villupuram l thursday l April 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Covaxin shows 78% efficacy against mild to severe Covid Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said Phase III interim analysis results of its coronavirus vaccine Covaxin has shown high efficacy against Covid-19 Zero Chance of hospitalisation The vaccine maker noted that the second interim data of the Phase III study also showed that chances of hospitalisation due to the infectious disease were reduced by 100% after taking the Covaxin jab. The efficacy against asymptomatic Covid-19 infection was 70%, suggesting decreased transmission in Covaxin recipients, Bharat Biotech said in a statement ■ 25,800 Neutralises double mutant variant ■ Covaxin neutralises multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the UK, Brazil and South African variants, and effectively works against the double mutant strain, too, ICMR said Bharat Biotech said safety and efficacy results from the final analysis will be available in June 2021 | P7 People between 18 and 98 years of age took part in Covaxin’s phase-III trial CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI 24 patients dead as O2 supply hit Leakage in oxygen storage tank in Nashik civic hospital leads to disruption in supply of air to Covid patients on ventilator support; Maharashtra orders a high-level probe E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai At least 24 Covid patients who were on ventilators in Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Maharashtra’s Nashik district died after their oxygen supply suddenly stopped on Wednesday . The tragedy was triggered by a leakage in the oxygen storage tank. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the leakage happened due to a technical glitch. “The oxygen storage tank’s outer pipe leaked, resulting in dropping the pressure of oxygen.” India’s daily count more than sum of six top nations India 2,95,041 A comparison of cases reported on Wednesday of 7 countries with highest daily infections Argentina 29,145 six nations’ total Brazil 69,381 2,89,699 Turkey 61,028 Source: OWID US 54,672 France 44,076 Germany 31,397 District Collector Suraj Mandhare said that a pivate company looked after the tank maintenance, adding technicians closed the tank valve preventing more deaths. Some of those who died were on the path to recovery and were due to be discharged from hospital in a few days, their family members claimed. Maharashtra Chief Minister NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 20 2,57,409 1,54,761 1,761 April 21 2,95,041 1,67,457 2,023 Expect slight delay in poll results: CEO Sahoo @ Chennai Medical oxygen gas leaks out from a storage unit at Zakir Hussain Municipal Hospital in Nashik on Wednesday | pti Uddhav Thackeray said he does not have words to express his grief. “How to console the relatives of the deceased? This is an accident but this is a very sorrowful incident,” he said in a statement. The CM also ordered a probe to find out if the tradegy was due to negligence. “A high-level probe will be conducted. No one should do politics over this incident. The entire Maharashtra is mourning over this incident,” he added. Thackeray also announced `5 lakh financial help to the family members of those who died in the accident. PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed anguish over the tragedy . Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital is run by the Nashik Municipal Corporation, which is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party . Meanwhile, Tope said Maharashtra is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen. “We produce 1,280 MT of oxygen and all of it goes to hospitals. We are getting 300 MT from other states but we need an additional 500 MT to fulfil the demand as per the present active patient numbers,” Tope said. Delhi back from oxygen brink S o m r i ta G h o s h @ New Delhi The oxygen situation stayed critical for most of the day here on Wednesday with major hospitals sending SOS seeking immediate replenishment and the Delhi High Court criticising the Centre for poor management and its lopsided priority . The situation changed by early evening with the Centre increasing Delhi’s oxygen quota and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal acknowledging it. Max, the largest private sector healthcare provider in NCR Delhi, put out a statement saying it has between 2 and 18 hours of oxygen alone in its network. The group has around 1,400 Covid-infected patients, most of whom require oxygen support. Another issue flagged by many of the hospitals was that the oxygen units were diverted to either Faridabad or commandeered by the city administration or stopped by the local administration at Greater Noida. “At Manipal Hospital, we have 230-plus Covid patients. Our oxygen supplier Linde is willing to supply from its Faridabad unit but Garima Mittal (Faridabad Deputy Commissioner) has taken control over Faridabad Linde plant... We have only 12 hrs of supplies left,” said Pramod Alagharu, CEO of Manipal Hospitals. However, Garima Mittal denied the allegation. Dr