tirupati l friday l may 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION UGC tells universities to drop offline exams for may It has also asked the institutions to hold exams online after assessing the local situation to ensure the safety of students Conditional approval to hold Online exam relook at Decision in june first week Online exams would be allowed only if universities ensure they are prepared in all respects and adhere to the directions and guidelines issued by the Centre, states, the education ministry and the UGC. Earlier, the education ministry had directed all Centrally-funded institutions not to conduct offline exams in May. The decision will be reviewed again in the first week of June ■ ■ ■ The UGC’s advisory is binding on all universities that come under its purview, including the state-run and private universities The idea behind the circular is to avoid physical gatherings at the campuses and provide relief to students, faculty and the staff The universities can revisit the curbs next month, it added 620 Univeristies and thousands of affiliated colleges to toe the line 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 50% of beds in Aarogyasri hospitals for Covid-19 patients: CM PM enquires about covid Covid-19 treatment cost (per day) Government hospitals Free Aarogyasri empanelled hospitals Private hospitals NABH Non Critical Covid treatment K4,000 K3,600 Non Critical Covid treatment with oxygen K6,500 K5,850 Critical Covid treatment in ICU with NIV (CPAP, K12,000 BIPAP, HFNO) K10,800 Critical Covid treatment in ICU with Invasive K16,000 Ventilator Support K14,400 Non-NABH PM Modi called up CM Jagan on Thursday night and enquired about Covid-19 situation in AP. The CM explained various measures being implemented by the State government to contain Covid spread. He also informed the PM that facilities in hospitals have been improved to provide better treatment to Covid patients E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed the Health Department to allocate 50 per cent of beds in all private hospitals empanelled under the YSR Aarogyasri scheme to Covid patients. Even temporarily empanelled and non-empanelled hospitals have also been directed to allocate 50 per cent of beds for Covid-19 patients. Reviewing Covid-19 situation in the State at an official meet- ing on Thursday, the Chief Minister said the Health Department should ensure that Covid treatment under Aarogyasri should be free and uniform all over the State. He emphasised on clarity with regard to the number of beds available in the hospital and which are being allocated to Covid patients. Explaining the process of functioning of 104 call centres, the Chief Minister said when a phone call is made to the centre, the message will go to the district headquarters depend- ing on the location of patient. The Collector and the district administration should respond immediately and admit the patient in Covid hospital at the earliest. Medical services should be provided completely free of cost to Covid patients, he said. Po i n t i n g o u t t h e number of patients waiting to be hospitalised at government hospitals, more so in the cities like Vijayawada, Guntur and Tirupati, he advised officials to arrange Covid Care Centres (CCCs) in the place adjacent to hospitals. “We have been asked to set up CCCs in German hangars. The R&B Department has been entrusted with the task of setting up the hangars. Beds equipped with oxygen supply will be set up in the CCCs. They will act as an extension of the hospital itself and ease pressure on the hospital to a maximum extent,” Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal explained during the Cautious optimism as US OK with waiver of vaccine patent S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi WTO negotiations on the subject are expected to begin next month. Tai warned that it would take time to reach a global consensus to waive protections under WTO rules. At least 100 of the WTO’s 164 nations are in favour of waiver, saying it would increase global vaccine production, but drugs manufacturers argue otherwise Pharma lobby opposing the waiver says patents are not the primary obstacle, describes waiver as handing out a recipe without sharing the method or the ingredients, which could lead to quality issues The alternative, they say, is the UK and the EU’s system of licensing, as know-how is shared and there is oversight, like in the case of Serum Institute of India that is producing the AstraZeneca jab Serum Institute of India has signed pacts with AstraZeneca and Novavax while Biological E has entered into an agreement with Johnson & Johnson for its Covid-19 vaccine After months of wavering, the US administration on Thursday announced its support to the temporary waiver of intellectual property protection on Covid-19 vaccines, a decision that could help Indian pharma majors produce foreign jabs at low cost, though experts were a tad wary . The idea of a waiver under the World Trade Organization (WTO) forum was first proposed by India and South Africa in October last year. Prodded by Democrat lawmakers, US President Joe Biden supported the waiver, reversing his country’s earlier position on the matter. His remarks were followed by a statement from his top trade negotiator, Katherine Tai, who said: “This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures.” Experts in India, which has been struggling with supply side shortage of vaccines, welcomed the US decision, but adviced caution. “To my understanding, it is a laudable step and will help countries like India in procuring