Corona Virus Covid 19

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Is foreign Covid aid reaching the states in time?
By Nikunj Ohri
June 10, 2021 07:26 IST


'Technology is streamliming the entire process of aid distribution and making it transparent and digital.'




IMAGE: Members of a medical team carry equipment and goods to set up a free medical camp to provide healthcare support to villagers, amidst the spread of COVID-19, at Debipur village in the South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, May 21, 2021. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters


"Importance is given to states/UTs with scarce resources, and to those that may have physical connectivity issues which would cause delays in supply if sent at the last moment," NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant -- who chairs the empowered group on coordination of COVID-19-related relief and response activities -- tells Nikunj Ohri.

How is aid (vaccine, medicines) from abroad being distributed to states?

How is the government ensuring states receive such medical supplies on time, and in a fair manner?


Aid is being sent through three channels -- government, private sector and through states, NGOs and civil society organisations directly to those impacted by COVID-19.
NITI Aayog coordinates with private donors through the CovAID platform, which allows them to fill their intent to donate and track the status of their shipments.
The ministry of external affairs is coordinating with donor countries through the Integrated Covid Aid Tracker.

Two portals have been developed to ensure the process is completely digital, and allocations shall be done by the ministry of health as per a standard operating procedure.
In case of direct sourcing of aid by states/NGOs/CSOs, a nodal officer has been appointed for each state/UT and speedy customs clearance is facilitated.
While allocating, priority is accorded to medical hubs and states/UTs with high-caseloads-which keeps changing because different states are peaking at different times.
Importance is given to states/UTs with scarce resources, and to those that may have physical connectivity issues which would cause delays in supply if sent at the last moment.

A real-time portal has been created to monitor distribution of foreign aid, including vaccines. How is the distribution tracked?
Technology is streamliming the entire process of aid distribution and making it transparent and digital.
Two portals have been developed in partnership with private technology companies like Flipkart, Nagarro, Cloudstack, MapMyIndia, Freshworks, Amazon and Microsoft.
We have onboarded logistic service providers, Indian Air Force, Indian airlines and other stakeholders on to the platforms so that end-mile delivery of aid is smooth and transparent.
Real-time tracking of consignments through the GPS tracking system present in all the trucks is undertaken.
The robust monitoring system not only tracks the location and status of the cargo, but also checks utilisation.
This is done by means of geo-tagged photos and videos, which have to be uploaded by final destination institutions.

How is the government preparing for a potential third wave of coronavirus?
We have to let our current experience guide us.
Streamlined distribution of oxygen and a green corridor for quick transport via road, rail and air are needed.
Our focus should then be on how we prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed -- this would happen when hospitalisations reduce.
We need early detection of the virus and must make medical advice available without delay.

If correct and timely treatment is not provided, hospitalisations will rise.
Do-it-yourself rapid test kits are now available for testing at home.
And, the vaccination programme needs to be accelerated.
The government has extended grants to Indian vaccine makers to raise production.
Sputnik has been approved and two cargoes have arrived.

Is foreign Covid aid reaching the states in time?
 

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FAQ: Is it safe to take antibody cocktail for Covid-19?
By Ruchika Chitravanshi and Sohini Das
June 10, 2021 13:25 IST


According to medical practitioners, the treatment is especially useful in controlling disease among those who have not received the vaccine or got only one shot and also the high-risk contacts of a patient.





The monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment has picked up in India after Roche India received the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for importing the globally manufactured product last month. The neutralising antibody cocktail was successfully administered to former US president Donald Trump and has found positive results in Indian patients, too.


Used to treat only mild to moderate disease in high-risk Covid-19 patients, doctors feel the treatment can bolster the fight against severe disease. Here’s what we know about this therapy, which is still in early stages:

What is a monoclonal antibody cocktail?
It is a combination of two types of genetically engineered antibodies. They are similar to the antibodies produced in a human body but different because they are made in a lab. Swiss major Roche has got approval for its antibody cocktail comprising two antibodies: casirivimab and imdevimab. Cipla has launched the medicine here at the price of Rs 59,750 per patient.
In March, Roche said that phase III trial outcomes in high-risk non-hospitalised patients with Covid-19 showed that the antibody cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab significantly reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 70-71 per cent compared to a placebo.

The Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recently provided an EUA for the antibody cocktail in India. This cocktail has also received an EUA in the US and several EU countries.
The antibody cocktail is to be administered for the treatment of mild to moderate coronavirus disease in adults and paediatric patients (12 years of age or older, weighing at least 40 kg) who are confirmed to be infected with SARS-COV2 and who are at high risk of developing severe Covid-19 disease and do not require oxygen at that stage.


Who are the high-risk patients who can get the antibody cocktail?
People who are at high-risk of developing complications in Covid-19 or likely to progress towards severe disease can be administered the Roche antibody cocktail.
Cipla, the marketing partner of Roche in India, had noted that roughly people at high risk may include those above 60 years, obese, having cardio-vascular disease including hypertension, chronic lung disease including asthma, type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease including those on dialysis, chronic liver disease or immunosuppressed (based on investigator’s assessment) persons.
Examples of the immunosuppressed include people on cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, those with immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or evidence of AIDS, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, or those on prolonged use of immune-weakening medications.

When is the treatment given?
The treatment is given before a person goes from infection to the inflammatory stage. According to medical practitioners, the treatment is especially useful in controlling disease among those who have not received the vaccine or got only one shot and also the high-risk contacts of a patient.

How does this treatment work?
The antibodies bind to the spike protein of the virus and prevent the infection early on in the disease. The antibodies themselves last a few days. Even before the person infected with Covid can produce antibodies, the treatment expedites the fight against the virus in the body, thus preventing severe disease or hospitalisation by almost 70 per cent, according to studies.
“It works like a temporary vaccine. Because it works against the spike protein, it is an effective treatment against mutant strains as well,” said Ashok Seth, chairman, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Delhi.

How effective has the treatment been?
It is early days in India but doctors say there is a lot of interest in the treatment and it is a promising agent in the fight against Covid.
Fortis Hospital, Mohali administered the antibody cocktail therapy to a 72-year-old Covid positive patient who is diabetic with chronic kidney disease last week. The hospital said the patient was stable post the infusion.
Zafar Ahmed, senior consultant, Critical Care, Pulmonology and Chest and Sleep Medicine, Fortis Hospital Mohali, said, "Like antibodies, which are proteins generated by the body to fight disease, monoclonal antibodies are ‘artificially created in the lab’. In this cocktail, Casirivimab and Imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies that specifically block the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, thereby preventing the coronavirus attachment and entry into human cells. 600 grams of each are mixed, forming the cocktail."
It is too early to say whether this prevents high-risk patients from progressing to severe disease.

Has this method been used for treating other diseases?
Doctors said that monoclonal antibodies is a well-established technology that has been used in treating inflammatory disorders. In India, its use is not common.
Harish Chafle, consultant intensivist, and chest physician, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, explained that monoclonal antibodies are used to treat immune disorders, connective tissue disorders and also rheumatoid disorders. It has shown promising results.

What can happen if antibody therapy is given to a seriously ill Covid-19 patient?
Unlike the body’s naturally produced antibodies, these are lab-manufactured. “The body’s natural antibodies take 14 days or so to generate, but these are instant doses of antibodies. This is given to block the infection from slipping into severe. After someone is already serious, on oxygen support, then this therapy would not work, and, in fact, the patient’s condition may aggravate,” Chafle cautioned.
He felt that it is better than convalescent plasma therapy as here we know the strength of the antibodies being administered. “In plasma, the presence of antibodies will vary from person to person,” Chafle said.

Are any more Covid antibody products expected soon?
Yes, British drug major GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Nasdaq listed Vir Biotechnology recently got the US drug regulator nod for its monoclonal antibody (Sotrovimab) for treating mild to moderate Covid-19 patients above 12 years. GSK India spokesperson said that it was exploring all options to quickly make this “important medicine” available for Indian patients.

Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila has sought permission from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for initiating clinical trials for its antibody cocktail -- ZRC-3308. For now, Zydus is the only Indian company to have developed a neutralising monoclonal antibody based cocktail for the treatment of Covid-19.

FAQ: Is it safe to take antibody cocktail for Covid-19?
 

