Lockdown may be extended in COVID-19-hit urban areas of Maharashtra 1

Lockdown may be extended in COVID-19-hit urban areas of Maharashtra

The administration needs more time to come up with solutions, hence it is highly unlikely to lift the lockdown restrictions May 3 onwards in all parts of the state, the official said. (IE photo)
The Maharashtra government may extend the lockdown in the coronavirus-hit urban areas of the state after May 3, an official said on Sunday. The state government is closely monitoring the situation in areas outside the cities of Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Amravati, a senior state official said.
“It is the cities where most of the COVID-19 cases are concentrated. If the state has to relax its current stringent lockdown measures, it would be in rural and least affected areas of the state. However, we are looking at the scenario as rural and urban areas are connected,” he said. Related News Despite minimum COVID-19 cases in rural areas of Pune district, the industries there have not resumed because most of their workforce live in cities, he said. We need to work out some plans for every city or district-wise to get things moving.
Also read: Check latest updates on Coronavirius
The administration needs more time to come up with solutions, hence it is highly unlikely to lift the lockdown restrictions May 3 onwards in all parts of the state, the official said. State Health Minister Rajesh Tope had on Saturday said the number of COVID-19 cases in the state is not coming down.
“The state is yet to reach a stage where the number of coronavirus cases would stabilisRead More…

Coronavirus Lockdown: Anxiety and angst as Indians mark one month of lockdown 2

Coronavirus Lockdown: Anxiety and angst as Indians mark one month of lockdown

No one was spared the anxiety of the lockdown, extended till May 3, that kept most of India behind closed doors.
It has been a month. Of life slowing to a crawl, of going back to the basics, of recalibrating equations with family, friends and colleagues and waking up, as if from a dream, to the vast inequalities and commonalities that underlie Indian society.
India went under a lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus on March 25 after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement the evening before. In the days since, 1.3 billion Indians, wealthy and poor, in the heartland and in distant corners, have faced up to the fear of a pandemic spreading across the globe. Related News No one was spared the anxiety of the lockdown, extended till May 3, that kept most of India behind closed doors, not corporate biggies in gilded mansions, not the middle class inside their homes and not part-time domestic workers in claustrophobic tenements.
That was the equaliser, but the inequalities also hit home almost immediately. As India went quiet and millions snuck into their homes to wait out the lockdown, migrant workers and daily wagers, stranded miles away from home, stared at an uncertain future without money, food or jobs.
Most middle and upper class families found it challenging to spend so much time with their immediate families, and many isolated without them spiralled into depression. The journey of getting used to a new way of life without domestic help, without the necessitRead More…

Coronavirus vaccine: China approves third COVID-19 vaccine for clinical trials 3

Coronavirus vaccine: China approves third COVID-19 vaccine for clinical trials

The vaccine has shown good safety results so far and vaccine receivers are still under observation.
China has approved its third coronavirus vaccine for the second phase of clinical trials as it reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections in the country to 82,816.China has approved three coronavirus vaccines, including the one developed by Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for clinical trials.
An “inactivated” vaccine developed by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) started its clinical trials, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Related News An “inactivated” vaccine consists of virus particles, bacteria, or other pathogens that have been grown in culture and then lose disease producing capacity. In contrast, live vaccines use pathogens that are still alive.
WIV has been in the eye of the storm in recent weeks as US President Donald Trump and top American officials alleged that the coronavirus may have escaped from there and demanded a probe into it. An official of the WIV denied it, terming the allegation “entirely based on speculation”.
A total of 96 persons in three age groups have received the vaccine in the first phase of clinical trial as of April 23. The vaccine has shown good safety results so far and vaccine receivers are still under observation, said the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
TRead More…

Coronavirus Treatment: Gene therapy, select antivirals most promising for defeating COVID-19, says study 4

Coronavirus Treatment: Gene therapy, select antivirals most promising for defeating COVID-19, says study