Karan Thakur, vice president of Apollo Indraprastha, to had similar supply issues. In the Delhi High Court, the Centre was hauled over the coals for the mess. “Why is the Centre not waking up to the gravity of the situation? We are shocked and dismayed hospitals are running out of oxygen but steel plants are running,” the court said and ordered providing oxygen by what ever means forthwith. It said heavens are not going to fall if industries, including steel and petroleum, run on lower capacity till oxygen is imported. State govts can buy Covishield at `400 per dose E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Two days after the Centre liberalised the Covid19 vaccination policy by allowing states and private hospitals to directly procure the shots from the manufacturer, Serum Institute of India on Wednesday said it will sell Covishield at `400 per dose to states and `600 per dose to private hospitals. Currently Covid vaccination , at private hospitals costs `250. The vaccine will continue to be given free to those above 45 years in the vaccination centres run by the Centre, while states can decide on their inoculation programme. SII said Covishield will still be cheaper than foreign jabs, which cost `750-1,500 per shot. Though a statement by the Serum Institute of India did not mention the change in price to the Centre, in an interview to a TV channel, Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla said the vaccine per dose will now cost a re-negotiated price of `400 per dose to the Centre. Currently, the Centre buys the vaccine at `150 per shot. 50% of TN’s tally from 5 districts alone OM J ASVI N MD @ Chennai COVID cases in Tamil Nadu touched a new high of 11,681 infections and reported 53 deaths on Wednesday, with five districts, Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Coimbatore, accounting for over 50 per cent of the day’s caseload. This has raised concerns on the need to restrict inter-district travel. Health officials, on condition of anonymity have said a deci, sion needs to be taken at a high- er level on such restrictions soon, given that 50 per cent of cases are concentrated in these five districts. “This is normally done with the approval of the CM and the Health Minister, and different departments. Inter-district travel restrictions must definitely be looked at to contain cases,” said an official. STATEWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 20 10,986 6,250 48 April 21 11,681 7,071 53 been made. We are looking for additional measures to mitigate the spread of the infection,” he added. Later in the day Sahoo also , held a meeting with District Election Officers (DEO) across the State regarding preparatory arrangements. According to sources, the EC has asked health officials if they would be able to conduct RT-PCR tests for all the staff engaged in the process. EC officials however, have said that no decision has been taken on the same yet. Meanwhile, on the complaint lodged by MNM chief Kamal Haasan over alleged laxity in the security arrangements at strong rooms, Sahoo said there was no violation of the EC protocol at any of the counting centres. “We have received reports from the DEOs. It has been clarified that there were no lapses,” he said. E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E Dr K Kolandasamy, former director of public health, said travel restrictions must be brought in air-conditioned buses and coaches of trains that are plying inter-district. “Open-ventilated buses won’t be as dangerous as the closed ones,” he said, adding that nonessential activists, like cinema and religious worship places, must be restricted till cases come down. The five districts have also accounted for about 50 per cent of the caseload in all 37 districts that now stands at 10,25,059. These five districts have 5,20,073 cases as of now. On Wednesday alone, these very districts have recorded 6,198 cases (about 53 per cent). With as many as 2,94,073 total cases, Chennai accounts for 28 per cent of the total State tally. Coincidentally, even during the peak recorded last year, Chennai and its surrounding districts contributed to the maximum of the State’s tally . more on p4 Worrying trend of positivity rate Here’s a look at Tamil Nadu’s Test Positivity Rate (TPR), calculated based on data from the Directorate of Public Health WITH just 10 days to go, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo on Wednesday said that the announcement of election results on May 2 will be delayed slightly, owing to the safety protocols being followed in view of the pandemic. “However, we are planning to announce maximum rounds of results before 12 pm on that day he said. ,” The EVMs and VVPAT units that have been stored in 75 centres across the State, will be counted that day . Speaking to reporters, Sahoo said that the poll panel was considering to reduce the number of tables for counting so as to contain the Covid spread at the centres. “As per manuals issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI), arrangements have e x p r e ss r e ad Maha govt imposes new lockdown restrictions Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday imposed several new restrictions including a ban on inter-city and interdistrict travel and curbs on office attendance in an attempt to bring the spiralling coronavirus infections under control. Central, state and local governing body offices shall function with 15 per cent attendance. But emergency services dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic will be exempted from this rule. Other government and private offices can function with 15% strength or five people Panel submits report on cop’s harassment case E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai THE State government on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) has completed its inquiry into a sexual harassment charge levelled by a woman Superintendent of Police against a suspended DGP and submitted a preliminary report to the State. Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjeee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy were hearing a plea pertaining to a former Additional Superintendent of Police, Special Branch CID, seeking transfer of the case to the CBI. According to the petitioner, R Kuppusamy “The suspension granted by the police department , proves that the State did not initiate any action against the former DGP in accordance with the criminal law, and that it is helping the so-called officer.” The bench, during Wednesday’s hearing, observed that the probe was already being monitored by a single-member bench of Justice N Anand Venkatesh. The single-member bench had directed the State to complete the probe and file a report in eight weeks. Advocate Abdul Saleem, representing the suspended DGP, informed that the accused had appeared before the ICC and that there was no necessity for a CBI probe. The bench, disposing of the plea, asked Special Senior Counsel AL Somayaji to ensure that a free and fair probe was conducted on the issue, to which the latter concurred. 11.06 INCHING UP 8.16 8.49 8.10 8.49 8.84 9.43 9.91 9.98 10.58 TPR (in %) Apr 12 Apr 13 Apr 14 Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 18 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21 D o i t y o u r s e l f gu i d e If symptoms are minor, get tested and stay home if you are Covid-positive: Dr John E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e W ith SOS messages flooding social media networks seeking assistance for hospital beds and oxygen for Covid patients in the wake of the unprecedented surge of infections during its ongoing second wave, it is important to realise that not all patients require hospitalisation. TNIE spoke to Dr Jacob John, retired professor of virology at CMC, Vellore and Dr Giridhara R Babu, senior epidemiologist and professor at Take your shot Total vaccinated Covaxin 1.1 cr Covishield 11.6 cr Our vaccines rock Check out the breakthrough infection chart below, which quantifies the people who got Covid after vaccination. The max percentage is 0.04%, which confirms that the jabs offers a high level of protection. No point in vaccine hesitancy any longer Breakthrough infection Received Positive after 1st Received 2nd Positive after 1st dose dose dose 2nd dose 93,56,436 4,208 (0.04%) 17,37,178 695 (0.04%) 10,03,02,745 17,145 (0.02%) 1,57,32,754 5,014 (0.03%) the Indian Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru, to guide you on safely managing the symptoms so as to stay safe. Q: Based on what parameters should patients decide whether to stay home in isolation? Dr John: The parameters have not changed much from the previous wave. If you are infected and you have a sore throat, fever, runny nose, headache, loss of smell, it is likely you have Covid-19. Get tested and stay home if you’ re positive. Dr Babu: The person should first be clinically fit and asymptomatic or a mild case with symptoms like mild fever below 100.4 degree F and oxygen saturation above 95%. Senior citizens with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, chronic lung, liver, kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, etc., after proper clinical evaluation. He/she should have a separate room, preferably a separate toilet, too, at their residence for self-isolating and also for quarantining the family contacts. A care giver should be available 24X7. Q: If at home, what are the medicines and other protocols to be followed? Dr John: Have telephonic contact with the doctor. Touch base with the physician every half day if possible. Have a lot of fluids and rest. A strategy that works for many people is buying a pulse oximeter. As long as the saturation stays above 95, there is not much to worry about. Of course, this is possible only for the rich or educated. Tamil Nadu helpline 24x7 ControlRoom: 044-29510400,044-29510500, 9444340496, 8754448477 District Control Room: 1077 Toll Free Number: 1800120555550 Chennai Corporation’s 24x7 telecounselling centre to handle Covid related queries: 044-46122300, 044-25384520 Dr Babu: The suggested medication is Tablet Ivermectin 12mg for 3 days or Tablet Favipiravir 1800 mg (200 mg × 9) on Day 1. Continued on: P5
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