higher doses of vaccines at lower costs if the WTO agrees to the proposal and vaccine makers transfer NATIONWIDE MAY 5 MAY 6 Fresh cases 3,82,315 4,12,262 Recoveries 3,38,439 3,29,113 3,780 3,980 Deaths Quarantine mandatory for visiting Central teams in Bengal, says Mamata E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata The tense relations between the BJP-led Centre and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached another flashpoint on Thursday with the latter saying all visitors must produce a Covid-negative test report and stay in 14-day quarantine at their own cost. In other words, she sought to shoo off visiting Central teams. Responding to allegations that a Union minister’s vehicle was attacked in West Midnapore district, Mamata charged that he had come to stir up communal discord. Alleging that Union minister V Murlidharan’s visit was aimed at instigating BJP supporters, Mamata said: “Their continuous visits in the past six months have resulted in a record spike in infections. Now that all political meetings and rallies have been banned in the state, why are they still coming here? They want to instigate their supporters.” Stating that controlling the second wave was the priority, she said: “All visitors, including Union ministers, have to produce negative RT-PCR test report to enter the state. Rule is same for all. Even for me. If anyone comes in a special flight, they too will have to either produce a negative report or get the test done. If the report is negative, they will have to undergo 14-day quarantine at their own cost,’’ she said. Earlier, a Home ministry team landed in Kolkata in the wake of the post-poll violence. I would ask the BJP to show restraint and accept the mandate of the people of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister their formula to local companies,” said Manisha Gupta, an intellectual property rights (IPR) expert. She, however, flagged the challenge of managing quality . “Countries like India will have to ensure that only companies that are capable of maintaining quality get the license to make generic versions of the vaccines,” she added. Others like IPR lawyer Deepshikha Malhotra stressed that the advantage could depend on the pacts between the patent holders and local license seekers. Also, companies that get the license through the international agreements may have to fulfil all the regulatory requirements, as is the case now, she said. Former Union health secretary Sujatha K Rao welcomed the development saying it brings hope for a much-needed vaccine equity to low- and middle-income nations. “In days to come, it is likely to enable vaccine production at very affordable prices helping governments provide it free to all and the price will no longer be a barrier to access,” she said. A few trade experts, however, pointed out that most Indian vaccine firms seem happy to work through exclusive pacts and do not favour free technology transfers. Jab-o-meter May 5 Take your shot May 6 18,90,346 doses 22,98,530 doses Total: 16,48,76,248 Third wave SC push for universal vax policy, oxygen buffer stock K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Covid patients undergo treatment at a triage centre set up at SVIMS in Tirupati with German technology sheds | Madhav K Triage centre a boon to patients D S u r end r a K u m a r @Tirupati The State Covid Hospital attached to SVIMS, has set up a 10-bed triage centre with German technology sheds to avoid crowding and screen a Covid infectee within the shortest possible time. The infected person will be provided oxygen, if needed, before admission to Covid hospital at the triage centre. Within 4-5 hours, the patient will be screened and admitted to Covid hospital. The German sheds have been set up with all safety measures on the hospital premises. They have come as a relief to Covid patients and their attendants who had to otherwise wait on the hospital premises. orphans of the times Govt to rehabilitate children of Covid-19 victims in State E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Coming to the rescue of children, who either lost their parents due to Covid-19 or their parents admitted to hospitals for treatment, the State government has decided to rehabilitate them in Child Protection Centres. The decision comes in the wake of the recent communication from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to the States to take care of the children, who have lost their parents due to Covid-19 or deprived of parental care with their parents admitted to hospital for treatment. “There are instances where children, whose parents tested positive for virus, are deprived of any care by daily media briefing on Covid. According to Singhal, the new CCCs will come up in 2-3 days. People with mild symptoms are encouraged to opt for home isolation or go to CCCs. A total of 13,356 patients are undergoing treatment at 88 CCCs in the State and another 30,880 beds are available, he said. At present, there are 108 government hospitals, 349 corporate empanelled hospitals, 47 corporate temporarily empanelled hospitals and 94 private hospitals in the State for Covid P4 treatment. their relatives or neighbours out of fear of contracting the virus and apprehensions of Covid-19. To take care of such children, till their parents recover from the virus, the children will be taken care of by the government,’’ said Dr Kritika Shukla, Director of Juvenile Welfare Department. The government will rehabilitate such children under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. Two toll free numbers will be available to