, he remarked, offering his own view of how the system could work.
"Stopping exports, procuring vaccines should be the centre's responsibility and vaccinating people at the earliest should be the state's responsibility," Mr Sisodia said.

Several states have had to pause or delay the latest phase of vaccinations, covering adults below 45, because of the shortage of vaccines.


No Covaxin Supply 'Under Government Instruction': Delhi Cites Letter
 

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Delhi vaccine update: No Covaxin for 18-44 age group from tomorrow, limited stocks left for 45+

A notice indicates that the Covaxin vaccine is out of stock at the Covid-19 vaccination centre in India. (Bloomberg)



A notice indicates that the Covaxin vaccine is out of stock at the Covid-19 vaccination centre in India. (Bloomberg)1 min read . Updated: 12 May 2021, 06:56 PM ISTEdited By Meghna Sen

  • AAP leader Atishi has said that the national capital has received 2.67 lakh more doses of Covisheild vaccine on 11 May, but it has completely run out of Covaxin

People in the 18-44 years age group will not be administered the Covaxin vaccine shot at any centre in Delhi from Thursday onwards, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Atishi on Wednesday said.
The AAP leader has said that the national capital has received 2.67 lakh more doses of Covisheild vaccine on 11 May, but it has completely run out of Covaxin.


Stocks of the other coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, will last for nine more days, Atishi said.
She said some Covaxin centres for the 18-44 age group have been temporarily shut from Wednesday.
"Around 16,000 Covaxin doses, which were available in the morning, were administered at 44 centres. These centres will also be shut after Wednesday evening," the AAP MLA said.

Atishi hoped that the Centre would intervene and make Covaxin shots available for the 18-44 age group.
"Soon it will be time to give the second dose of Covaxin to beneficiaries in this category," she added.

The AAP leader said the national capital received 2.67 lakh more doses of Covishield yesterday evening.

There are 4.18 lakh Covishield doses left for people in the 18-44 age group. These can last up to nine days, she added.
"However, there will be no Covaxin doses left for the 18-44 age group after Wednesday evening and all such centres will be temporarily shut," she said.
Currently, the city has four days of Covaxin and three days of Covishield stock for those above 45, and healthcare and frontline workers.
The AAP leader said 1.28 lakh doses were administered in the city on Tuesday.
A total of 41.64 lakh doses have been administered to beneficiaries across all categories in Delhi since the inoculation drive started on January 16, according to the bulletin.
Delhi has so far received 8.17 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines for the 18-44 category, and over 43 lakh doses for 45-plus, and healthcare and frontline workers.

Healthcare workers, frontline staff and those aged above 45 are being given jabs at 470 centres, whereas beneficiaries in the 18-44 age group are being inoculated at 394 centres.
The country is in a deep crisis due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic with around 3,48,421 fresh cases and 4,205 deaths being registered in the last 24 hours. Hospitals and morgues are overflowing, medical staff is exhausted and oxygen and drugs are running short in some parts of India.

Delhi: No Covaxin for 18-44 age group from tomorrow, limited stocks left for 45+
 

Big Daddy

Super User
When an earning person from a family dies, things actually become worse for those family members that are left behind and living. Indian government never thinks about the magnitude of the problem and its impact on the economy. If it did, it would have imported and started vaccinating people 1 month ago.
 

citymonk

Super User
When an earning person from a family dies, things actually become worse for those family members that are left behind and living. Indian government never thinks about the magnitude of the problem and its impact on the economy. If it did, it would have imported and started vaccinating people 1 month ago.
India is not a welfare state like Europeaan and many other countries.
It's government is controlled by capitalist interest and capitalist do not bother about welfare of masses. Capitalist simply want a efficient government machinery catering to their interests, answerable to them only and not to people who vote.

That is why all lies and gimmicks are fed to masses by government as they know they have full term to enjoy power and money for rest of life, money they earn through these lies and story telling.
 

Big Daddy

Super User
Actually, India is worse. Even with your example, any government would not want a productive earning citizen to die because it impacts the government's income tax revenue. Most governments would worry about the economy because government revenues depend on it. This is why the US is sitting thinking that India will buy its vaccines. The US companies are ready to sell their vaccines for zero profits (i.e, India only has to pay for the cost of vaccine production), but India still does not want to buy.
 

citymonk

Super User
This is why the US is sitting thinking that India will buy its vaccines. The US companies are ready to sell their vaccines for zero profits (i.e, India only has to pay for the cost of vaccine production), but India still does not want to buy.
India does not wants to buy because there are no commissions and kickbacks involved. If US is ready to grease some palms, why would their companies not get orders that to with very good profits.

India is giving full opportunity to US understand this simple well-known fact, written on wall. This corruption is also the main reason why India is messing up it's vaccination programme so pathetically and not giving orders to indigenous companies and Poonawala e.t.c. well on time.
 
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