HYDERABAD WEDNESDAY MAY 12, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION W.H.O. WARNS AGAINST USE OF IVERMECTIN TO TREAT COVID SAFETY, EFFICACY DOUBTFUL: CHIEF SCIENTIST “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of ‘ivermectin’ for Covid-19 except within clinical trials,” Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, tweeted. The drug’s manufacturer Merck & Co, too, had issued a statement earlier saying there’s no clinical proof that it can fight the virus The World Health Organization on Tuesday said using the antiparasitic drug to treat Covid-19 infection is not safe BUT GOVT SAYS IT WILL CURE MILD CASES ■ ■ WHO’s warning came a day after the Goa govt approved use of ivermectin as preventive treatment for all adults against Covid This medicine had recently been included in the Union health ministry’s revised national Covid treatment protocol as a possible treatment option for people with mild disease TWO THIS IS THE 2ND WARNING BY W.H.O. AGAINST IVERMECTIN IN PAST 2 MONTHS 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 Big dip in active cases; declining in 18 states FLATTENING THE INFECTION CURVE Madhya Pradesh 13,100 COVID FIGHT DRAGS ON 11,578 28 Apr 11 May Map shows India’s active case burden (Covid-19 patients who haven’t recovered) and case positivity rates (%) Uttarakhand 7,481 7,542 9 May Chandigarh 27.5% Meghalaya 15.5% Himachal Pradesh 24.9% Punjab 17.6% Uttarakhand 21.01% Jharkhand 16.4% Delhi Sikkim Bihar 25.7% 24.4% 16.2% Haryana 34.3% Rajasthan 30.2% Nagaland Assam 22.6% 15.7% Madhya Pradesh 24.3% Goa 49.6% Karnataka 32.4% Kerala 22.5% 5,547 1 May 11 May Chandigarh 6 May 131 11 May Puducherry 42.8% Tamil Nadu 21.85% 11 May Delhi 24,396 17,604 27 Apr 11 May Rajasthan 17,322 17,421 11 May 5 May Haryana 14,406 14,111 11 May 15,583 Chhattisgarh 13,092 29 Apr 10 May Lakshadweep 125 Active cases fewer than 50,000 (13 states) Active cases between 50,000 and 1 lakh (6 states) Active cases more than 1 lakh (13 states) THE Covid-19 situation in at least some states may be showing some signs of improvement despite 42% of the total districts in India — 310 on 734 — still experiencing runaway infections, data presented by the Centre on Tuesday showed. Eighteen states in India, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana, are showing a decline or plateauing of cases, the Union ministry of health and family welfare said in a press briefing. The glimmer of hope came on a day when the active coronavirus cases dropped by over 30,000 for the first time in over two months. However, 16 states continue to show a surge, point- 19,799 6 May 27 Apr Telangana 1.32% 20.550 7 May 11 May Daman & Diu 232 Odisha 24.4% Andhra Pradesh 26.2% 159 @ New Delhi 11 May 838 839 150 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 26,051 27 Apr 09 May 11 May Ladakh Chhattisgarh 20.5% Uttar Pradesh 34,813 10 May 8,036 Telangana West Bengal 34.4% Maharashtra 22.5% 10 May 5,880 29 Apr Manipur 17.5% 52,564 27 Apr Andhra Pradesh Jharkhand 6,305 11 May Maharashtra 64,247 Bihar 129 14,191 13,229 7 May Andaman & Nicobar 62 35 2 May 14,305 11 May Gujarat Zydus Cadila’s Virafin, which recently received emergency use approval for treating moderate Covid cases, has been priced at `11,995 per dose. Virafin is a single-dose therapy that can reduce the need for oxygen support, the company claimed ed out Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry . While the country’s test positivity rate remains a staggering 21%, positivity rates in as many as 310 districts are above the national average. The government announced that rapid antigen tests (RAT) will now be allowed at all government and private health facilities. 71 BODIES FISHED OUT FROM GANGA, LOCALS GIVE IT A RITUAL SPIN I P8 12,169 11 May Cadila’s Virafin priced at `11,995 per dose 10 May KCR’s Cabinet decides to invite global tenders for procurement of vax doses; forms a panel to ensure regular procurement and supply of medicines TS GOES INTO 10-DAY LOCKDOWN V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad TELANGANA MAY 10 THE inevitable has happened. To rein in Covid-19, a 10-day lockdown has been clamped in the State which will be in effect from 10 am on Wednesday All . activities, however, will be allowed from 6 am to 10 am on all 10 days. During the four-hour relaxation period, all shops will be open and they would close for the rest of 20 hours. All the government offices will function with 33 per cent of the staff strength and the Covid-19 vaccination for those eligible for second dose will continue as scheduled. The State Cabinet, which met at Pragathi Bhavan under the chairmanship of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday, decided to impose the lockdown and announced the guidelines for its implementation. T he Cabinet also decided to invite global tenders for the procurement of Covid19 vaccine doses and constituted a state-level task force committee, to be