Saturday, October 24, 2020

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 201 updates | Mamata to inaugurate Durga Pujas virtually from October 15

Coronavirus India lockdown Day 201 updates | Mamata to inaugurate Durga Pujas virtually from October 15

A late-stage study of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been paused while the company investigates whether a study participant’s unexplained illness is related to the shot.

The pause is at least the second such hold to occur among several vaccines that have reached large-scale final tests in the United States. Final-stage testing of a vaccine made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University remains on hold in the US as officials examine whether an illness in its trial poses a safety risk.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:


A COVID-proof plan for Malleswaram

Come festive season, thousands throng the commercial areas in Malleswaram, especially 8th Cross. However, this poses a huge risk in spread of COVID-19. To ensure this does not happen, Malleswaram Urban Living Lab (MULL), a collaborative effort between Malleswaram Social, a citizens’ group, and Sensing Local, a do-tank with focus on improving the state of environment and public health, has come out with a “Malleswaram 8th Cross Festival Plan”.

“We conducted surveys and spoke to vendors and shop owners/keepers about the challenges they faced and whether they were able to follow protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a representative said, adding that while there seemed to be a high level of concern among shop owners, it was lower, among street vendors. While social distancing regulating number of people, displaying awareness material, temperature checks, and hand sanitation were challenges faced by shop owners, for street vendors, contactless payment took precedence. However, the biggest concern for owners was customers not complying with safety measures, especially wearing masks. On the other hand, the biggest concern for street vendors was financial, given that the number of customers had dropped.

MULL worked out two options – demarcating pedestrian-only zones, clearing pavements to allow free movement, moving vendors to a location where they can space out, and creating vending zones for the festival. Under the first option, apart from pedestrianising 8th Cross, smaller pedestrian zones could be created at East Park Road and West Park Road. Traffic could be restricted in the conservancies. This would help accommodate existing and additional vendors. Under the second option, vendors could be relocated to East and West Park Roads, and conservancies.

Tamil Nadu

‘ECMO support can help severely affected COVID-19 patients’

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support can help in treating patients whose lungs are completely affected due to COVID-19, said Mohamed Rela, chairman and managing director, Dr. Rela Institute and Medical Centre (RIMC) on Monday.

He was speaking at a function organised to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between RIMC and KIMS Hospitals, located in Telangana, to set up a Comprehensive Centre of Excellence for Heart and Lung Transplant.

He said if a person’s lungs were affected 100% due to COVID-19, putting the person on ventilator support will not help. “In such cases, ECMO support can be used as a bridge to either help lungs recover or until a transplant is possible,” he said.

New Delhi

Vaccine shot ‘painless’, say Covishield trial volunteers

“It felt like a tetanus shot,” said Joel Joy, 32, who works for a multinational firm in Mumbai, and was among those who’d volunteered for the experimental Covishield vaccine, being tested by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) at various hospitals in India, “I’ll be going to the gym later today,” he added.

The two-dose vaccine candidate is furthest ahead among the COVID-19 vaccines being tested in India. The trial involves 1,600 volunteers in 17 cities across the country likely to be inoculated in the coming months in the combined phase-2/3 trials. These trials check for whether the vaccine is safe and capable of producing an immune response to disarm future infections by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to details of the trial available on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) site, the volunteers will be divided into two groups of 400 and 1,200 respectively with some in each group getting Covishield, some a placebo and yet others getting the Oxford/ChAdOx1. Both ‘Covishield’ and the Oxford/ChAdOx1 have the same virus protein but differ in their make-up — the exact nature of the difference has not been publicly disclosed. The trial also seeks to quantify these differences if any.

Being a double-blinded trial, neither the doctors nor the volunteers know who are the ones vaccinated and who’ve been given the placebo. The four volunteers who The Hindu spoke to, said they would be going for a follow-up shot on the 29th day.


MLA says Pili Vesha may be allowed during Dasara

Mangaluru City South MLA D. Vedavyas Kamath said on Monday that he is hopeful of the Dakshina Kannada district administration allowing Pili Vesha (tiger dance) during the Dasara celebrations this year as per the traditions of temples.

In a statement here, he said that leaders of different Sharadotsava Samitis and temples have appealed to the Deputy Commissioner to allow the traditional tiger dance in view of the district administration deciding to ban it during the Navaratri celebrations.

The MLA said that he has taken up the matter with the Deputy Commissioner and other senior officials of the government.

He has urged them to allow a limited number of tiger dancers to perform during the Dasara celebrations as the culture and traditions of the land should not be compromised with.

West Bengal

CM to inaugurate Durga Pujas virtually from October 15

Ahead of the Durga Puja festival, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged people to exercise extreme caution for COVID-19 as she reiterated that community spread of the infection had begun in the State. She said there were instances of the infection being airborne.

“Whether one accepts it or not the infections are also airborne,” Ms. Banerjee told journalists. She said Delhi has allowed only one puja at Chittaranjan Park and Uttar Pradesh has not allowed a single Durga Puja, in West Bengal her government had not stopped any Durga Puja.

This year, the Chief Minister will inaugurate Durga Pujas virtually from October 15 to 17. Clubs which want her to inaugurate their pujas will have to write to the Chief Minister’s Office. The State government has decided to give ₹50,000 to 37,000 clubs that organise community Durga Pujas in the State.


COVID-19 hospitals unaffected amid power outage in Mumbai

Despite the unprecedented power outage in Mumbai and its surrounding areas on Monday, COVID-19 hospitals continued to work uninterrupted, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“Even though the frequency of power cuts within BMC limits is less, all municipal hospitals are equipped with automatic diesel generators at all times. Today, after the power outage, the automatic diesel generators started immediately. The solid waste management department was directed to ensure diesel storage. As a result, all hospitals continued to function without interruption,” the BMC said.

The civic body said its disaster management department ensures that all private COVID-19 hospitals also has necessary supplies of diesel to run generators in case of emergency. “No health services were hampered due to the power outage in Mumbai,” the BMC said.

Hong Kong

Anti-microbe drug can fight coronavirus, say scientists

An affordable anti-microbial drug used to treat stomach ulcers and bacterial infections has shown promise in combating the coronavirus in animals, scientists in Hong Kong announced Monday.

Researchers set out to explore whether metallodrugs — compounds containing metal that are more commonly used against bacteria — might also have anti-viral properties that could fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Using Syrian hamsters as tests subjects, they found that one of the drugs, ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC), was “a potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent”.

“RBC is able to lower the viral load in the lung of the infected hamster by tenfold,” Hong Kong University researcher Runming Wang told reporters on Monday as the team presented their study.

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