HYDERABAD FRIDAY MAY 14, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION ‘JUDICIARY WORKING UNDER GREAT STRESS DUE TO COVID’ 100 JUDGES, 2,700 JUDICIAL OFFICERS INFECTED Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said on Thursday that the coronavirus has impacted SC judges and Registry officials At least 100 high court judges and over 2,700 judicial officers have tested positive for the virus, the CJI said, adding that three HC judges and 34 judicial officers have lost their lives. In the SC, around 800 Registry staff, six Registrars and 10 Additional Registrars were infected at different points of times. On Wednesday, Justice D Y Chandrachud had tested +ve ■ 37 PLAN TO LIVE-TELECAST SC PROCEEDINGS ■ ■ Ramana said he was actively considering the proposal to live-telecast the proceedings of the Supreme Court However, the CJI added that the programme will be rolled out only if there is a general consensus among his colleagues in SC The Gujarat High Court is already live-streaming its proceedings THREE HC JUDGES AND 34 JUDICIAL OFFICERS SUCCUMBED 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 Vaccine factsheet Lab quality big hurdle for Covaxin mass production BY YEAR-END Vaccines DOSES RECEIVED/ PROCURED BY THE CENTRE SOURCE S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AMID growing chorus for technology transfer to allow other vaccine makers in India mass produce Covaxin, the Centre on Thursday said the sticking point was the lack of sophisticated technological platforms to manufacture the jab. This vaccine, which is an inactivated version of Covid-19 virus and requires live virus to be cultured, can only be processed in laboratories categorised as biosafety level 3 (BSL 3), stressed V K Paul, member, health, Niti Aayog, who also heads the national Covid-19 task force. Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech with support from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which shares its intellectual property rights. The government health research body had invested about `35 crore in its pre-clinical and clinical trials. At present, only Bharat Biotech is a BSL 3 lab in India. “This suggestion (of technology transfer) has been welcomed by Bharat Biotech but it needs to be understood that Covaxin has been developed from inactivated SARS-CoV 2 and can only be developed at laboratories with BSL 3 standards, which none of the other companies in India have as of now,” said Paul. He, however, added that the government will support any firm that is interested in going for this major technical upgradation to scale up the production of Covaxin. Many experts, however, said that more than anything, it is the political will that would be required for an ambitious venture like this. CONTINUED ON P8 Primer on biosafety level A biosafety level indicates a set of biocontainment precautions required to isolate disease causing pathogens in an enclosed lab. The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to level 4 (BSL-4). BSL 3 is appropriate for work involving microbes that can cause serious and potentially lethal disease via inhalation and requires certain features like special constructions and ventilation systems GENDER SKEW 13,88,15,914 people took the jabs till recently 7,30,07,844 Of them are male 6,57,88,899 Of them are female 19,171 others too took the jabs 72,18,945 More males than females took the shot | P7 QUANTITY 6.6 crore PM-CARES (Covishield 5.6 cr FUND & Covaxin 1 cr) GAVI COVAX 1 crore facility (Covishield) Covishield Covaxin Bio E Sub unit Zydus CadilaDNA SII -Novavax BB Nasal GennovamRNA Sputnik V Total STATUS Utilised in full Utilised in full 86% 12 crore Procured for (Covishield 10 cr received, rest phase II expected by & Covaxin 2 cr) May-end Supply 16 crore beginning Procured for (Covishield 11 cr in May and phase III & Covaxin 5 cr) ending in July 35.6 crore TOTAL (Covishield 27.6 cr & Covaxin 8 cr) 35.6 Cr Production / availability Aug-Dec 75.0 Cr 55.0 Cr 30.0 Cr 05.0 Cr 20.0 Cr 10.0 Cr 06.0 Cr 15.6 Cr 216. 0 Cr DOSES DELIVERED/ TO BE DELIVERED TO THE STATES IN MAY Free doses supplied by Centre to states/UTs: 1.65 cr Free doses to be supplied by Centre to States/UTs: 2.35 cr Doses directly procured by states/UTs: 1.23 cr Doses directly procured by states/UTs & in pipeline: 1.27 cr Doses directly procured by private hospitals: 0.80 cr 51.6 crore Add 16 crore doses that are in the vaccine doses pipeline under direct procured procurement by states so far & private hospitals and the total is 51.6 crore doses Total of 7.30 cr Now, Covishield second dose only after 3-4 months EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre on Thursday accepted a proposal by an expert panel to raise the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks, deviating from the European Union and the UK’s suggestions for a 12-week interval between the two shots. Till now, a gap of 6-8 weeks was recommended between two doses of this vaccine in India. Spain alone prescribes a gap of 12-16 weeks between two shots, though it administers the AstraZeneca vaccine only to the 60+ age group amid concerns that in rare cases, it triggers blood clots in younger people. The Centre’s announcement immediately triggered speculation of it being tied to vaccine shortage, but Dr V K Paul, who heads the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19, said the decision was based on science. Real life data following mass vaccinations in the UK, said Paul, has shown that the larger