VA-SenaSeptember 29, 2020



MHA Unlock 5 Guidelines: Unlock 5 will likely come into effect on the following day – Thursday, October 1 – and is expected to stay in place till October 30

New Delhi: The centre is expected to announce guidelines for the fifth phase of easing of Covid-related restrictions, or “Unlock 5”, in the next couple of days as the current phase – “Unlock 4” – is due to end on Wednesday.

“Unlock 5” will likely come into effect on the following day – Thursday, October 1 – and is expected to stay in place till October 30.

While there is considerable speculation about what will and what will not be reopened, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra has prepared guidelines to reopen restaurants starting October 1.

Dine-in service at restaurants in Maharashtra – the worst affected state in the country – have been shut since the first lockdown in March. Restaurants (outside containment zones) had been “unlocked” by in July, but the state opted against this given the high active caseload and daily increase.

Under “Unlock 4”, metro train services have been re-started (in a graded manner) across the country, and social, political, academic, sporting, religious and other functions are allowed with an increased limit of 100 attendees.

Swimming pools and indoor movie theatres, however, remain closed.

Metro services in major cities were reopened in stages with emphasis on cashless, or contactless, travel, social distancing and the use of face masks and sanitisers.

Previously metro services had been stopped and the number of people at functions was limited to 50, as part of the government’s attempts to limit physical contact between people and prevent the infectious coronavirus from spreading further.

“Unlock 4” also allowed schools across the country – which had been shut since the first Covid lockdown in March – to partially reopen from September 21.

Guidelines issued by the Home Ministry said students between Class 9 and 12 could come attend school in staggered shifts to clarify doubts from teachers, providing these schools were outside containment zones and they had parents’ permission.

The ministry also said up to 50 per cent of teachers and non-teaching staff could return to schools (while observing required hygiene protocols). The rest, the ministry added, could continue with online classes, as has become the norm in the pandemic.

The phased reopening of schools, however, was not made mandatory so some regions, including national capital Delhi, opted to keep them closed this month. Some others however, like Assam, Nagaland and Haryana, opted to reopen schools, in line with the centre’s guidelines.

Last month the centre issued guidelines for “Unlock 3” (August 1 to 31) that ended night curfew and allowed gyms and yoga institutes to reopen. All other restrictions remained – particularly those that involved large gatherings – remained in place.

Both “Unlock 3” and “Unlock 4” emphasised that inter-state travel is now permitted without the need for prior permission or e-passes.

India has recorded around 80,000 new Covid cases per day so far this month; 82,170 were logged over the past 24 hours, government data showed this morning. The country has logged over 60 lakh cases since the pandemic began in China’s Wuhan in December last year.

A strict lockdown – potentially the world’s strictest – was enforced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March, but the move left the economy in dire condition and prompted the government to begin a series of “unlocks” that started in June.



VA-SenaSeptember 29, 2020


Named after Satyajit Ray’s famed detective, the Feluda test, which is priced at ₹ 500 and can deliver a result in 45 minutes, is able to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other coronaviruses.

Feluda test

New Delhi: More accurate than a rapid antigen test and almost as quick, India’s CRISPR ‘Feluda’ COVID-19 test that changes colour on detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be a cheaper, faster and simpler alternative to an RT-PCR diagnosis, say scientists.

Named after Satyajit Ray’s famed detective, the Feluda test, which is priced at ₹ 500 and can deliver a result in 45 minutes, is able to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other coronaviruses even if genetic variations between them are minute.

The Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) Feluda test, developed by the New Delhi-based CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and the TATA Group, received regulatory approvals last week from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial launch.

It meets high quality benchmarks with 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus, Debojyoti Chakraborty, a senior scientist at CSIR-IGIB and part of the team that developed the test, told PTI.

In any diagnosis, sensitivity is defined as the ability of a test to correctly identify individuals with the disease, whereas specificity is the ability of the assay to accurately identify those without the disease.

Similar to a pregnancy strip test, Feluda changes colour if the virus is detected and doesn’t need expensive machines for detection.

“The CRISPR technology uses a highly specific CAS9 protein to find and bind to the target COVID signature. This is then coupled with paper-strip chemistry to elicit a visual readout on a paper strip,” Mr Chakraborty explained.

The test can help the country, with the world’s second highest cases of COVID-19 at 60.74 lakh cases, ramp up testing of the disease quickly and economically, the researchers behind the test said in a statement.

Virologist Upasana Ray noted that the CRISPR based COVID-19 detection system is a cheaper option to RT-PCR tests, which cost over ₹ 1,600. The RAT and the Feluda are in the same price bracket.

FELUDA, an acronym for the FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay, uses an indigenously developed, cutting-edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, the scientists said.