The researchers noted that because of the rapid turnover of cells here, risks of toxicity are minimal. (Representational image: Reuters photo)
Gene therapy and selected antivirals such as remdesivir are the most promising approaches in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, according to a review of studies. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, analysed approaches for not only SARS-CoV-2 and its relatives such as SARS-Cov that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and MERS-Cov that causes the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), but also as yet unknown strains which will inevitably emerge in the future.
“Coronaviruses represent a true threat to human health and the global economy,” said Ralph Baric, a professor at the University of North Carolina in the US. “We must first consider novel countermeasures to control the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic virus and then the vast array of high-threat zoonotic viruses that are poised for human emergence in the future,” Baric said. Related News To help focus the global search for a treatment, the researchers aim to provide a comprehensive resource of possible lines of attack against SARS-Cov-2 and related coronaviruses. They said first, and most effective approach is using vaccines.
In the present case, the most successful are likely to carry the receptor binding domain of the virus’s S-protein, which allows it to bind to and fuse with host cells, the researchers said. Besides the traditional lRead More…

Asymptomatic Coronavirus: Can a person without symptoms spread COVID-19 infection? Find out here 5

Asymptomatic Coronavirus: Can a person without symptoms spread COVID-19 infection? Find out here

As per a study from China, 44% of those who had contracted the novel Coronavirus disease had caught it from an asymptomatic person.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) gave two recent figures, on separate days, about people without symptoms testing positive for COVID-19. This has created fear asymptomatic coronavirus patients suddenly falling very sick and infecting other people. Dr. R R Gangakhedkar, ICMR’s head of epidemiology and infectious diseases, on April 20, said that 80% of people have the infection without symptoms. These people will be asymptomatic but if their medical tests are conducted, there is a possibility that they will be positive. He further said that only after a person is symptomatic, the RT-PCR test comes positive and people take time to be symptomatic. The next day, he clarified that in India, 69% of those who had tested COVID-19 positive are asymptomatic. The 80% people that he had mentioned the previous day is based on just one study, Gangakhedkar was quoted saying in an IE report.
As per a study from China, 44% of those who had contracted the novel Coronavirus disease had caught it from an asymptomatic person. The study estimates that the viral shedding, which is the stage when an individual infects the other person, starts happening 2-3 days before the onset of symptoms. According to the researchers, the highest viral load in throat swabs has been observed at the time of symptom onset and concluded that infectiousness peaked on or Read More…

When will coronavirus pandemic end? WHO chief says this now 6

When will coronavirus pandemic end? WHO chief says this now

The viral infection appears to be declining or stabilising in some areas of Western Europe. The novel Coronavirus outbreak has left many countries worried. After four months, when people may start expecting some decline in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Chief for the World Health Organisation has made a statement that Coronavirus will stay for a long long time and asked countries to make no mistake, Reuters reported. According to the report, the WHO Chief mentioned that there are many countries who are still in an early stage for Coronavirus outbreak. He added that the countries who were affected earlier are witnessing some resurgence in the COVID-19 cases. However, he noted that the viral infection appears to be declining or stabilising in some areas of Western Europe, the report said. Ghebreyesus further announced that the WHO is hoping the United States will support the WHO’s work in order to save lives. It is to note the US President Donald Trump had earlier said he will be withdrawing the states’ funding to the UN agency over its handling of the pandemic. However, according to the report, WHO is still hoping for continuation in funding as it will not only help others but the US as well. In fact, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that US believes China’s government failed to report the outbreak to the WHO in time, which further led to this situation. Related News Meanwhile, a top emergency expert at the WHO DRead More…

How long will Coronavirus last in India? Here’s what top official in COVID-19 battle says 7

How long will Coronavirus last in India? Here’s what top official in COVID-19 battle says