inform about such children. “Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and Juvenile Welfare Department officials will take care of the children and hand over them back to their parents after their recovery from the virus,” Dr Kritika P4 Shukla said. Tollfree Nos 181 and 1098 (childline) Patients of Rayalaseema region especially from Chittoor, Kadapa and Anantapur are getting admitted in the 632-bed Covid hospital. With the surge in positive cases, the rush of patients has increased and not less than 100 infected patients have been getting admission in the hospital on daily basis and they have to wait for long time to get admission. Observing the plight of the patients, SVIMS Director Dr B Vengamma took the initiative to set up the German sheds in which the triage centre is housed. “Separate staff have been deployed at the triage centre to screen patients before admitting them into the hospital. Based on their condition, the andhra pradesh may 5 Fresh cases 22,204 Recoveries 11,128 Deaths 85 Samples tested 1,16,367 covid tracker May 6 21,954 10,141 72 1,10,147 vax stocks Covishield - 4,15,000 12,28,186 Covaxin - 85,000 Total caseload 8,446 Total deaths 10,37,411 Total cured 1,82,329 Active cases helpline 104 Covid helpline 24x7 8297-104-104 WhatsApp Chatbat number - type Hi, Hello, Covid to know official info about Corona N440K impact minimal, says Govt Vijayawada: Covid Command and Control Centre Chairman KS Jawahar Reddy has clarified that there is no truth in reports that N440K variant is the reason for surge in Covid cases in the State. Jawahar Reddy said this strain was prevalent in December, January and February, and its presence declined drastically in March. Now, the role of N440K in Covid positive cases is very minimal,” he said. It may be recalled that TNIE, quoting Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) experts, had recently published a report about fading impact of N440K. staff recommend either home isolation or hospital admission at the triage centre. In fact, critical patients are given oxygen at the triage centre. Oxygen cylinders have been kept at every bed. The patients are treated for five to six hours at the centre and then shifted to the hospital ward,” she said. Chittoor District Collector M Harinarayanan visited the German sheds and appreciated the efforts of the hospital administration for arranging such a triage centre for the convenience of Covid-19 patients. These sheds have come as a blessing in disguise for Covid-19 patients and their attendants visiting SVIMS from various places in Rayalaseema. The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to start preparing for the third wave of Covid-19, advising it to create a buffer stock of medical oxygen to prevent panic and prepare a comprehensive vaccination policy for all. During its hearing on the supply of oxygen to Delhi, a bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said: “You (Centre) need to look at the issue of oxygen supply on a panIndia basis. There is a need to look at oxygen audit and also reassess the basis for oxygen reallocation.” It pointed out that the third surge, according to experts, will affect children. When a child goes to hospital, the mother and father will also have to go. “That is why vaccination will have to be over for this group of people. We need to plan for this in a scientific way ,” it said. “If you (Centre) make an error in policy framing, then you will be held accountable for it,” it said. The bench accepted the suggestion to form a committee of experts for oxygen audit. “Today we have 1.5 lakh doctors who have finished medical course but waiting for NEET exam. How do you tap them? There is fatigue amongst the healthcare professionals. We have to create spaces for the existing body of health professionals. They are at the end of their tether,” the court said. Vijayawada-Hyd direct RTC buses suspended E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada With the inter-state borders being closed at 12 noon itself as part of enforcement of extended curfew to contain the spread of Covid-19, the APSRTC has suspended it bus services to neighbouring Telangana. All RTC bus services between Vijayawada and Hyderabad have been suspended. Passengers proceeding to Hyderabad can travel in RTC bus till Jaggaiahpet only From . there, they have to look for alternative mode of transportation such as auto or cab to reach Kodad and from there to Hyderabad or any other destination in Telangana, they can board TSRTC buses. APSRTC Regional Manager (Krishna) G Nagendra Prasad on Thursday said a total of 1,200 bus services used to be operated to various parts of the State from the region. Amid spike in Covid cases, the total number of bus services were reduced to 1,000 with 50 per cent passenger occupancy. In all, 88 bus services were operated daily to Hyderabad from the region, where majority of buses were run from Pandit Nehru Bus Station, he said. The RTC had already cancelled advance ticket reservation facility on long route buse s. W h e n i t c o m e s t o Hyderabad route, the RTC is operating bus services up to Jaggaiahapet, adjacent to Telangana border before 12 pm. The TSRTC has also temporarily cancelled its services to Andhra Pradesh in view of the closure of borders at 12 noon part of the extended curfew. The bus services will remain cancelled till further orders by the AP government relaxing the travel restrictions, TSRTC Managing Director Sunil Sarma said. The TSRTC bus services to other States via AP have also been suspended.
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