bhubaneswar l wednesday l may 12, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY EDITION W.H.O. Warns against use of Ivermectin to treat Covid Drug maker, FDA say evidence insufficient “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 said there’s no clinical proof that it can fight the virus. Health regulators in the US and Europe had also said there is not enough evidence to support the use of ivermectin 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 71 bodies fished out from Ganga, locals give it a ritual spin flattening the infection curve (April 27-May 11) 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 yet) and case positivity rates (%) J&K 12.81% Chandigarh 27.5% Punjab 17.6% Uttarakhand 21% Jharkhand 16.4% Delhi Sikkim Bihar 25.7% 24.4% 16.2% Rajasthan 30.2% Nagaland Assam 22.6% 15.7% Goa 49.6% Karnataka 32.4% Kerala 22.5% 5,547 1 May 11 May Chandigarh Puducherry 42.8% Tamil Nadu 21.85% 26,051 27 Apr Ladakh 6 May 19,799 11 May Delhi 24,396 17,604 27 Apr 11 May Rajasthan 17,322 159 131 11 May Lakshadweep 125 6 May 11 May Haryana 14,406 14,111 11 May 6 May 27 Apr Telangana 1.32% 17,421 5 May 11 May Daman & Diu 232 Active cases fewer than 50,000 Active cases between 50,000 and 1 lakh Active cases more than 1 lakh 20.550 7 May 838 839 150 Raje s h K uma r T h aku r and A nu r aag s i ng h @ Patna / Lucknow 11 May 09 May 11 May Odisha 24.4% Andhra Pradesh 26.2% Uttar Pradesh 34,813 10 May 8,036 Telangana Chhattisgarh 20.5% 52,564 10 May 5,880 29 Apr West Bengal 34.4% Maharashtra 22.5% 11 May 64,247 27 Apr Andhra Pradesh Jharkhand 6,305 Manipur 17.5% Madhya Pradesh 24.3% 7,481 7,542 9 May Meghalaya 15.5% Himachal Pradesh 24.9% Haryana 34.3% Uttarakhand Arunachal Pradesh 16.4% Ladakh 10.22% Maharashtra 15,583 Chhattisgarh 13,092 29 Apr 10 May Bihar 129 11 May Andaman & nicobar 62 35 2 May 11 May 14,191 13,229 7 May 14,305 11 May Gujarat 12,169 10 May People crowding a market amid the lockdown, in Patna on Tuesday | pti 16 states and 42% of districts in the country continue to show Covid surge; national test positivity rate at 21% big dip in active cases for first time; plateauing or declining in 18 states E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Covid-19 vaccine being administered to a woman in the 18-44 age group at the CV Raman Hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday | Shriram BN Govt affidavit shows low May stock for 18+ Sum i Sukan ya D u t ta @ New Delhi 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 g roup in India is about 60 crore. It explains why people are finding it difficult to book their vaccination shots this month. The affidavit shows that 1.5 crore doses of Covishield and 50 lakh doses of Covaxin are available in May for “other than Govt of India channel” in May Under the Centre’s de. centralised and liberalised vaccination policy, which came into effect on May 1, it will procure 50% of the total e x p r e ss r e ad Covid cases down as tests plateau Bhubaneswar: Even as Odisha continues to record test positivity rate (TPR) of more than 20 per cent (pc) for over a week, testing has hit another low leading to a drop in new Covid-19 cases. The fresh infections fell from 12,238 on May 6 to 9,793 in the last 24 hours so did the number of tests from 50,799 to 46,241 with the health authorities attributing it to the weekend lull. The RT-PCR tests also came down from a range of over 20,000 a day to 16,000 | P2 Covid vaccine supplies directly, which will then be shared with states to inoculate the population over 45 years. Fifty per cent of the supplies, however, will have to be procured directly by states and private hospitals, which can then be used to administer shots to the 18-44-year age group, under the revised vaccination strategy . The document shows that the highest allocation — of about 34.38 lakh vaccine doses — have been made for Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra (over 18 lakh) and Bihar (about 16 lakh). Officials in the Union health ministry said that the allocations under this category had been worked out on a statewise population of 18-44 years pro rata and it had already been conveyed to the state at the end of April. Continued on: P8 NATIONWIDE MAY 10 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 11 3,66,161 3,29,942 3,53,818 3,56,082 3,754 3,876 Jab-o-meter May 10 24,30,017 doses Take your May 11 shot 23,85,092 doses Total: 17,51,71,482 30.4 lakh across 30 States/UTs in the 18-44 age group got jabs so far ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 10 10,031 9,706 17 MAY 11 9,793 7,564 18 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, pointed out Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry . While the country’s test positivity rate remains a stagger- ing 21%, positivity rates in as many as 310 districts are above the national average. Underscoring the need to enhance testing in order to curb the pandemic in rural areas, the government announced that rapid antigen tests (RAT) will now be allowed at all government and private health facilities. Also, RAT kits approved by renowned global agencies will not need separate validation in India. As of now, said ICMR direc- Cadila’s Virafin priced at `11,995 per dose 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 tor general Balram Bhargava, RT-PCR testing capacity in the country is 16 lakh per day while 17 lakh RATs can be conducted every day. Bhargava also said home-based testing solutions are being explored and plans are afoot to set up RAT booths within schools, colleges, community centres, RWA offices among others. The Centre, meanwhile, applauded the Covid containment models adopted by Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, suggesting their replication at the national level. “The decentralized approach Mumbai has adopted in Covid-19 containment needs to be adopted at the national level,” said Agarwal. “We have observed that strict measures like restrictions on mass gatherings and on intermingling of people along with closing of non-essential activities for 15 days reduce the rate of growth and cases start plateauing,” he said. Take strong action against overcharging by private hospitals: CM to officials E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday directed officials to keep a close watch on private hospitals treating Covid patients and ensure that they charge according to the rate fixed by the government. Strong action should be taken against hospitals found overcharging and indulging in unethical profiteering, he instructed