headed by IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao, to ensure regular procurement and supply of the medicines and injections. The other members of the task force include Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan, General Administration Department (GAD) Principal Secretary Vikas Raj, Panchayat Raj Principal Secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania and Chief Minister’s Secretary and Special Officer on Covid-19 P Rajasekhar Reddy The Cabinet . meeting, which lasted for three hours, decided to impose the lockdown in the wake of increase in number of Covid-19 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 4,826 7,754 32 MAY 11 4,801 7,430 32 POWER: Power generation, distribution and their allied services will also be continued Daily review Paddy procurement The State government exempted the agriculture sector from the lockdown and decided to continue the paddy purchases. Later in the day the Chief Sec, retary issued a GO on the lockdown. “Any violation of the instructions issued by the government will result in prosecution under Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Section 188 of IPS as well as other applicable laws,” the GO said. cachines, running of the rice mills, transport of the paddy and rice, supplying paddy to the FCI, fertiliser and seeds shops, seed manufacturing firms. Warehousing and cold storage activities are exempted MEDICAL: Pharmaceutical companies, companies manufacturing medical equipment, medical distributors, medical shops, all types of medical and health services, government and private hospitals and their staff. The staff of these sectors would be given special passes and are allowed with their vehicles. For implementation of the lockdown, check posts will be put up on the State borders cases. The State Cabinet will meet again on May 20 to review the situation and take a call on extending the lockdown. The Cabinet instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to make Covid medicines, oxygen and injections like the Remdesivir available for both government and private hospitals in the private sector as well the government run hospitals. The Cabinet also decided to constitute committees in all the districts, with Ministers as chairpersons and Collectors, District Medical and Health Officers and Drug Inspectors as members, to have a daily review meeting at their district headquarters on the pandemic. The CM also spoke with the manufacturers of the Remdesivir injections and asked them to supply the required quantities of the vials to the State. What’s allowed What’s Agriculture: Works related to the agriculture produce, not allied sectors, works undertaken with the agriculture Health: The government vaccination centres will function normally. But, those eligible for second dose will be given Covid-19 vaccine. Movement of health care workers and passengers for accessing emergency medical services will be permitted. People queue up at a wine shop, as soon as the government announced lockdown, in Hyderabad on Tuesday | VINAY MADAPU Why were people not given time to prepare for the inevitable: HC R PRIDHVI RAJ @ Hyderabad TAKING a serious view of the State government imposing lockdown without giving any notice to the people to prepare for the inevitable, a division bench of the Telangana High Court on Tuesday asked the government to ensure that the migrant labourers would not face difficulties in returning home. The division bench, resuming hearing on the case, ex- Panic as agencies ordered not Low May vax stock for 18+ to supply O2 to individuals D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA THE governmental orders to not supply or refill oxygen cylinders for retail use has begun choking thousands of patients, who are relying on these sources as finding a bed in hospitals has become near impossible in the GHMC limits. It is learnt that drug inspectors in three districts under the GHMC have issued verbal orders to oxygen suppliers, warning them not to cater to individuals but send their supplies only to hospitals. The worst impact is being felt after major plants like Pioneer, which supply upto 350 large oxygen cylinders to patients and small hospitals, have been asking for a letter from the Chief Secretary to procure oxygen. “The decision was taken in order to prevent hoarding and black marketing. There are 17 major suppliers in Medchal who have only wholesale licences. We have given them verbal orders to not allow hoarding as some individuals were pre-booking and disruptCONTINUED ON P4 ing the supply chain,” said a Drug Inspector. ONLY about 2 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses may be available for the 18-44-year age group across India this month, an affidavit filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court revealed. In other words, just one dose is available for 30 beneficiaries, since the population of this age group in India is about 