CRISPR is a gene editing technology and is used in correcting genetic defects and treating and preventing the spread of diseases.

The technology can detect specific sequences of DNA within a gene, and uses an enzyme functioning as molecular scissors to snip it.

According to Mr Ray, Feluda is capable of detecting even low quantities of the genetic material of the novel coronavirus, based on very minute differences in their RNA – the genetic material of a virus

“Feluda is an alternative to the quantitative RT-PCR tests and is highly specific. It is capable of detecting low copy number nucleic acids (less viral RNA quantity) as well as single nucleotide variations,” Mr Ray, a senior scientist at CSIR-IICB, Kolkata, told PTI.

She explained that the tests are so specific that they can distinguish SARS-CoV-2 infections from other coronaviruses such as the one that caused the 2002-03 SARS pandemic.

“It can distinguish between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV sequences which differ by a single nucleotide. Unlike RT-PCR which requires expensive machines, Feluda is simple and can be used in laboratories as well as outside with a quicker turnaround time,” she added.

In May, the US granted emergency-use approval for the world’s first CRISPR-based test for COVID-19, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

The CRISPR Feluda test is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein, derived from Francisella novicida bacteria, to successfully detect the virus that causes COVID-19, the researchers said.

Other CRISPR?tests, like the one developed in the US, use CAS12 and CAS13 proteins to detect SARS-CoV-2.

Compared with a rapid antigen test, which interprets results in 30 minutes, Mr Ray said the Feluda test would take slightly longer, up to 45 minutes, but is more accurate and specific.

Rapid antigen tests detect the viral proteins or parts thereof whereas CRISPR detects nucleic acids, or RNA in case of COVID-19, Mr Ray said.

Chakaraborty noted that RT-PCR takes about 1.5 hours, trained manpower and a dedicated and expensive RT-PCR machine which is not widely available.

“Feluda gives similar sensitivity and specificity as RT-PCR but is inexpensive, requires a basic widely available PCR machine and doesn’t require extensive trained manpower. The chemistry and biology is of course different,” Mr Chakraborty added.

“This marks a significant achievement for the Indian scientific community, moving from R&D to a high-accuracy, scalable and reliable test in less than 100 days. The Tata CRISPR test achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests, with quicker turnaround time, less expensive equipment, and better ease of use,” the researchers said in their statement.

They described CRISPR as a futuristic technology that can also be configured for detection of other pathogens in the future.



VA-SenaSeptember 10, 2020


India COVID-19 Updates: There are 9,19,018 active cases in the country which comprise 20.58 per cent of the total caseload, government data showed.



New Delhi: India registered a record 95,735 coronavirus cases in 24 hours taking the total number of infections to over 44.65 lakh, government data showed today. The country also recorded the highest deaths in a day with 1,172 fatalities. The last recorded highest spike was on Tuesday when India registered 90,802 cases. The highest deaths were recorded a day later with 1,133 fatalities. There have been 72,939 recoveries in the last 24 hours – total recoveries stand at 34,71,783. There are over 9.19 lakh active cases in India, which is the second most affected nation due to the deadly virus in the world.

Here are the top 10 developments on coronavirus cases in India:

  1. Maharashtra, the most affected state in the country recorded 23,577 cases in 24 hours – the highest in the country. The state also registered the highest number of deaths with 380 fatalities.
  2. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu followed Maharashtra. Total cases in 24 hours in these states are: Andhra Pradesh- 10,418, Karnataka- 9,540, UP- 6,568 and Tamil Nadu- 5,584.
  3. The recovery rate in the country is 77.7 per cent and death rate further dropped to 1.6 per cent. The Union Health Ministry last week had directed the three worst-affected states – Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to keep their mortality rates below one per cent.
  4. The total number of samples tested up till today is 5,29,34,433. Over 11.29 lakh samples were tested in the last 24 hours, government data showed. The highest number of tests was conducted on September 3 with 11.72 lakh tests.
  5. The daily positivity rate in the country is 8.4 per cent – a rise from Wednesday’s 7.7 per cent.
  6. Delhi on Wednesday saw a record surge with more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus – the highest since the outbreak reached the national capital.
  7. India has been reporting the highest number of daily coronavirus cases in the world for nearly a month, according to the World Health Organization data.
  8. India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20 lakh mark on August 7, it went past 30 lakh on August 23 and 40 lakh on September 5.
  9. After the United States and India, Brazil, Russia and Peru have the highest number of cases. US has over 63.59 lakh cases, around 19 lakh more infections than India.
  10. The Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the Oxford University’s Covishield vaccine and will hold the phase 3 clinical trials in India from next week, has been issued a showcause notice by the country’s drug controller DGCI. Trials for the vaccine were stopped in four nations as a precautionary measure after one of the recipients in the UK showed some adverse symptoms, which are yet to be linked to the vaccine.