State and district administrations. Reviewing the pandemic situation in the State, the Chief Minister asked the officials to ensure the helplines in Covid hospitals are active and effective. He said relatives of the patients should be informed about their condition regularly The State and dis. trict level officials involved in Covid management should take opinion directly from the doctors in-charge of the ICUs and HDUs and act accordingly to make the decisions more realistic, he said. The Chief Minister said as medical oxygen is a vital lifesaving treatment for patients in the second wave, officials should make foolproof arrangement about its availability and monitor the situation 24 hours. Be- sides, fire safety in hospitals should be given primacy and the situation monitored at all times, he added. Stating that vaccination is crucial in the fight against the pandemic, the Chief Minister said hassle-free system should be put in place at all the session sites. He said the government is taking steps to procure more vaccines to make it available to all. Senior citizens, women and people belonging to weaker sections should be taken care of, he added. He also asked the officials to ensure that all sevayats and their family members are vaccinated before Rath Yatra on July 12. The Chief Minister said the fight against Covid-19 will be a long one and asked the officials to collect information about a possible third wave from now and be prepared to tackle it. He advised the officials to help people in need by utilising the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in these challenging times. He said during the last one month, Covid cases have increased manifold in several districts and the government has imposed lockdown to contain the spread. However, though results of lockdown are positive, in some places situation needs to improve. He said Odisha has been successful in tackling disaster management due to community participation and this should be replicated in the fight against CONTINUED ON: P5 Covid-19. CM sanctions `20 crore to set up RT-PCR centres Bhubaneswar: In a bid to ramp up testing in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sanctioned `20 crore to set up 16 RT-PCR testing centres at the district level. The testing centres will be set up at the headquarters of Bhadrak, Boudh, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Nabarangapur, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Subarnapur, Kandhamal, Sundargarh, Rayagada and Bargarh districts. The Chief Minister said a micro-biologist and three laboratory technicians will be deployed in each centre for the purpose. The number of dead bodies retrieved from the banks of Ganga in Bihar’s Buxar district rose to 71 on Tuesday The district ad. ministration, with the help of local divers and boatmen, fished out all the bodies that were found floating and stuck along the banks of the river on Monday morning. According to locals, the bodies — suspected to be of Covid patients — were kept in lines at the ghats as a board of doctors conducted post-mortem non-stop from Monday night till 4 am Tuesday . Buxar District Magistrate Aman Samir said last rites of all the bodies fished out so far were performed as per protocol. When asked about identification of the bodies, he said it was difficult as the bodies were in a decomposed state. However, samples from each of the 71 unidentified bodies were collected and preserved for DNA tests, he added. Meanwhile, some locals chose to give a spin to the turn of events saying there is a tradition among villagers living on the banks of Ganga of releasing the bodies of those who died of unnatural causes, into the river after performing a small ritual at the ghats. This, they claim, is an age-old tradition done with the belief that it will ensure salvation to the departed souls. Speaking to TNIE, Ghazipur district magistrate M P Singh said, “We’ve also launched an awareness drive in all villages to inform the administration if the villagers are facing any difficulties in cremating the bodies. If they need financial assistance or vehicles to carry bodies for cremation, it will be given.” Business activity dips to last June levels E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With 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 Busin e s s Re s u m p t i o n I n d e x (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 . However, Nomura cautions that the drop in mobility ‘exaggerates’ the hit to economic activity “International expe. riences 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 Nomura’s economists. Although the Central government 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. 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 Vaccines work Jabs keep Twin City cops safe, less infected A s i s h M e h ta @ Bhubaneswar Vaccines work. This is being openly demonstrated in the ranks of the BhubaneswarCuttack Commissionerate police personnel amidst the ferocious second wave of Covid-19 in Odisha. Compared to the first wave last year, the number of police personnel in the Twin City being infected is far less as of now even as the virus transmission has increased manifold in t h i s p h a s e. O n l y around 150 personnel of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack have been infected against nearly 1,000 after the outbreak last year. Six policemen had succumbed to the virus in the first wave while in the face of the deadlier spread this year, most of the infected have mild symptoms. Commissionerate police sources said, of those infected now, around 34 needed hospitalisation or were sent to Covid care centres while the rest remained in home isolation. There has been no casualty among the Twin City police force as yet. There are about 2,600 personnel and officers in Bhubaneswar and 89 per cent have taken both doses of vaccine. In Cuttack, there are 1,900 personnel and officers and at least 92 per cent of them have received both the jabs. In Bhubaneswar, 2,366 personnel have received the first dose and 2,326 have received both the shots till May 10. Similarly, 1,773 personnel have received the first dose and 1,741 received both the doses in Cuttack during the period. Police Commissioner Saumendra Kumar Priyadarshi said, the vaccination drive for police personnel in the two cities concluded over a month back. “We are seeing the effect. Our personnel are definitely more protected because they were given both the CONTINUED ON: P5 doses.
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