60 crore. It explains why people are finding it difficult to book their vaccination shots this month. CONTINUED ON P8 pressed displeasure over the way the government has been acting with regard to its instructions. The court found fault with the government for not heeding its advice to impose weekend lockdown or extend hours of night curfew as well as suddenly ann o u n c i n g l o ck d ow n without giving anytime to the people to prepare. In reaction to AG’s submission that the State had imposed lockdown to rein in the pan- demic, the bench observed that lockdown was not imposed when it was needed most and it was now being clamped when the Covid-19 graph is showing a downward trend. The court also wanted to know how migrant labourers could return home if lockdown comes into effect without any notice. The AG submitted to the court that the State would take care of their problem. He said that half of the migrant labourers had already left the CONTINUED ON P5 State. Petrol and diesel pumps will be opened on the National highways Print & Electronic Media and NREGS works are exempted Banks and ATMs will function 40 guests allowed at weddings. Only 20 people at funerals Ration shops will be opened from 6 am to 10 am Supply of domestic gas to continue E-commerce (delivery) of goods and merchandise, including food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment IT and ITes, including telecom, postal and internet services. However, in these sectors, work from home shall be encouraged to the maximum extent possible All construction and project activities, where workers are available in-situ or in secured labour camps WATER SUPPLY Supply of drinking water, sanitation works in rural and urban areas will be continued TRANSPORT Transportation on National Highways will be allowed. RTC and Setwin buses and Metro services will be operational from 6 am to 10 am. TSRTC suspends inter-state services. Passenger vehicles shall be regulated on the borders. Movement of commodities shall be permitted All cinema halls, swimming pools, clubs, gyms, amusement parks and sports stadiums Operation of all inter-state bus and transport services including those by private operators shall stand suspended All religious places/places of worship shall be closed for public worship. Religious gatherings/ congregations shall not be permitted All Anganwadi centres will remain closed. Children and pregnant women, lactating mothers will be provided take-home ration during this period Operations of MEA branch at Secretariat, located in Regional Passport office, suspended GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS Every person who is required to observe home isolation shall strictly observe the same failing which he/she will be liable for penal action All government as well as private establishments shall make payments of wages/salaries fully to employees All pregnant women will be listed, monitored, assisted by medical staff BIZ ACTIVITY DIPS TO LAST JUNE LEVELS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi @ New Delhi WITH almost the entire country in the grip of localised lockdowns, India’s business activity has shrunk to levels last seen in June 2020, according to Japanese brokerage Nomura. The Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI), which tracks business activity on a weekly basis, fell sharply to 64.5 for the week ended May 9 from 69.7 a week ago. This is 35% below pre-pandemic levels. “The sharp drop in NIBRI suggests that the rolling statewide lockdowns are hurting sequential growth. International experiences suggest the correlation between mobility and gross domestic product (GDP) growth is much weaker during the second wave, due to more targeted restrictions and more pandemic-adept consumers and businesses,” said Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi, economists, Nomura. The fall is driven by a sharp decline in mobility due to coronavirus-induced lockdowns and it portends a bleak outlook for the economy How. ever, Nomura cautions that the drop in mobility ‘exaggerates’ the hit to economic activ- SECOND QUARTER TO BE CHALLENGING Nomura has lowered GDP growth forecast for 2021 to 9.8% from 11.5% (for FY22, to 10.8% from 12.6%). “We expect a localised hit in the 2nd quarter and believe medium-term tailwinds (vaccine pivot, global recovery, easy financial conditions) remain intact,” it said ity “International experienc. es suggest the correlation between mobility and GDP growth is weaker during the second wave, due to more targetted restrictions and more pandemic-adept consumers and businesses,” said Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi, economists, Nomura. Although the Centre has said it will not impose a blanket lockdown, most states are already under some kind of a lockdown. If localised restrictions continue for another month, economists warn of further risks to GDP growth.
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