BHUBANESWAR l thursday l april 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 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 Neutralises double mutant variant 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 ■ ■ 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 25,800 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 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 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 Odisha scraps matric exam, promotes Class IX and XI students without test E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 TV 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. @ Bhubaneswar With the arrival of migrants from affected states and lax enforcement of Covid norms, the virus is spreading fast in rural parts of Odisha as the State logged yet another highest single day spike of 4,851 fresh cases in last 24 hours. Five more patients succumbed to the disease during the period. The State health officials predicted that the second wave might hit the peak in the first week of May Director of Medi. cal Education and Training (DMET) Dr CBK Mohanty said though states like Maharashtra, Delhi and Chhattisgarh are nearing peak, it would be slightly delayed in Odisha. “Preliminary prediction by IIT Kanpur says the peak may come between April-end and May first week. Thereafter, the cases will fall at the same pace it is rising now,” he said but refused to forecast the number of cases at the peak. A mathematical model predicting possible peak numbers, however, pegged the cases at ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 20 4,761 1,740 5 April 21 4,851 2,009 5 10,000 a day by May 5 and fall gradually thereafter. If the growth rate remains same as the current rate, the daily caseload would be doubled in a fortnight, said a researcher. Although the test positivity rate (TPR) came down slightly from 14.71 pc to 12.5 pc due to an increase in testing by nearly 20 pc, an analysis indicated that the doubling rate of new cases was five days and doubling rate of TPR was six days in Odisha, which is among eight states where the infection is spreading much faster in comparison to other worst hit parts. “This time the Covid virus is spreading much faster in the rural areas than the first wave. It may be because there is no restriction in intra-state movement of people which was stopped during the time last CONTINUED ON: P5 year. express read 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 AIIMS suspends walk-in OPD services from April 26 State may peak in May 1st week with 10K cases E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Odisha gover nment on Wednesday announced to scrap the Class X board examinations in view of the rapid surge in Covid-19 infection in the State. The move came after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council For Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) cancelled the Class X test due to rise in Covid cases in the country. Odisha is the seventh Covidhit State to follow the Central boards to scrap the annual Class X exams. Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir have already cancelled their exams. Officials of School and Mass Education (S&ME) department said the exam was cancelled after discussions were held with all stakeholders as per the direction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The annual High School Certificate (HSC) Examination-2021 scheduled to be conducted by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) from May 3 and all other exams planned by the State Board of Madrasa Education from May 19 have been cancelled. Around 6.5 lakh students were scheduled to attend the annual HSC exams this year. S&ME Minister Samir Ran- jan Dash said the results of Class X will be published on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the BSE. “Any candidate, not satisfied with the marks awarded to him/her, will be given an opportunity to answer the papers as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams,” Dash said. He said the Director of Secondary Education as the President of State Board of Madrasa Education will also take appropriate steps to adopt alternative mode of marking for the students who were supposed to appear the Madrasa board exams in the State. Six days back, the department had announced to postpone the Class X and Plus II examinations for an indefinite period. However, a group of BSE Class X students had staged protest in front of the residence of the Chief Minister on Tuesday seeking immediate cancellation of the exams. Meanwhile, the department in its notification also announced to promote all Class IX and XI students in BSE affiliated schools to Class X and XII without holding any exams. The decision on holding the annual Plus II examinations will be taken by the State government and the Council of Higher Secondary Education after reviewing the situation in the first week of June. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Will Odisha bear the vaccine expenses? Even as four states have come forward to bear expenses of Covid vaccine for their residents, aged between 18 and 44 years, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is likely to make an announcement soon | P2 AII M S B h u b a n e sw a r o n Wednesday announced temporary suspension of its walk-in OPD services from April 26 in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases among patients and healthcare workers. However, the emergency and IPD services, daycare, radiotherapy, dialysis, trauma, lifesaving surgery, telemedicine and teleconsultation service, p u l m o n a r y ( va c c i n at i o n RMRC), Anaesthesiology (PAC and pain clinic) and immunisation for old registered patients (on Wednesday and Friday) and yellow fever (on Thursday) will continue as usual. Medical superintendent Dr Sachidananda Mohanty said many of healthcare workers are in quarantine as they have turned out to be Covid positive or are close contacts to infected cases. Even as the walk-in-OPD services will be stopped, Dr Mohanty said, AIIMS Bhubaneswar Swasthya App and telemedicine services from 9 am to 5 pm will continue on all working days. “If any patient is in critical condition, he/she can take an appointment with the treating doctor through the App of tele-consultation service and come to OPD,” he added. 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 offer 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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