Indian strain across the world Ireland Netherlands Germany South Korea Italy Greece U.K. Belgium Cambodia U.S. Singapore India Guadeloupe Portugal Switzerland Bahrain tirupati l thursday l april 29, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Indian Covid variant found in at least 17 countries: W.H.O. The UN healthy agency said on Tuesday that the variant contributing to a surge in coronavirus cases in India has been found in over a dozen countries Australia New Zealand strain detected in U.K., U.S. & Singapore The World Health Organization said the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, first found in India, had as of Tuesday been detected in over 1,200 sequences uploaded to the GISAID open-access database “from at least 17 countries”. “Most sequences were uploaded from India, UK, US and Singapore,” the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological update on the pandemic ■ B.1.617 Spreads faster than other variants ■ The WHO said its preliminary modelling based on sequences submitted to GISAID indicates that B.1.617 has a higher growth rate than other circulating variants in India “Studies have highlighted that the spread of the second wave has been much faster than the first,” the WHO added variant has 13 genetic mutations that result in changes to the virus 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 Mass registrations crash Cowin Many complained they did not get OTPs to complete registration on the Cowin portal; Govt terms it a minor glitch and claims 80 lakh people registered themselves within three hours 3,60,960 3,52,991 3,23,144 3,49,691 3,46,786 3,32,730 3,14,835 2,95,041 2,73,810 2,59,170 2,61,500 2,34,692 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 2,767 22 2,624 2,104 21 2,263 2,023 1,761 20 23 24 25 26 3,293 3 Covid Deaths 2,771 2 Covid cases 2,812 1,619 2,17,353 2,00,739 1,84,372 1,501 0 1,61,736 1,341 50000 1,68,912 1,185 100000 Date-wise toll and cases in April 1 200000 150000 1,52,879 250000 1,038 aspx - Covid dashboard 300000 1,027 http:/hmfw.ap.gov.in/covid.dashboard. Kanjikuzhi panchayat (Alappuzha) is undertaking a novel initiative to protect pets and livestock of Covidinfected families — a day care centre for cows, goats, dogs and other animals | P11 350000 879 contact doctors through video call and get medical aid Our IPL Space Covid Deaths in April: 38,719 Total deaths: 2,01,187 --------------Covid cases in April: 58,47,932 Total cases 1,79,97,267 400000 Continued on: P7 Jammi N Rao, epidemiologist 904 https://esanjeevani.com/ - website to Covaxin has been found to neutralise the B.1.617 variant, which is the Indian double mutant strain, White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday So assuming all other deaths were constant, the net addition due to Covid amounted to an extra 10% of the baseline 1,45,384 number - type Hi, Hello, Covid to know official information about Corona Fauci on Covaxin 839 It is easy to cancel SSC exams. But it is a difficult task to hold exams strictly adhering to Covid norms. We have chosen the difficult route for benefit of students, the Chief Minister said 8297-104-104 - WhatsApp Chatbat @narendramodi 1,31,968 It’s a tough task: Jagan Covid-19 AP App to get info 1 lakh portable oxygen concentrators will be procured, 500 more PSA oxygen plants sanctioned from PM-CARES. This will improve access to oxygen, specially in district HQs and Tier-2 cities. clock, queues of bodies waiting for hours and hours to be cremated, the shortage of firewood and so on? I think that is hardly likely .” Public health researcher Oommen John, too, said that the number of reported deaths does not reflect the actual number of people who are in prolonged hypoxia (acute breathlessness), which is incompatible to survival. “This is a mystery and would warrant close attention.” What is alarming is the rapid increase in cases despite local restrictions. India, for instance, was reporting less than 75,000 daily cases in the beginning of the month but reached the 1 lakh mark, higher than the peak in September last within a week, which rose to over 2 lakh cases within another week. 794 14,669 6,433 71 Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said the vaccination drive for the 18+ age group cannot be launched from May 1 due to unavailability of enough doses | P7 Close to 20% of all official deaths reported in India due to Covid-19, occurred over the last four weeks. Within the same time span, fresh Covid cases shot up a gargantuan 58,47,932. It works out to over 32% of the 1.80 crore reported in the country thus far. The official tally of 38,719 Covid deaths in April so far — out of 2,01,187 total fatalities due to the contagious disease in the country — may, however, be because of gross undercounting as is evident from the civic death records and grisly visuals from overwh e l m e d c re m at o r i u m s across cities and towns. Experts concur. They point out that while an average of 28,000 deaths are reported in India every day, crematori- 1,26,789 11,434 7,055 64 Maha puts off May 1 drive @ New Delhi 780 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths April 28 The Delhi High Court on Wednesday objected to a change by the Centre in the Covid treatment protocol related to Remdesivir use amid a shortage of the drug, saying “it appears you want people to die”. ums in cities would not be overflowing if the Covid fatality is just 2,000-3,000 a day , as is being counted officially as of now. Epidemiologist Jammi N Rao pointed