The easing up of restrictions will allow COVID-19 to re-surface again and spread among people to some extent, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog (Courtesy: Reuters photo) As the lockdown nears its end on May 3, the country’s health facilities are shoring up their potential to deal with the worst possible scenario as cases of COVID-19 may see a spike after restrictions on people’s movement are eased by the government. The easing up of restrictions will allow COVID-19 to re-surface again and spread among people to some extent, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog told IE. Hinting at the possibility of new clusters of the virus emerging in the country after May, Dr Paul said that the months of June and July would test the resolve of the government and healthcare facilities. With a top member of the NITI Aayog expecting the crisis to prolong at least till July, it is clear that the government is preparing for a protracted health crisis which can continue well into the next few months. Maintaining that the nation cannot afford to waste the gains from over one-month lockdown, Dr Paul said that collective compliance with the best guidelines can keep the spread in check. In tune with the government and WHO’s advisory, Dr Paul said that the restrictions will only be eased in a phased and nuanced manner to offset the risks of losing the gains of the lockdown. Related News Dr Paul also said that an empowered task force has been created by the government to oRead More…

Delhi govt will conduct COVID-19 test on mediapersons in national capital, says CM Arvind Kejriwal 8

Delhi govt will conduct COVID-19 test on mediapersons in national capital, says CM Arvind Kejriwal

Total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi rose to 2081, with 78 fresh cases and two deaths being reported in a day. Photo ANI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said his government will conduct COVID-19 test on mediapersons in the national capital, after 53 scribes tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mumbai. Responding to a tweet in which a person requested the CM to arrange mass COVID-19 test for mediapersons in Delhi on the lines of the one carried out in Mumbai, Kejriwal said, “Sure. We will do that.” However, the chief minister did not elaborate. During a special camp organised at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai on April 16 and 17 for COVID-19 testing of scribes, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had collected swab samples of 171 mediapersons, including electronic and print media journalists, photographers and cameramen. Related News “Out of the 171 mediapersons, 53 tested positive for coronavirus,” BMC spokesperson Vijay Khabale said on Monday, adding that most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic at present. On Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi rose to 2081, with 78 fresh cases and two deaths being reported in a day. Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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Chinese medics may be injected with newly developed COVID19 vaccine by year-end: Health official 9

Chinese medics may be injected with newly developed COVID19 vaccine by year-end: Health official

11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in the country with no deaths due to the virus. (Courtesy: AP photo) China plans to inject Chinese medics with coronavirus vaccines by year-end to protect them to deal with any emergency situation, while 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in the country with no deaths due to the virus, health officials said. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Tuesday said that 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday, of which four were imported. The other seven new cases were domestically transmitted, the NHC said in a daily report, noting that six cases were reported in Heilongjiang Province bordering Russia and one in Guangdong Province. Related News The overall confirmed cases in China have reached 82,758 by Monday. No death was reported on Monday. Altogether 4,632 people have died of the disease, it said. Also, 37 new asymptomatic cases, including two from abroad, were reported on the mainland with 992 cases, including 180 from abroad, were still under medical observation. However, Chinese health officials apprehend a second wave of the coronavirus attack especially from hundreds of Chinese nationals returning from abroad. A Chinese health expert Zhang Wenhong said recently that China could be hit by a second wave of coronavirus cases in November this year as winter returns but by that time the country would be well prepared to deal with COVID-19. Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for DRead More…

‘Minuscule traces’ of new coronavirus in non-potable Paris water, says official 10

‘Minuscule traces’ of new coronavirus in non-potable Paris water, says official

Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine River and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean streets and to water the greenery in the city’s parks and gardens — currently closed to the public . (Reuters photo) “Minuscule traces” of the new coronavirus have been found in Paris’s non-potable water — such as the supply used for cleaning streets — but drinking water is at no risk of contamination, a city official said Sunday. The Paris water authority’s laboratory detected tiny amounts of the virus in four of 27 samples collected from around the capital, leading to an immediate shutdown of the network as a precaution, Celia Blauel told AFP. Drinking water is supplied from a “totally independent” network and “can be consumed without any risk,” stressed Blauel, the city’s top environmental official. Related News Non-potable water, drawn from the Seine River and the Ourcq canal, is used to clean streets and to water the greenery in the city’s parks and gardens — currently closed to the public — as well as supplying their ornamental fountains. The city of Paris is consulting the regional health agency for a risk analysis before deciding how to proceed, Blauel said. Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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