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 BHUBANESWAR l Saturday l april 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 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 ne 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: P7 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 22 April 23 3,14,835 1,78,841 2,104 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 ne 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 in their states. “This committee should ensure that as soon as there is allotment of oxygen from the Cen- tre, it can deliver oxygen as per requirement in different hospitals of the state immediately said 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 P7 meeting was confidential. 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 Amid a raft of SOS messages by individuals and hospitals seeking urgent supply of oxygen in Delhi, scarcity of the lifesaver killed as many as 25 “sickest” patients in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Friday. 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. Oxygen will last another two hours... Major crisis likely. Lives of another 60 sickest patients in peril,” read a statement from the hospital. Following this, an oxygen tanker arrived at the hospital a little after 9 am. Many other hospitals in Delhi reported they were facing a similar situation. “Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, with 160 Covid19 patients, is left with another one hour of Oxygen cylinder stock. We have been waiting for the supply since last night, but no luck so far. Please help us at the earliest,” the hospital tweeted in the morning. Meanwhile, the government-run Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital reduced its Covid beds from 500 to 350 due to low oxygen availability . Max Hospital, too, said it will not accept new admissions due to shortage of oxygen supply but deleted the tweet within minutes. Some other hospitals made short-term arrangements for oxygen with the help of the district magistrate and the police but said stocks won’t last for long. 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 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 daily spike of 12,876 positive cases on Friday, 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 express read Odisha sends 250 tonne oxygen to worst-hit States Bhubaneswar: A day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help needy states with oxygen, 15 tankers containing over 250 tonne medical oxygen were sent to different cities in the country in the last 24 hours. The tankers were sent from Rourkela, Jajpur and Angul districts to Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Indore, Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur | P2 Make Talcher MCL hospital a Covid facility: Pradhan Bhubaneswar: In a bid to gear up health infrastructure in view of the Covid-19 surge, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday requested Minister for Coal and Steel Pralhad Joshi to allow Mahanadi Coalfields Limited’s (MCL) hospital at Talcher to function as a dedicated Covid-19 hospital | P3 Grooms sent back at Odisha-WB border Balasore: As many as five marriage parties with grooms from neighbouring West Bengal on their way to Balasore and Paradip were detained for several hours at check posts and toll plazas on Odisha-WB border a day after the State Government mandated strict surveillance in view of the triple mutant emergence in the neighbouring state | P4 Friday At least 80 large rallies 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 Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chow- dhury 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, surely someone 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. People standing in queue to collect their antigen test report ignoring social distancing at Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Friday | Express Covid second wave claims more youths, One hour window from 5 am to 6 am for morning walkers people without comorbidities in Odisha Weekend shutdown E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar As the weekend shutdown comes into force in all urban areas of the State from Saturday, the government announced relaxations for some activities including morning walk and jogging. Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena on Friday said one-hour relaxation will be given from 5 am to 6 am to allow people to go for a morning walk, jogging, cycling and other fitness activities on Saturdays and Sundays. “The night curfew will continue till 5 am on Saturday and thereafter weekend shutdown will be imposed from 6 am after the one-hour relaxation for fitness activities. The shutdown will continue till 5 am on Monday he said. ,” Public distribution system and related activities have also been allowed during the shutdown subject to strict adherence of norms of physical distance of six feet and other safety protocols. Essential services and permitted activities will be allowed during this period. Meanwhile, in view of the rapid surge in Covid-19 across the dis- tricts, the government on Friday asked the collectors to operationalise all Covid care centres (CCCs) with oxygen support. The issue was discussed at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra in which he reviewed the Covid situation in different districts. The collectors were advised to keep the Covid call centres fully active and responsive on 24X7 basis. The Chief Secretary asked the district collectors to ensure that patients are reached in the least possible time and also monitor the home isolation cases closely . He said that the serious patients should be brought to hospital as and when needed. He also asked the collectors to put in place a system for informing about the health condition of serious patients to their family members so that they do not rush to the hospitals. Besides, the collectors and superintendents of police were also directed to deploy firefighting teams in all the Covid hospitals for instant action to protect the patients, health personnel and property in case of mishaps. E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Two youths, aged 24 and 38 of Nuapada district, succumbed to Covid-19 recently without having any comorbidities which are cited as major reasons behind the deaths of patients. Health department sources said with low oxygen saturation level, the 24-year-old was admitted on April 8 and died after two days of struggle for life. The other was hospitalised on April 15 and declared dead on April 18. Both of them were having severe respiratory distress when they were admitted to Covid hospital. They later developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and succumbed to the disease. Not only are more people without comorbidities dying in the State, the disease is killing them young this time around. Going by Health department data, six of the eight people who succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours were not suffering from any disease other than Covid and five of the six were in the 42 to 56 age group. A total of 52 people have died so far in April, 17 of whom had no comorbidities, while only one death was recorded in the first month of the pandemic during the first wave last ODISHA April 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 23 6,165 2,165 7 6,251 2,452 8 There is a contrast in fatalities between the two waves. It is the young who are now most vulnerable for not complying with the Covid norms. Since many senior citizens have taken vaccines - either double dose or single dose, they are less susceptible to the infection if they follow the Covid norms Dr Bijay Kumar Mohapatra, Director of Health Services year. This time, the age group of 25 to 45 years looks more vulnerable both for catching the infection and falling victim to the disease. Nearly 40 per cent (pc) of the fatalities were from the youth age group and 45 pc were middle-aged. The share of senior citizens was only around 15 pc. The 60-plus group was the most vulnerable during the first wave. Sources said the cases spread rapidly in the western Odisha districts as people there travelled to the worst hit Chhattisgarh without any precautions and returned infected. Among the deceased, it was also found that many got hospitalised only after their oxygen saturation dropped below 70 pc and most of them were regularly consuming alcohol. Director of Health Services Dr Bijay Kumar Mohapatra said there is a contrast in fatalities between the two waves. It is the young who are now most vulnerable for not complying with the Covid appropriate behaviour. Since many senior citizens have taken vaccines - either double dose or single dose, they are less susceptible to the infection if they follow the Covid norms, he said. In yet another record high, the State reported 6,251 new cases in the last 24 hours. While the highest 950 cases were detected from Khurda and 684 from Sundargarh, western Odisha districts - Kalahandi and Nuapada - registered 682 and 446 cases respectively . The State Capital Bhubaneswar hit another peak of 698 cases, the biggest single day spike so far pushing the active cases to 4,417. The test positivity rate (TPR) shot up to 14 pc with the city conducting 5,000 tests, including 3,661 through RT-PCR during the period. The TPR in Kalahandi was the highest at 53.74 pc followed by Sundargarh 38.21 pc and Nuapada at 33 pc.
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