out that the official toll on April 25 was about 2,850. “So assuming all other deaths were constant, the net addition due to Covid amounted to an extra 10% of the baseline,” he said. “Would that excess have resulted in the scale and magnitude of the chaotic scenes we witnessed with cremation grounds working round the S U MI S U K A N YA D U T TA 1,15,736 covid helpline April 27 Total doses: 14,98,77,121 Delhi HC faults advisory on Remdesivir 685 STATEWIDE 20,49,754 doses 20% of India’s CoviD-19 deaths in April alone 630 The sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in the district, which has an active caseload of more than 10,000, and shortage of the much needed Remdesivir have come in handy for unscrupulous pharmacists to sell the drug at an exorbitant price in the black market. A vial of Remdesivir is being sold at an exorbitant price of `40,000 though its price is capped at `2,500. A family member of a patient said he bought Remdesivir injection for `38,000 in black market. “The doctor prescribed two Remdesivir injections as my father’s oxygen levels dropped all of a sudden and the drug is not available in the hospital. I contacted my friend, who bought the injection in black market recently, and he gave me the contact number of a pharmacist. I bought two injections at a cost of `38,000 each,’’ he said, adding that he was left with no option as his father’s condition was critical. For me, the life of my father is more important than money he said. , According to sources, some pharmacists stocked the drug in March itself with medical experts warning of a second Covid wave with more severity is set to strike, and are now selling the injections at exorbitant P4 prices. April 28 96,982 B a n d h a v i Ann a m @ Guntur 24,55,869 doses 446 Remdesivir priced at `38K a vial in black market Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has made it clear that his government will go ahead with the decision to conduct SSC examinations in the best interest of students. Taking a dig at the Opposition for demanding cancellation of SSC exams, Jagan on Wednesday said it is easy to cancel the exams, but the future of students will be at stake by such a decision. Stating that the Centre did not announce a uniform policy on cancelling exams and left the matter to the States, Jagan said students of AP will be at a disadvantage if they are just passed without appearing for exams. “How can they compete with students of other States, if the exams are can- @ Vijayawada Take your shot April 27 ment is mandatory for this age group as walk-in shots are erstricted to those above 45. Meanwhile, Serum Institute’s entire 6-7 crore/month Covishield production could be available in India as there is no clarity on export. However, but it is not clear how many jabs will go to the Centre how many will states get. 1,03,558 The State government deposited `1,048.94 crore into the accounts of mothers of 10,89,302 students under Vasathi Deevena for the academic year 2020-21 | P4 celled,’’ he questioned. Speaking on the sidelines of release of `1,049 crore for 10,89,302 student beneficiaries for the academic year 2020-21 under the Jagananna Vasathi Deevena Scheme, he said, “It is easy to cancel the exams. But it is a difficult task to conduct the exams strictly adhering to all Covid guidelines. We have chosen the difficult route for benefit of students.” Stating that no one would think better for the future of students than himself, Jagan said some States are conducting SSC and Intermediate examinations while some others have cancelled the exams. “If a student gets just a pass certificate, what will be his future in the coming 50 years? How will our students get admission into prestigious P4 colleges,’’ he said. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Jab-o-meter l Meanwhile, the govt announced ‘Y’ category security cover to him across the country citing potential threats to him 93,249 under vasathi deevena Exams in interest of SSC students: CM l CEO Adar Poonawalla called it a philanthropic gesture 478 `1,048 cr two session centres but with slots meant for 45 plus people,” Jayant, a management student in Vijayawada told TNIE. Guruprasad, a private employee, said after successfully registering himself, when he tried to book the slot, all he received was the message -- Appointment for age 18 to 44 is based on slots made available by private vaccination centres as well as the respective State government. If slots are not currently available, they will be opened soon. P4 Please check again. 89,129 “If slots are not currently available, they will be opened soon. Please check again after sometime. We regret inconvenience.” This is the message received when one tried to book a slot in CoWIN web portal, which opened at 4 pm on Wednesday for those in the age group of 1844 to get themselves registered for free Covid vaccination, which is slated from May 1. When the portal opened for registration, lakhs of youth tried to open it and some even rushed to internet centres to book a slot. However, within a f ew m i nu t e s, t h e s e r ve r crashed, disappointing many . “I opened the website to get myself registered at my home. After it crashed initially, I tried again, but could only open after an hour. However, after several attempts, I could register myself, but when I tried to book a slot, it flashed a message stating inconvenience is regretted. When I tried to open the slot book window mentioning the name of the district, it showed l Amid outrage on