gap between two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine raises its efficacy The decision came after . a recommendation by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC), which in turn relied on the scientific input by the Covid working g roup chaired by N K Arora. The NEGVAC also suggested that those who have recovered from their Covid infection, should get the vaccine against the coronavirus six months after the recovery The ministry . is yet to formally accept the second recommendation. The gap of 12-16 weeks for Covishield, originally developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford University and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India locally has not been tested in clinical trials, experts pointed out. The NEGVAC endorsing a six THE BENEFICIARIES Healthcare workers 1st dose 96,16,697 2nd dose 66,02,553 Frontline workers 1st dose 1,43,14,563 2nd dose 1st dose 1st dose 1st dose AMID Opposition pressure on the Centre to suspend the `20,000-crore Central Vista project till the pandemic is brought under control, the Chhattisgarh government appears to have done the right thing by nixing plans to build the new Assembly building at a cost of `245 crore. On Thursday, the Congressgoverned Chhattisgarh government cancelled tenders for the new Assembly building and halted construction works of all ongoing major projects. The state has also adopted stringent austerity measures, a government spokesperson said. Consequently, the ongoing construction works for the new Raj Bhawan, Assembly House, Chief Minister’s House, bungalows for ministers and senior officials, and the New Circuit House at the Nava Raipur capital city stand suspended. The foundation laying ceremony of these works were performed on November 25, 2019. “I had seven consecutive days of low to high grade fever followed by an infection of lungs. As I am a diabetic, controlling blood sugar and BP was also a challenge. But I just followed the instructions and while I feel weak now, am almost back to normal,” said the IT Minister According to the Minister, of the total 45-plus population of 92.24 lakh, so far 45.37 lakh people have been vaccinated with first dose. The second dose has been administered to more than 10.3 lakh people so far. More vaccines for India? On importing vaccines, Rama Rao said that “none of the US vaccines is currently allowed for use in India. I have heard from some sources that they may be allowed soon. When that happens, we can definitely procure.” “Whatever is allowed by Drug Controller General of India is what we can procure. So far only three vaccines are available — Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik. Hopefully Pfizer and Moderna will be allowed. By August, I am hearing that, another Indian vaccine may also be available from BE,” Rama Rao said. As clinical trials began for Covaxin on children also, Rama Rao said hopefully vaccine could be administered to kids between 5-18 also. Rama Rao further stated that they were in discussions with all three vaccine makers — Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute and Dr Reddy Labs — and would procure as much as they could. LOCKDOWN EXTENSION: CABINET TO DECIDE On the extension of lockdown beyond a 10-day period, Rama Rao said that the Cabinet would take a decision on the same. FIRM NO TO VACCINE REGIONALISM KTR politely ticked off a netizen for suggesting that TS should have first rights over Covaxin. “Vaccine regionalism is not allowed brother. Just because someone is manufacturing in our State, we aren’t entitled to first right of usage,” he said. CONTINUED ON P2 TELANGANA MAY 12 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 4,723 5,695 31 MAY 13 4,693 6,876 33 Black fungus spreading its tentacles in State D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad BLACK fungus, the new scourge, is scaring the daylights out of the diabetic Covid-19 patients who are in their recovery stage. In a short span of a fortnight, at least three persons have lost their vision to black fungus in the State. According to Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital officials, a total of 11 patients have come in with this condition and are presently being given aggressive treatment with antifungal drugs like Liposomal Amphotericin. “The problem with this disease is that it progresses very fast and can affect the eye, BLACK FUNGUS & KEY FACTS Scientifically known as mucormycosis, black fungus is not infectious and does not spread from person to person Occurs mostly in immuno-compromised patients Patients who have been on O2 supply or on steroids during Covid-19 treatment are most vulnerable leading to loss of vision as well. Till now, of the 11 patients, six were referred by ENT specialists and they have early to moderate manifestation in their eyes. The other seven have come directly after their eyes were affected by the fungus. Three of them have lost vision permanently,” said Dr V Rajalingam, Superintendent Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital. He explained that this fungus is affecting patients with low immunity post Covid-19 treatment. The use of steroids lowers the immunity further, leading to rapid spread of the fungus. Further more, the unsanitary conditions in oxygen pipelines could also be a breeding ground for the fungus, which spreads into the nasal passage during the oxygen treatment. “People should not delay their visit to hospital. If any symptoms persist, they should immediately report to the hospital. We have sufficient beds and medicines to offer treatment for the condition and government has procured more drugs anticipating such cases,” said Dr Rajalingam V Superin, tendent Sarojini Devi Eye HosCONTINUED ON P4 pital. 