VA-SenaNovember 17, 2020
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2min4983

In India, the downward trend continues as the number of daily recoveries remained higher than the number of daily cases for the 44th consecutive day.

 

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The number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases worldwide soared to 54,826,773 as the virus continues to infect thousands of people across the world. While the number of people succumbing to the disease stood at 1,323,093.

While the Covid gloom fails to be controlled, there was good news on the vaccine front. Moderna Inc said its Covid-19 vaccine was almost 95% effective in a late-stage trial, another sign of progress in the hunt for tools to fight the pandemic. This is the second vaccine in development with more than 90% effectiveness rate.

Meanwhile, in the United States infection continued to spike as more states imposed lockdown and measures restrictions to curb the spread.

President-elect Joe Biden said curbing the outbreak is key to the US recovery and called for business and government to work together.

In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel fell short in a push for tougher restrictions. Sweden is introducing its tightest rules yet as cases spike, and France’s health minister said the country is regaining control of the epidemic thanks to the latest national lockdown.

While in India, the downward trend continues as the number of daily recoveries remained higher than the number of daily cases for the 44th consecutive day. Continuing the downward trend in daily infection, the number of daily infection also remained below 50,000.

 


VA-SenaNovember 17, 2020
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3min4671

17Nov2020

 

India on Tuesday recorded 29,163 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The countrywide tally now stands at 88,74,290, according to Union health ministry update at 8 am.

The number of active cases continue to stay below the five lakh-mark and the number of patients discharged patients has reached 82,90,370.

The country recorded 449 new fatalities due to Covid-19 which pushed the death toll to 1,30,519, according to health ministry.

The number of daily cases has been declining for six consecutive weeks, and Monday’s figure of 30,548 was a “historic low”, the health ministry said. A tweet from the ministry’s official handle presented a graph of the number of daily cases from August to November 16 which shows the cases rising till mid-September and then falling down.

The single-day peak in coronavirus cases was reported on September 17 with 97,984 fresh cases of Covid-19 and since then India has been witnessing a decline in the caseload.

Also, the trend of daily Covid-19 recoveries outpacing the daily infections continued for the 44th day on Monday when the country recorded 30,548 cases of the infection. The number of recovered patients stood at 43,851.

Meanwhile, the Centre has formed multi-disciplinary teams to visit all private hospitals in Delhi to check the status of compliance of various directions issued by Union Health Ministry for testing and treating Covid-19 patients.

The teams have been asked to start their visit immediately and submit reports within two days along with specific details, according to the Union home ministry. The Centre has devised a strategy to check the spread of the disease in the national capital, which has seen an alarming rise in the number of daily cases of Covid-19.

There is more good news on the vaccine front as US-based biotechnology firm Moderna Inc on Monday said its vaccine candidate has been found to be 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19. The announcement was based on phase 3 trials.

This comes just a week after Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced that their vaccine candidate was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing the coronavirus disease.


VA-SenaOctober 6, 2020
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6min5258

The CDC said the coronavirus can sometimes be spread through small particles that can linger in the air and infect people separated by distances previously considered safe.

 

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The novel coronavirus can spread through the air to people who are more than 6 feet away from an infectious person, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday, in guidance that could raise new challenges for safely re-opening businesses and schools.

In an update to its website, the CDC said the coronavirus can sometimes be spread through small particles that can linger in the air and infect people separated by distances previously considered safe. Many social-distancing guidelines adopted by workplaces, restaurants and stores advise people to stand at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) apart to avoid transmitting the pathogen that causes Covid-19.

“Today’s update acknowledges the existence of some published reports showing limited, uncommon circumstances where people with Covid-19 infected others who were more than 6 feet away or shortly after the Covid-19-positive person left an area,” the agency said in a news release.

The change follows months of mounting scientific evidence that Sars-CoV-2 can be transmitted through the air at greater distances than understood in earlier stages of the pandemic. There have been indications the CDC was moving toward updating its guidance. Last month, it posted and then removed a guideline on airborne transmission, later describing it as a draft posted in error.

The new guidance arrives as the pandemic appears to be shifting into a more intense phase in the US In 34 states, the seven-day average of new cases is higher than it was a month ago, and an outbreak of the virus at the White House appears to be widening. At the same time, schools are reopening, states such as Florida have lifted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, and the approach of cooler weather and holidays is expected to push more people indoors to socialize.

Ventilation Issues A recent archived version of the CDC’s web page made no mention of airborne transmission, emphasizing that the main way the virus spreads is through close contact among people who are within six feet of each other, through respiratory droplets emitted by coughing, sneezing, and speaking. It acknowledged that the virus may spread in other ways, including on contaminated surfaces.