price gouging, Serum Institute of India trimmed the cost of Covishield for state govts from `400 to `300 per dose 513 @ Vijayawada Covishield cost for states cut to `300 81,466 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e the first batch of Covid vaccine from Russia, Sputnik V is set to , arrive in India on May 1. “According to Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the first batch of Sputnik V will be delivered to India on May 1, 2021,” said the Russian embassy in response to a query by this newspaper. It, however, did not specify how many doses will be sent to India. There are only three vaccines with over 90% efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 infection and Sputnik V is one of them. The other two are vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna. Sputnik was developed by the Gamaleya National Research In- NATIONWIDE April 27 April 28 stitute of Epidemiology and 3,23,144 3,60,960 Microbiology with funding from Fresh cases RDIF. The two-dose vaccine has Recoveries 2,51,827 2,61,162 to be administered 21 days apart Deaths 2,771 3,293 and costs around $10 (`750) per dose in the international market. Sources said RDIF is in talks with India authorities on the pricing in the country . The Centre has hinted that all foreign vaccines, including Sputnik, will be available only in private hospitals. Though no official response could be elicited from Dr Reddy’s on the development, its management has earlier said that the initial quantity of Sputnik V that will be supplied in India is set to be limited as they will be imported from Russia. RDIF’s manufacturing partners in India – at least four other companies apart from Dr Reddy’s – will start producing the vaccines locally by July this year, after which the supplies are likely to be scaled up. The news on Sputnik V comes amid concerns that vaccination has not picked up the required pace to arrest the spread of the infectious disease. 714 No slots for people in 18-44 age now? S U MI S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi 72,330 vaccine queue People wait in a long queue at a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Tirupati on Wednesday to get the second dose | Madhav K The Cowin portal, which facilitates registration and scheduling for Covid vaccine, crashed on Wednesday soon after it opened for those in the 18-44 age group at 4 pm. Complaints of non-reciept of one-time password (OTP) to proceed with the process poured in. Many irate users took to social media to flag the technical problems they faced while trying to register for the third phase of the inoculation drive kicking off from Saturday . Many complained they could not schedule their vaccination as no slots were available for the next few weeks in their area. To this, the Centre responded saying appointments can be booked only after states and private hospitals fix their vaccination schedule. The Union health ministry sought to reject reports of the portal crashing as baseless and claimed that 80 lakh registrations were done within three hours of opening up. “It is recording 55,000 hits per second and is completely stable,” the government maintained. “Cowin Portal is working. There was a minor glitch at 4 pm that was fixed. 18 plus can register,” read a tweet from 1st batch of Sputnik V will reach India on Saturday Aarogya Setu, the Union government’s app for Covid contact tracing. The app also has a link to the Cowin por tal through which one can register and schedule vaccination. While all adults will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccine from May 1, people in the 18-44 age group can take the shot only at centres run by state governments or private hospitals. Registration and online appoint- 469 @ New Delhi 459 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e 27 28 ap r i l HUMANE GESTURE Sarpanch goes to rescue of Covid positive woman shun by relatives P h a n i n d r a Pa pa s a n i @ Vijayawada True to the idiom ‘Disasters and crises bring out the best in us’, Gandikota Seethayya, sarpanch of Ambapuram village in Krishna district, went to the rescue of a sexagenarian woman who tested positive for Covid-19. K Vajramma went to a private hospital with the help of Wearing PPE kit, Ambapuram village sarpanch G Seethayya takes a Covid-19 positive woman to government hospital | Express her relatives and gave her sample for Covid testing a few days as she was suffering from symptoms coronavirus. She has no children and lost her husband seven years ago due to a heart ailment. Two days later, she received a phone call from the hospital and the lab technician told her that she tested positive for Covid. When she informed the matter to her relatives who live in the same locality none of them , turned up to take care of her out of fear of contracting the virus. Not just her relatives, even auto drivers refused to take her to the Government General Hospital in Vijayawada. Having lear nt about her plight, Seethayya went to her rescue. Wearing a PPE kit, he drove her to the GGH in Vijayawada in an auto. “What I did to that woman is nothing. It was my responsibility to take care of my people who blessed me to become the sarpanch of the village. Moved by her plight, I took her to Vijayawada GGH. When she called me back requesting to change the hospital, I assisted her and she is doing fine now,” Seethayya told TNIE with a sense of happiness that his act had saved the life of a woman.
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