5,42,32,598 1,72,86,501 Over 60 yrs TOTAL Itching, redness and heaviness in eye not be ignored 17,91,77,029 month gap for Covid-19 vaccination following recovery from the infection is also being met with some skepticism. Just a few days ago, ICMR director general Balram Bhargava said those who have battled Covid19 successfully can get the vac, cine six weeks following their recovery. “So far, I have not come across any scientific evidence which suggests that people who have had infection before should wait for six months for their shots against Covid19,” said immunologist Seyed Hasnain. Ch’garh suspends work on new Assembly, pressure on Centre to halt Central Vista E JA Z K A I S E R @ Raipur THE Telangana government can vaccinate its entire population of four crore within 45 days, but the problem is the lack of availability of the Covid-19 vaccine. “We have the capacity to vaccinate more than nine lakh people per day The problem is avail. ability of vaccine which is the major challenge,” said KT Rama Rao, IT and Industries Minister and also Chairman of the State Level Task Force Committee on Covid-19. Rama Rao accepted suggestions and answered questions of the Twitterati in an interactive session on Covid-19 on Thursday. The Minister opined that ideally, 70 per cent of the population should be vaccinated, to break the chain. “Of the 2.9 crore adult population, we need to vaccinate 1.9 crore people. Since it’s a two-dose vaccine, we need 3.8 crore doses. It’s a demand and supply challenge,” Rama Rao said. 85,14,552 2nd dose Personal experience with Covid 5,65,82,401 2nd dose @ Hyderabad To a question as to whether the State was being complacent by testing less, Rama Rao replied: “Not at all. My observation is based on data and also the admissions to hospitals and home isolation cases”. The intention of lockdown was to flatten the curve by way of minimal interaction. “We are already seeing a plateaued curve,” he said. 39,14,688 Age group 45-60 yrs EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE ‘GOVERNMENT NOT BEING COMPLACENT’ 81,12,476 Age group 18-44 yrs GIVE US VAX, WE’LL JAB ALL OF TS IN 45 DAYS: KTR The Chhattisgarh government’s decision comes a day after 12 Opposition leaders had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to halt the Central Vista project and use the money to the fund the fight against coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court is hearing a petition seeking an interim stay on the project saying the construction workers are exposed to the deadly coronavirus on a daily basis during the peak phase of the pandemic. ISRAEL PUMMELS GAZA AS ITS TROOPS STAND BY The hostilities between Hamas and Israel are escalating relentlessly even as mediators try to step in. Hamas sent a heavy barrage of rockets deep into Israel on Thursday as Israel pounded Gaza with more airstrikes and called up 9,000 more reservists, with the country’s military talking of a possible ground attack. Meanwhile, Jews and Arabs are fighting in the country’s streets. In the picture on the left, Israeli airstrikes hit a building in Gaza city. Above, an Israeli artillery P9 unit at the border fires toward targets in the Gaza Strip JAB-O-METER EXPRESS READ May 12 17,72,261 doses TAKE YOUR May 13 SHOT 19,75,176 doses TOTAL: 17,91,77,029 NATIONWIDE MAY 12 MAY 13 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 3,62,727 3,52,181 4,120 3,48,421 3,55,338 4,205 You (Centre) have been playing that irritating message on the phone whenever one makes a call... You are not vaccinating people but still say vaccination lagavaiye. What’s the point of the message? - Delhi HC TS to administer only 2nd dose till May 30 Hyderabad: Owing to extreme vaccine shortage, Telangana has decided to continue with only second dose administration till May 30. On Thursday, Director of Public Health Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that until the end of the month first dose of vaccines will not be administered. The decision was taken as the vaccine supplies from the Centre have been slack. The State is staring at the mammoth task of vaccinating over 19 lakh people by end of May. Since the Centre has extended the duration between doses for Covishield vaccine, it is likely that there will be some respite. Hyd’s MSN Labs to produce anti-Covid drug Baricitinib EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad HYDERABAD-based MSN Labs, on Thursday announced , that it has entered into a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licence agreement with Eli Lilly and Company of the US for manufacturing and marketing Covid-19 drug Baricitinib in India. The drug has been granted a restricted use approval in India by the CDSCO for emergency use in combination with Remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed Covid-19 in hospitalised adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation or extra corporeal membrane oxygeneration. Dr MSN Reddy CMD, , MSN Group said: “This collaboration is a milestone in India’s fight against Covid-19 and will help in increasing the availability of Baricitinib. MSN will launch the product under the brand name BARIDOZ in two strengths of 2 mg and 4 mg.”
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