VA-SenaSeptember 9, 2020




With 89,706 infections being reported in a day, India’s COVID-19 tally went past 43 lakh, while 33,98,844 people have recuperated from the disease so far pushing the national recovery rate to 77.77 per cent on Wednesday, according to data shared by the Union Health Ministry.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 43,70,128, while the death toll rose to 73,890 with 1,115 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.69 per cent.

There are 8,97,394 active cases of COVID-19, which is 20.53 per cent of the total caseload in the country, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, reached 30 lakh on August 23 and went past 40 lakh on September 5.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 5,18,04,677 samples have been tested up to September 8 with 11,54,549 samples being tested on Tuesday.

VA-SenaSeptember 9, 2020


Astrazeneca Pharma India Share: The parent company AstraZeneca “voluntarily paused” a randomized clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine asa volunteer developed an unexplained illness.


Astrazeneca Pharma-COVID-19


AstraZeneca Pharma India shares dived nearly 7 per cent on Wednesday, after its parent company, AstraZeneca, “voluntarily paused” a randomised clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine, citing unexplained illness of a volunteer. The AstraZeneca Pharma stock declined by as much as 13.40 per cent – or ₹ 64.80 – to ₹ 3,650 apiece at the weakest level recorded on the BSE during the session, having started the day weaker at ₹ 3,800 compared to its previous close of ₹ 4,214.80. (Track AstraZeneca Pharma India Shares Here)

“As part of the ongoing randomized, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee,” a company spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The nature and severity of the illness is not yet known. In large trials, illnesses occur by chance and trials do get paused for an independent review. But this is the first instance of a pause in COVID-19 vaccine trials.

AstraZeneca is one of nine companies in late-stage Phase 3 trials for COVID-19 vaccine candidates. It has collaborated with the University of Oxford to develop the vaccine.

VA-SenaSeptember 9, 2020


The top medical research has made these revelations to investigate the effectiveness of plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 after conducting a study in 39 hospitals across India.


The Convalescent Plasma (CP) therapy didn’t help in reducing death due to the coronavirus, the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed in a study.

The top medical research has made these revelations to investigate the effectiveness of plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 after conducting a study in 39 hospitals across India.

For this, the ICMR researchers did an open-label, parallel-arm, phase II, multicentre, and randomized controlled trial from April 22 to July 14 this year. The trial was registered with the Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) for the purpose, it said.

1,210 patients (moderately ill, confirmed COVID-19 cases) admitted across 39 trial sites were screened. Of these, 29 were teaching public hospitals and 10 were private hospitals spread across 14 states and Union Territories representing 25 cities.

The study was conducted on 464 randomly enrolled participants who were hospitalized and were moderately ill, confirmed COVID-19 patients. 235 participants were put in the intervention arm while 229 subjects were in the control arm.

According to the study, participants were randomised to either the control or the intervention arm. Two doses of 200 ml CP was transfused 24 hours apart in the intervention arm.

VA-SenaSeptember 8, 2020


Junior Dentist Jobs in Bangalore – Advanced Dental Care Centre


Location – Bangalore(Yelahanka )
Quantification – BDS
Salary – 8000 Monthly

Advanced Dental Care Centre – Job Details

  • Urgently require BDS Graduates who have completed an internship.
  • Candidate must have good knowledge of subjects, must be hardworking and enthusiastic.

Job Summary

Job Type : Part Time
Job Role : Doctor / Physician
Job Category : Health Care
Hiring Process : Face to Face Interview, Telephonic Interview
Who can apply : Freshers

About Advanced Dental Care Centre

VA-SenaSeptember 8, 2020


New Delhi:  Arjun Kapoor has tested positive for COVID-19, the actor announced in an Instagram post on Sunday. Sharing an update about his health, Arjun Kapoor wrote that he is “feeling okay” and is “asymptomatic.” The actor also revealed that he has “isolated” himself at his home and will be “under home quarantine” till his recovery. In a note, Arjun wrote: “It is my duty to inform all of you that I have tested positive for coronavirus. I am feeling ok and I’m asymptomatic. I have isolated myself at home under the advice of doctors and authorities and will be under home quarantine. I thank you all in advance for your support and I will keep you all updated about my health in the days to come.”

“These are extraordinary and unprecedented times and I have faith that all of humanity will overcome this virus. Much love, Arjun,” he added.


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VA-SenaJuly 14, 2020




Russian scientists claimed on Monday that they hope to launch the world’s first coronavirus as soon as next month, as per report. On Sunday, Russia’s Sechenov University said that it had successfully completed clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the state-run Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.

