Latest guidelines issued by ICMR on plasma, Remdesivir 1 Remdesivir can be used in patients with moderate to severe disease within 10 days of symptom onset 4 Remdesivir must not to be used in patients who are not on oxygen support or in home settings 2 Plasma can be administered in early moderate disease within seven days of symptom onset; useless after 7 days madurai l saturday l April 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late city EDITION 5 Off-label use of tocilizumab in case of severe disease recommended, preferably within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the disease or ICU admission 3 Remdesivir not recommended for those with severe renal impairment or hepatic dysfunction 6 Upper respiratory tract symptoms or fever without shortness of breath or hypoxia defined as mild disease, patients advised home isolation 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 Situation stays grim, SC puts off hearing 25 deaths in 24 hrs in Ganga Ram hospital Takes dim view of criticism by senior lawyers E x p r e s s n e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi k a n u s a r d a @ New Delhi A day after terming the current Covid situation as a national health emergency while taking suo motu cognisance of it and demanding an action plan from the Centre within 24 hours, the Supreme Court on Friday abruptly wrapped up its hearing and posted the case for Tuesday . It took a dim view of the worry of senior advocates that the SC’s intervention could hamper proceedings at six high courts that were already hearing the matter and passing speaking orders. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, who demitted office later in day looked angry , and told senior advocate Dushyant Dave, “You have imputed motives to us without reading our order. We never said a word and did not stop high courts. We had asked the Centre to go to HCs and report to them.” “We love my lords. But it was a genuine perception because my lords have done it in the past,” Dave countered. Justice S Ravindra Bhat, who is part of the bench, said, “We never said a word and did not stop HCs. We asked the Centre to go to high court and report to them. What kind of perception you are talking about? Talk about these proceedings.” Continued on: P9 NATIONWIDE April 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,14,835 1,78,841 2,104 April 23 3,32,730 1,93,279 2,263 Covid-19 patients, some of them on stretchers, waiting for beds outside the GTB Hospital in New Delhi on Friday | Parveen Negi Crack down on O2 hoarding, black marketing, PM to CMs E x p r e s s n e w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged chief ministers of the worst Covid-hit states to crack down on black marketing and hoarding of medical oxygen and key medicines for SARS-COV-2. Chairing a meeting with chief ministers of 11 states and Union Territories from where most Covid cases are reported, he asked them to facilitate seamless movement of medical oxygen. Calling for united response to the runaway pandemic, Modi told the CMs that Air Force and Railways are being pressed into service to transport oxygen. Modi urged states to set up a coordination committee for timely supply of oxygen to different hospitals of the state. “This committee should ensure that as soon as there is allotment of oxygen from the Centre, it can deliver oxygen as per requirement in different hospitals of the state immediately added the PM. ,” NITI Aayog Member V K Paul gave a presentation in the meeting on raising medical facilities and targeted treatment of Covid patients. The CMs were urged to make the district administrations in their respective states accountable for making available key medicines for treating Covid patients. “India’s success during the first wave of the pandemic was our united efforts and strategy. We will have to address this challenge in the same way,” said the PM, assuring Centre’s full support to states. The meeting was live-streamed by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, which drew the PM’s ire. Kejriwal’s office expressed regret but claimed they were not officially informed that the meeting was confidential. P9 Bengal infection count is climbing too P r a n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata When horrified people looking at the humongous political rallies with mask-less supporters in West Bengal a couple of weeks ago wondered if such mobilisation was wise, the prompt reply of politicos was the state’s Covid-positive count was far below that of high incidence states. The numbers have since climbed with Bengal reporting a record daily spike of 12,876 positive cases on Friday as compared to 4,511 on April 12. , Within those 11 days, the toll went up four times from 14 on April 12 to 59 on Friday And at least 80 large ral. lies were held in the state during that period. On February 26, the day poll panel announced Bengal’s election schedule, the daily positive cases in Birbhum, Nadia and West Burdwan districts were 2, 6 and 10, respectively. Almost a month later, on April 22, the three districts recorded 624, 455 and 596 fresh positive cases respectively, indicating its rapid unspooling in rural Bengal. Two candidates have so far died of Covid-19 and others like state Con- STATEWIDE TN C o v i d t r a c k e r 95,048 10,51,487 13,395 active cases 44% of new cases are in and around Chennai tally toll 11% test positivity rate Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 22 12,652 7,526 59 April 23 13,776 8,078 78 985 Chengalpattu new cases 395 Kancheepuram 807 Tiruvallur EPS urges Modi to revive Chengalpattu vax complex E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the ‘Integrated Vaccine Complex’ (Hindustan Biotech Limited) at Chengalpattu to augment the production of Covid vaccines. He also sought about 20 lakh doses of vaccines and increased supply of Remdesivir, a lifesaving drug for Covid patients, on