The CDC’s updated site includes a section acknowledging that virus particles also sometimes spread through the air, particularly in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Scientists believe that in these cases, airborne virus particles emitted “became concentrated enough to spread the virus to other people,” including sometimes shortly after the infectious person left.

The transmissions sometimes occurred when the infected person was breathing heavily, while singing or exercising, the agency said.

Linsey Marr, an expert on the airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech, in a tweet called the update “an accurate, sorely-needed update acknowledging airborne spread and importance of masks at all times around others and of ventilation.”

Recommendations Unchanged In a Senate hearing last month, CDC Director Robert Redfield acknowledged there was evidence of airborne spread, but said the CDC document that was removed hadn’t been cleared for publication by agency staff.

“I just want to stress for the American public and for everyone here that that document that went up was a draft, had not been technically reviewed by CDC,” Redfield said on Sept. 23. He said the agency reverted to the one that had been reviewed.

The CDC Monday reiterated that it’s more common for the virus to spread through close contact with an infected person. The update doesn’t change the CDC’s recommendations for how to protect against infection by wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart, washing hands, cleaning surfaces, and staying home when sick.

“CDC’s recommendations remain the same based on existing science and after a thorough technical review of the guidance,” the agency said in news release sent to reporters Monday.

It’s unusual for the CDC to alert the media to changes in its guidelines, with updates frequently published to the agency’s website with little fanfare


VA-SenaSeptember 18, 2020
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4min4698

 

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland: Too many doctors and nurses are paying the ultimate price while battling Covid-19, the World Health Organization said Thursday as it launched a charter aiming to boost safety for health workers.

The UN health agency said that the pandemic had exposed health workers and their families to “unprecedented levels of risk”.

While the coronavirus crisis has taken a heavy toll overall, data from many countries and regions show that healthcare workers have been infected at a far higher rate than the general population.

Health workers represent less than three percent of the population in most countries and less than two percent in low- and middle income countries, but account for around 14 percent of all Covid-19 cases reported to the WHO.

In some countries, the proportion has been as high as 35 percent, the body said.

On Wednesday, the International Council of Nurses said thousands of nurses had likely died in the pandemic, pointing to numbers from just 44 countries showing 1,097 deaths by mid-August.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded all of us of the vital role health workers play to relieve suffering and save lives,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing.

“We all owe health workers an enormous debt, not just because they have cared for the sick, but because they risk their own lives in the line of duty.”

The risks are not only physical. The WHO pointed to “extraordinary levels of psychological stress” on health workers, who have been asked to work long, draining hours battling Covid-19, living in constant fear of being infected.

Many are also living separated from their families, and facing social stigma amid fear they are carrying the virus. – Depression, anxiety –

These strains are increasing the likelihood of depression among medical professionals, who were already more at risk of suicide than the general public in a number of countries prior to the pandemic.

One in four health care workers surveyed for a recent study said they were struggling with depression and anxiety amid the pandemic, while one in three said they had suffered insomnia, the WHO said.

In its charter presented Thursday, the WHO emphasised the legal and moral obligations governments have to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of health workers.

The charter among other things calls on countries to develop programmes that better protect the health and safety of medical workers, and to combine them with patient safety policies.

It also calls for better policies for protecting health workers from violence in the workplace, and for improving access to mental health support.

And it demands that minimum standards for patient safety, infection prevention and control, as well as for occupational safety are implemented across all care facilities.

Access to personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as sufficient training in how to use such equipment safely should also be guaranteed, it said.


VA-SenaSeptember 15, 2020
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1min4094

The government should help the aviation sector, says Nationalist Congress Party MP Praful Patel

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New Delhi: Airlines are financially stressed due to COVID-19 and need support from the government, said Nationalist Congress Party MP Praful Patel today.

“We have to help the aviation sector. Airlines are financially stressed due to COVID-19 and need support,” said former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel during a discussion on Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the Rajya Sabha.

Stating the importance of civil aviation sector in the country, he said: “Four to five per cent people of the country board flights one time in a year. If this number goes up to 10-15 per cent, we would need a huge increase in the number of airports and aircraft.”


VA-SenaSeptember 11, 2020
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4min5981

The survey, carried out from May 11 to June 4, tested blood samples from 28,000 people across 21 states.

New Delhi: India may have had 6.4 million coronavirus cases by May, the first national sero-survey conducted by top medical body ICMR indicates. The survey, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, suggests that 0.73 per cent adults in the country were exposed to Covid-19.

The survey, carried out from May 11 to June 4, tested blood samples from 28,000 people across 21 states.

Sero-positivity was the highest in the age group of 18 to 45 years (43.3 per cent), followed by those between 46 and 60 years (39.5 per cent); it was the lowest among those above 60 (17.2 per cent).