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Covid-19 vaccines can make people 'magnetic'? PIB says no way
Covid-19 vaccines cannot cause a magnetic reaction in the human body, the government has said.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUN 11, 2021 02:07 PM IST
A video doing the rounds on the internet claiming Covid-19 vaccines can make people "magnetic" are baseless, the government has said and urged people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease. The video shows objects sticking to the arms of a vaccine recipient and is also being shared widely on social media, fuelling rumours about the safety of the vaccines.

The Press Information Bureau's (PIB) fact-checking arm, PIB Fact Check, has said these claims about Covid-19 vaccines are "baseless". "Vaccines cannot cause a magnetic reaction in the human body. COVID-19 vaccines are completely safe and do not contain any metal-based ingredients. It is common to experience mild side-effects like mild headaches, pain or swelling at the injection site, and mild fever after getting the COVID-19 vaccine," it said. "Do not fall prey to misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and get vaccinated," added.



Covid-19 vaccines can make people 'magnetic'? PIB says no way
 

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Delhi's Apollo Hospital likely to administer Russian Sputnik V vaccine from June 20

The Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will likely be administered at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi starting next week, said the hospital.


Milan Sharma
Milan Sharma
Kumar Kunal
New Delhi
June 13, 2021
UPDATED: June 13, 2021 21:32 IST

File photo of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine


File photo of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine (Picture Courtesy: rdif.ru)

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Apollo is facilitating vaccination of Dr Reddy's employees for now
  • Sputnik V will be administered to common people once more doses arrive: Apollo
  • Price of each dose of Sputnik V vaccine has been capped at Rs 1,145 by the central government


Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will likely be administered at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi later this month. Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy's Laboratories has partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for the rollout of the two-dose vaccine in India.
The Apollo Group of Hospitals said it has received 1,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. Around 170 of these doses were administered to employees of Dr Reddy's Laboratories at the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi on Sunday.
Sources said the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital is only facilitating the vaccination of Dr Reddy's employees for now.

In a statement, Apollo Group of Hospitals said it is waiting for more doses of the Russian-made vaccine to arrive. People will be able to receive the Sputnik V vaccine at Apollo likely by June 20, said the hospital.
The Sputnik V vaccine will also be available at the Madhukar Rainbow Children's Hospital in New Delhi in the coming week, reported news agency PTI.

Sputnik V in India
Apart from Apollo hospitals, Sputnik V is also being administered at Continental hospitals in Hyderabad.
The price of each dose of the Sputnik V vaccine has been capped at Rs 1,145 by the central government. Private hospitals administering the vaccine have been directed to charge only the capped price, in addition to Rs 150 as a service charge per dose.


Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Apollo Hospitals initiated the first phase of the Sputnik V roll-out on May 17 in Hyderabad. The vaccine was then made available in Vishakhapatnam on May 18 on a pilot basis.
On June 10, the RDIF announced that the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine as recorded during an inoculation drive by Bahrain's Ministry of Health was estimated to be at 94.3 per cent.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories CEO (API and Services), Deepak Sapra, told India Today TV last month that the pharma company is working with Indian regulators to also bring the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine to India.


Delhi's Apollo Hospital likely to administer Russian Sputnik V vaccine from June 20
 

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Delhi unlock 3.0: No odd-even rule for markets, restaurants to reopen with 50% capacity | All you need to know

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the resumption of all economic activities except some that will remain prohibited and some that will continue in a restricted manner.
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Pankaj Jain
New Delhi
June 13, 2021
UPDATED: June 13, 2021 16:27 IST



From Monday, the odd-even rule for markets will come to an end. (India Today Photo)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced further ease in Covid-related restrictions in the city starting from 5 am on Monday. The CM announced the resumption of all economic activities except some that will remain prohibited and some that will continue in a restricted manner.
In a press briefing, CM Arvind Kejriwal said the odd-even rule for shops in markets and malls in the city will stop and from Monday, all shops will open between 10 am to 8 pm. Restaurants will be allowed to open at 50 per cent seating capacity.
However, CM Arvind Kejriwal said this will be done on a trial basis for a week and if cases increase, stricter restrictions will be imposed.