a day the State reported 13,776 cases and 78 deaths, taking the tally to 10,51,487 and toll to 13,395. The plea to revive the Integrated Vaccine Complex, which has been lying idle for almost nine years, was recently revived by the CPM and other political parties. Palaniswami pointed out that the facility — which is a Centrally-executed project of na- tional importance — is structurally and functionally ready, and awaits commissioning and validation. “I am informed that this would be possible if some pending works can be fasttracked. I would appeal to you to bring this facility to working condition at the earliest,” he requested. In his letter, Palaniswami also expressed concern over the rising number of Covid cases. Highlighting the vaccination drive, he stated, “The State has administered 47.31 lakh doses and is expected to continue to inoculate at least 2 lakh people per day.” He urged Modi to ensure the State gets enough vaccines for at least 10 days (about 20 lakh doses) well in advance, so the vaccination drive is not affected and people seeking the second dose get it on the scheduled date. gress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury have been hospitalised. While the Election Commission of India on Thursday, after a stinker from the Calcutta high court, banned roadshows and public meetings with more than 500 people ahead of the last two phases of the ongoing Assembly elections, who should be held accountable for sleeping on the job? “Among other reasons, big political rallies played a crucial role in the spread of Covid-19 in rural areas,’’ said an official of the state health department. ‘Why can’t State run Sterlite plant, produce oxygen?’ E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Thoothukudi The Supreme Court on Friday took exception to Tamil Nadu’s position that Vedanta’s oxygen plants in Thoothukudi can’t be reopened due to potential law and order problems, and said that if the company can’t be allowed to run the plant, the State government should take that over and produce oxygen for Covid patients. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde asked senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for the State government, “Why don’t you fulfil your responsibility in manufacturing oxygen? Just because you have a problem with Vedanta, will you not manufacture oxygen? What kind of (an) argument is this? We are not interested (in) whether Vedanta or A, B, or C runs it. We are interested in ensuring oxygen is produced. It is not a question of Vedanta. People are dying. You (State) can produce oxygen.” Asserting that reopening the Sterlite Copper unit, where the oxygen plants are located, could invite law and order problems, Vaidyanathan said, “I don’t want a repeat of the 2018 incident.” Continued on: P4 IAF airlifts O2 tankers, docs IAF deploys transport aircraft C-17, C-130J, IL-76, An-32 and Avro to airlift big, empty oxygen tankers and containers to various filling stations across the country; Chinook and Mi-17 helicopters on standby Flies doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Vizag and Bengaluru to various hospitals in Delhi Cadila jab Virafin gets nod Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila gets restricted emergency use approval from the from drug regulator to use antiviral drug Virafin for the treatment of moderate Covid19 infection. It is a single dose jab; drug will be available on the prescription of medical specialist for use in hospital/institutional setup, says company Twenty-five critical patients at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, one of the biggest private hospitals in Delhi, died and the lives of another 60 were at risk on Friday reportedly due to oxygen shortage. While the hospital did not spell the reason for the deaths, sources said low oxygen concentration could be the reason. “Critical patients need high-pressure oxygen supply said an official. ,” Early on Friday morning, the hospital had sent out an SOS saying the lives of many patients were hanging in the balance due to low stock of oxygen. “25 sickest patients have died in last 24 hours at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Oxygen will last another two hours. Ventilators and Bipap (ventilators for invasive treatment) not working effectively Resorting . to manual ventilation in Intensive Care Units and Emergency Major crisis likely . . Lives of another 60 sickest patients in peril,” read the statement issued by the hospital. Following this, an oxygen tanker arrived at the hospital a little after 9 am. Dr S Rana, chairman of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said, “I would not ascribe the deaths due to shortage of oxygen... a large number of patients are in serious condition. However, we are facing severe oxygen shortage and are resorting to manual ventilation to ensure patients survive.” The chairman added the hospital needs timely supply of medical-grade oxygen to save patients’ lives. About 500 Covid-19 positive patients are currently admitted in the hospital and about 150 of them are on high flow of oxygen support. A grieving family member of a patient who died in Palghar hospital fire | PTI 13 Covid patients die in maharashtra hospital blaze Mumbai: At least 13 Covid-19 patients died after a fire broke out at the intensive care unit located on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital at Virar, the extended suburb of Mumbai, on Friday. The fire started in the air conditioning unit of the hospital’s ICU due to a short circuit. There were 17 patients in the ICU at that time. The fire brigade rushed to the spot and doused the fire in five minutes. Howerver, within that short period, 13 out of 17 patients died. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced `5 lakh as financial help to the family of the deceased and `1 lakh to the injured
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