kochi l thursday l april 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late 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 dead as tank leakage hits O2 supply 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 of 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 US 54,672 France 44,076 Source: OWID 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 April 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,57,409 1,54,761 1,761 April 21 2,95,041 1,67,457 2,023 Kerala sticks to its free vaccine stand, CM blames Centre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Medical oxygen gas leaks out from a storage unit at Dr 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 incident 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 it,” he added. Thackeray also announced `5 lakh financial help to the family members of those who died. 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 its poor management and 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 requiring 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... for money & ornaments NEIGHBOUR chokes GIRL, BURIES BODY NEAR LATERITE QUARRY E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Malappuram The Valanchery police on Wednesday revealed that Subeera Farhat, 21, who went missing from Chottur on March 10, was murdered by a neighbour. The police have arrested Mohammad Anwar, 38, of Varikkodan house in Chottur, in that regard. The body of Farhat, daughter of Kizhakkeparambath Kabir, was found buried in a plot near a laterite quarry in the area late on Tuesday. The body that lay beneath the soil piled up there was exhumed on Wednesday . Anwar told the police that he suffocated Farhat to death and later buried her. He closed her mouth with his hand for some time and she fell unconscious, the police said recounting his statement. The mask wore by the girl helped him suffocate her easily, said a source. While Anwar said he murdered Farhat for her jewellery, the police are probing a rape angle too. While the plot is owned by Prime Minister 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 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. one of Anwar’s relatives, he has been supervising various activities there for the past several years. A police team headed by Tirur DySP K A Suresh Babu has been investigating the case for the past 40 days, after receiving a missing complaint from Farhat’s parents. The girl was working as a helper at a dental clinic in Vettichira. But after checking the CCTV footage from the area, the police found that she did not reach the bus stop after stepping out of her house on March 10. The police came to a conclusion that the girl might have gone missing on her way to the bus stop from her house between 9am and 9.30am on the day. But there was no clue about what happened to her until the investigation reached Anwar. “Anwar was in the area during the time the girl went missing. He went out of his house to buy meat, but he returned after a delay of oneand-a-half hours, as per our assumption,” Suresh Babu ● More on P5 said. We have only 12 hours of supplies left,” said Pramod Alagharu, CEO of Manipal Hospitals. However, Garima Mittal denied the allegation. Dr Karan Thakur, vice-president of Apollo Indraprastha, too, 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 whatever 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 television channel, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said the vaccine will now cost a re-negotiated price of `400 per dose to the Centre. Currently, the Centre buys the vaccine at `150 per shot. KERALA will stick to its stance of making vaccines available to public free of cost, but the Central government’s new vaccine policy and shortage of doses are putting the state under pressure, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday . “The Serum Institute has already announced that Covishield would be sold at `400 per vaccine to state governments and at `600 to private hospitals. This will create a huge liability for the state governments which are already facing acute financial crisis due to Covid. Instead of pushing the states further, the Centre should provide vaccine stocks to states free of cost,” Pinarayi said. As per the new policy, vaccine manufacturers will give 50% of their production to the Centre, and remaining to states and in open markets. “The state required 2.5 lakh doses per day to vaccinate 1.13 crore people in the above-45 age group before May 20. There has been a shorta g e o f va c cines and the state now re- NEW RESTRICTIONS Only essential services and emergency activities to be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays Only up to 50% of staff to be allowed at govt offices (except those dealing with emergency and essential services) at a time. Employees of govt offices without e-office facility shall be deployed for Covid duty Govt offices, banks, PSUs and cooperative institutions to remain closed on Saturdays STATEWIDE April 20 Fresh cases Active cases Deaths April 21 19,577 1,18,673 28 22,414 1,35,631 22 quires 3.70 lakh doses per day to meet that target,” the chief minister said. The state had sought 50 lakh doses, but got only 5.5 lakh. When the entire country is fighting against the pandemic, it is the constitutional responsibility of the Centre to protect the health of the people by providing lifesaving medicines free of cost, ● More on P4 he said. There has been a shortage of vaccines and the state now requires 3.70 lakh doses per day to meet its May 20 target of vaccinating 1.13 crore people above 45 years — Pinarayi Vijayan, CM No spot registration for Covid vaccination from today | P4 Do it yourself guide If symptoms are minor, get tested & stay home if you are +ve: 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 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 Total vaccinated Covaxin 1.1 cr Covishield 11.6 cr 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%) Take your shot 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 selfisolating and also for quarantining the family contacts. A kerala helpline Disha: 1057 Grievances: 04712517225, 2781100, 2781101 Our vaccines rock Check out the breakthrough infection chart above, 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 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. Dr Babu: The suggested medication is Tablet Ivermectin 12mg for 3 days or Tablet Favipiravir 1800 mg (200 mg × 9) ● More on P5 on Day 1. Police officers checking whether bus passengers are wearing facemask properly as part of enforcing Covid protocol at Palayam in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday | Vincent Pulickal CHANGING TACTICS The state government seems to be in a bind as Covid cases continue to surge at a fast pace. TNIE takes a look at its changing Covid containment stance in the last few days APRIL 17 Impression was created that Thrissur Pooram would be held in all its pomp and grandeur APRIL 18 Universities in Kerala announce postponement of exams after the governor, who is also the chancellor, write to the vicechancellors APRIL 19 APRIL 20 Kerala announces 2-week night curfew from 9pm to 5am, beginning from April 20. However, emergency travelling allowed during night. PSC postpones written exams and interviews scheduled from April 20 to 30, till further notice. Thrissur Pooram to be held, but without people’s participation. Only rituals allowed Govt says no weekend lockdown in state. However, regional lockdowns announced in local bodies with high test positivity rate APRIL 21 Only 50% attendance allowed in govt offices; remaining staff to work from home. Saturday holiday for govt offices. Only essential services allowed on weekends express read CM dismisses protocol violation allegations T’Puram: For the first time, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reacted to the controversy pertaining to alleged Covid protocol violation by him. Speaking to reporters here, Pinarayi said he was not Covid positive during the election campaigning on April 4. He also informed that he was completely healthy on April 5 and 6. 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express
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