The head and chief researcher at Sechenov University Center for Clinical Research on Medications Elena Smolyarchuk told Russian news agency TASS that clinical trials of the vaccine on volunteers have been completed and study data showed the candidate’s effectiveness.

“The research has been completed and it proved that the vaccine is safe,” Smolyarchuk was quoted as saying by TASS of its trial.

The Gamalei center’s director Alexander Gintsburg told TASS that he hopes the vaccine will ‘enter civil circulation’ on August 12-14, adding that private companies may begin mass production by September, The Moscow Times reported.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s protocols said that a vaccine has to go through three phases of studies before being approved for large-scale production. Also, WHO’s draft landscape of coronavirus vaccines lists the Russian candidate vaccine study as a phase 1 trial. Perhaps, till date, no vaccine has been approved for large-scale use without undergoing the third phase of testing, which is the largest in terms of the number of participants. A candidate vaccine usually undergoes industrial production if the last phase shows clear and definitive evidence of its safety and efficacy.

According to The Moscow Times report, Smolyarchuk had said earlier in July that some participants developed typical responses to injections like headaches, elevated body temperatures. However, these symptoms were resolved within 24 hours.

In a July 3 press release, the university stated that the Russian Health Ministry will take a decision on the effectiveness of the substance based on the results of biochemical tests.

The Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University will discharge the two groups of volunteers on July 15 and July 20 after spending 28 days in isolation to protect them from exposure to other infections. The trial participants, aged 18-65, will be monitored for six months after their release, added Smolyarchuk.

It may be noted that the first stage of the vaccine trial at the university was launched on June 18 in a group of 18 volunteers who were vaccinated against the virus. The second group involving 20 participants were administered the vaccine on June 23.

Russia is one of the several nations racing against time to develop a safe vaccine against COVID-19, which has so far claimed at least 569,879 lives and infected about 12,992,640 people worldwide.

VA-SenaJuly 13, 2020




An analysis of an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has revealed that the COVID-19 infection can spread within 5 minutes to 50 minutes.

Professor Erin S. Bromage’s analysis of spreading of the Coronavirus infection stated that just more than 10 minutes of exposure to an infected person in a face to face situation can potentially get anyone infected and sharing a space with an infected person, for example, office, for a longer period will get such person or people potentially infected.

Sneezes and coughs of such infected people can infect a whole room of people. That is why, he says, it becomes mandatory for symptomatic people to stay home.

Erin gave an insight into how fast can a person get infected from the virus. In his analysis Erin talks about a formula – Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time

It means that a successful infection depends upon the exposure to a number of virus particles for a particular period of time.

Based on various infectious diseases’ studies, Erin said that some experts estimate that as few as 1000 SARS-CoV2 infectious viral particles are needed to get someone infected.

He agreed that this still needs to be determined experimentally. However, he used the number to demonstrate how infection can occur.

“Infection could occur, through 1000 infectious viral particles you receive in one breath or from one eye-rub, or 100 viral particles inhaled with each breath over 10 breaths, or 10 viral particles with 100 breaths. Each of these situations can lead to an infection,” said Erin.

To understand this, Erin segregated different acts on the basis of virus particles released by different acts and which is the environment that is most conducive for this infection.

Coughing and sneezing:- As per Erin’s analysis, a single cough releases about 3,000 droplets. Most of these droplets drop on the ground quickly but many stay in the air. Droplets through cough travel at 50 miles per hour which means the airborne droplets can travel across the room in few seconds. He further analysed that a single sneeze releases about 30,000 droplets, most of them small and can travel easily across a room at 200 miles per hour.

Erin concludes that droplets in a single cough or sneeze of an infected person may contain as many as 20,00,00,000 virus particles which can all be dispersed in the environment around them.
So, during a face-to-face conversation with an infected person, if he sneezes or coughs it is quite possible to inhale 1000 virus particles easily and get infected.

Even in case of indirect cough or sneeze, the smallest of infectious droplets can fill the room and a person coming into the room within few minutes of such sneeze or cough can potentially receive enough virus through a few breaths to get infected.

Breathing: Erin observed that one breath can release 50-5000 droplets. Citing a few studies he said that influenza can release up to 33 infectious viral particles per minute. But for SARS-CoV2 Erin kept the number at 20.

He said that if every viral particle is inhaled (unlikely), it will take 50 minutes to get one infected.

Erin further observed that speaking increases the release of respiratory droplets about 10 fold which means 200 virus particles per minute. So, while talking face to face if every viral particle is inhaled, 5 minutes of such conversation can be a sufficient dose for infection.