 

A total of 64,68,388 adult infections were estimated in India by the early May, the survey report said.

For every confirmed case of COVID-19 in May, there were 82-130 infections that went undetected. The survey report said that overall infections were low with less than one percent of the adult population being exposed to COVID-19 by then. But this also meant that a majority of the population was still susceptible to the highly contagious virus.

“The findings of our survey indicated that the overall sero-prevalence in India was low, with less than one per cent of the adult population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-May 2020. The low prevalence observed in most districts indicates that India is in early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said the report.

The survey also showed that around May and June, the infections had already spread to rural India.

India has been battling the Coronavirus for a few months now but the possibility of a shift in cases from urban areas to the country’s small towns and villages is worrying.

A bulk of the rural Coronavirus numbers are likely to come from states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where a sizeable population lives in villages and small towns.

Even in districts with zero or low number of detected cases of Covid, people were found to be infected. This could be due to low testing and poor access to testing labs which led to under-detection of cases in these districts. The survey suggested that there was a need to strengthen surveillance and increase testing of suspected cases in these areas. The report said, “The present findings of seropositivity in the strata of districts with zero to low incidence of COVID-19 cases underscores the need to strengthen surveillance and augment the testing of suspected cases in these areas.”

Sero-positivity was highest at 69.4 per cent in the rural areas (villages) while in the urban slums it was 15.9 per cent and in urban non-slums it was recorded at 14.6 per cent.

But the survey was also done mostly in rural areas. The survey says that only about one-fourth (25.9 percent) of the surveyed clusters were from urban areas.

It highlighted the need to continue to implement specific containment measures including the testing of all with symptoms, isolating positive cases and tracing high-risk contacts to slow transmission and to prevent the overburdening of the health system.

Men living in urban slums and in occupations with high risk of exposure to potentially infected persons were associated with sero-positivity.


VA-SenaSeptember 10, 2020
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4min4750

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.

 

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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
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1min4517

 

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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 8, 2020
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2min4750

Bengaluru: 

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The total number of COVID-19 infections in Karnataka breached the four lakh mark on Monday, as the state reported 5,773 new cases and 141 fatalities, taking the death count to 6,534, the health department said.

The day also saw a record 8,015 patients getting discharged after recovery, taking the total number of recoveries so far to over three lakh.

Out of 5,773 fresh cases reported on Monday, 2,942 were from Bengaluru urban alone.

As of September 7 evening, cumulatively 4,04,324 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 6,534 deaths and 3,00,770 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin.

It said that out of 97,001 active cases, 96,207 patientsare in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 794 are in Intensive Care Units.

Forty eight of the 141 deaths were from Bengaluru urban, followed by Dharwad and Koppal (10 each), Mysuru (9), Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada and Shivamogga (8 each), Ballari (7), Hassan and Kalaburagi (4 each).

Davangere and Uttara Kannada each accounted for three deaths, while Chikkamagaluru, Gadag, Raichur, Tumakuru, Udupi and Vijayapura each reported two fatalities.

Bagalkote, Bengaluru Rural, Chamarajanagara, Chikkaballapura, Kodagu, Mandya and Ramanagra reported one death each.

Most of the dead either had a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) or Influenza-like illness (ILI).

Bengaluru Urban topped the districts where fresh cases were reported with 2,942. Ballari was next with 266, Mysuru 221, Davangere 199, Mandya 169, Dakshina Kannada 152, Shivamogga 150, followed by others.

Bengaluru urban district also tops the list of positive cases, with a total of 1,50,523 infections, followed by Ballari 24,066 and Mysuru 22,301.

Among discharges too Bengaluru urban was on top with 1,08,642 discharges, followed by Ballari 19,500 and Mysuru 14,695.

 

 


VA-SenaSeptember 8, 2020
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2min3948

First Batch Of Russia’s Covid Vaccine Sputnik V Released Into Public

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The Russian health ministry registered the first vaccine against COVID-19, named Sputnik V, on August 11.

Moscow: The first batch of Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus, developed by Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has been released into civil circulation, regional deliveries are planned in the nearest future, the Russian Health Ministry informs.

“The first batch of the ‘Gam-COVID-Vac’ (Sputnik V) vaccine for the prevention of the new coronavirus infection, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Ministry of Health of Russia, has passed the necessary quality tests in the laboratories of Roszdravnadzor (medical device regulator) and has been released into civil circulation,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian health ministry registered the first vaccine against COVID-19, named Sputnik V, on August 11.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin expressed hope on Sunday that the majority of the Russian capital’s residents will be vaccinated against the coronavirus within several months

According to the health ministry, the delivery of the first batch of the Russian vaccine to the country’s regions is planned in the nearest future.