Here is all you need to know about the new unlock guidelines in Delhi.
Delhi unlock 3.0: Activities allowed
* In government offices, there will be 100 per cent attendance of group A officers and 50 per cent for the rest.
* All private offices shall be allowed to function to the extent of 50 per cent strength of their staff between 9 am to 5 pm.
* All standalone shops shall be permitted to open on all days without any distinction of essential and non-essential goods/services. However, the timings of such shops dealing with non-essential goods/services will be between 10 am to 8 pm.
* All markets, market complexes and malls shall be permitted to open between 10 am to 8 pm.



* Restaurants are allowed upto 50 per cent of the seating capacity.

* Weekly markets will also resume operation but only one such market of a municipal zone will be allowed to function on a day.

* A gathering of not more than 20 people allowed at marriages and funerals.

* Delhi Metro and buses shall be allowed to operate with up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity

* Public transport such as autos and e-rickshaws (upto 2 passengers)/ taxis, cabs, gramin sewa and phat phat sewa (upto 2 passengers) / maxi cab (upto 5 passengers) / RTV (upto 11 passengers) shall be allowed.

* Religious places shall be permitted to open, but no visitors will be allowed.

* All other activities will be permitted, except those which are specifically prohibited. However, in containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed.

* No restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods including those for cross-land border trade under Treaties with neighboring countries. No separate permission/ e-pass will be required for such movements.


Delhi unlock 3.0: Activities prohibited
* All schools, colleges, educational institutions etc., will remain closed. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be permitted and should be encouraged.

* All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, festival related and other gatherings and congregations will remain restriced.

* Swimming pools (except being used for training of sport persons for participation in national and international events), stadiums, sports complexes, spas, gymnasium, yoga institutes, public parks and gardens will remain closed.

* Cinema halls, entertainment parks, water parks, banquet halls, auditoriums, assembly halls, business to business (B2B) exhibitions will remain closed.

Delhi unlock 3.0: No odd-even rule for markets, restaurants to reopen with 50% capacity | All you need to know
 

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IIT रोपड़ के शोधकर्ताओं ने बिना बिजली के चलने वाला CPAP डिवाइस बनाया
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•Jun 15, 2021


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IIT रोपड़ के शोधकर्ताओं ने बिना बिजली के चलने वाला CPAP डिवाइस बनाया
 

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IIT Ropar builds first power-free CPAP device 'Jivan Vayu'
14 June 2021 | News

The device can adapt to both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals

Image Credit: PIB


Image Credit: PIB


Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a device ‘Jivan Vayu’ which can be used as a substitute for CPAP machine. The device functions even without electricity and is adapted to both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals. These provisions are not available in otherwise existing CPAP machines.
Fulfilling all the medically required parameters, this leak-proof, low-cost CPAP delivery system, Jivan Vayu is designed for a 22mm CPAP closed-circuit tube. It can even be customised as per the size of the tube. Since it can run during power failures, this can be used to safely transport a patient.
“This was the need of the hour during the present covid pandemic when the power supply is the key concern for saving lives of those on medical equipment such as ventilators and oxygen concentrators,” said Dr Khushboo Rakha, Assistant Professor, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, who has developed the device at the Advanced Materials and Design Lab of IIT Ropar.
“It has an inbuilt viral filter at the air entrainment end which has a viral efficacy of 99.99 per cent”, assures Dr Rakha. The viral filter ensures that the air does not bring in any pathogens from the environment. The device has been manufactured using 3D printing and has also been tested mechanically.
‘Jivan Vayu’ can deliver high flow oxygen (20–60 LPM) while maintaining a continuous positive pressure of up to 20 cm H2O. The device is designed to maintain a FiO2 of above 40 per cent with a PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure) of 5-20 cm H2O.
Dr Rakha and her team have collaborated with Suresh Chand, Faculty Incharge, Rapid Prototyping Lab, Siemens Centre of Excellence at Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh for 3D printing of the device. The device is ready for medical testing and mass manufacturing.

IIT Ropar builds first power-free CPAP device 'Jivan Vayu'
 

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CPAP No Power!
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•Sep 19, 2018


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Notice: I am NOT a Doctor or Medical Professional, I am NOT giving medical advice! What happens to CPAP or BiPAP users when the electricity goes out? Here is how I fixed that dilemma for myself. SPECIAL NOTICE: I may have said that I would include links, however, due to YouTube linking policy and the direction I want for my channel, I will no longer be including links. Sorry, however, if you like an item you see in one of my videos you can always search google for it and find the info you are looking for.
 
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