NATIONWIDE JUNE 21 JUNE 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 53,256 42,640 78,190 81,839 1,422 1,167 TELANGANA JUNE 21 JUNE 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,197 1,707 9 1,175 1,771 10 133 cases in GHMC The highest number of Covid-19 cases in Telangana were reported from the GHMC limits with 133, followed by Khammam with 76 HYDERABAD WEDNESDAY JUNE 23, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION PFIZER VAX IN FINAL STAGES OF GETTING INDIA APPROVAL The US pharmaceutical giant is close to inking an agreement with the Centre, its CEO Albert Bourla disclosed on Tuesday WILL CONTRIBUTE SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE POOL INDEMNITY COVER IS THE STICKING POINT “We are in the very, very final stages of finalising this agreement. First, we need to get approval of this vaccine in India to be able to import,” Bourla said. Though Covishield will continue to be the backbone of India’s vaccination drive against Covid-19, “getting the additional mRNA vaccines from us and also from Moderna will contribute significantly,” he said ■ ■ It’s not clear if the government has approved Pfizer’s request for indemnity, which is a cover against lawsuits. Health ministry is in favour of providing it to draw more vaccine manufacturers If Pfizer gets indemnity, the Serum Institute of India may step up the pressure on the government for a similar protection for it, too 7 bn doses PFIZER WILL MANUFACTURE CUMULATIVELY BY NEXT YEAR-END 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 Delta Plus is India’s next big headache Covaxin efficacy 78% in final phase 3 trial Declared variant of concern; is highly infectious; alert issued in MP, Maharashtra and Kerala; experts warn it could trigger a new wave S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi THE Centre on Tuesday declared the Delta Plus strain of the coronavirus a variant of concern (VoC) and asked Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh – where 22 such cases were detected – to take immediate measures to curb the virus spread. The suggested steps include preventing crowds, intermingling of people, and widespread testing. Of the 22 cases detected so far, 16 are from two districts of Maharashtra (Ratnagiri and Jalgaon) in clusters and six more isolated cases in two districts each in Kerala (Palakkad and Pathanamthitta) and Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal and Shivpuri). According to experts, spread of the Delta Plus variant, if not arrested forthwith, may lead to another wave in no time. There are also fears that this mutant version of the virus may be resistant to the vaccines available in India, though this is yet to be established. “There is an indication that the Delta Plus variant may be more apt to cause severe Covid-19 and is also looking better NCLT NOD FOR KALROCK-JALAN BID FOR JET AIR|P10 designed to evade monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for the infectious disease. These facts definitely are causing a lot of anxiety,” said an expert. According to a health ministry statement, the Delta Plus variant has these characteristics – increased transmissibility stronger binding to recep, JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT June 21 80,95,314 doses June 22 52,12,628 doses TOTAL DOSES: 29,40,42,822 tors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response. In its advisory, the Centre asked the three states to send adequate samples of positive persons promptly to the designated laboratories of Covid genomic surveillance network Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic E N S @ Hyderabad TOLLYWOOD producer D Suresh Babu has been taken for a ride for `1 lakh by a fraudster, under the pretext of supplying Covid-19 vaccine doses. On May 31, 2021, Suresh Babu received a call from the fraudster named Nagarjuna Reddy who offered to provide , vaccines for 500 people for `1 lakh. The producer agreed to the offer and transferred the money into the bank account of T Laxmi, who is reportedly Nagarjuna Reddy’s wife. Once the transfer was made, Nagarjuna Reddy stopped responding to Suresh Babu’s calls and messages. Later, the producer found out that the amount was withdrawn immediately after it was transferred into the account. Since then, Nagarjuna Reddy’s mobile has been switched off. Realising that he was tricked, Suresh Babu filed a complaint at the Jubilee Hills Police Station. The police are on the lookout for the trickster. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Holding back doses for the big bang day? A whopping 88 lakh Covid-19 vaccination doses were administered on Sunday, but a closer look suggests states were perhaps accumulating their doses over last week to arrive at the big number. Take Madhya Pradesh, which topped the list with 17.14 lakh doses. It’s figures for Saturday, Friday and Thursday were just 692, 22,006 and 14,862, respectively FULL REPORT: P7 ‘LONG COVID’ LINGERS ON IN RECOVERED PATIENTS D O N I TA J O S E @ Hyderabad Suresh Babu duped of `1 L in vax fraud Consortia (INSACOG) so that the clinical epidemiological correlations can be made. Among the other crucial measures are prompt tracing and vaccine coverage on a priority basis. INSACOG, a network of 28 laboratories in the country has , attached the Delta Plus variant with increased transmissibility, stronger binding to receptors of lung cells and potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response, the Union health ministry announced. Apart from India, this variant has been identified in eight other countries – the US, the UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, China and Russia. Scientists working with INSACOG explained that the Delta Plus variant was formed by further mutation in the delta or B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India, which was largely responsible for the ferocious second Covid wave. On Monday, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope had said the spread of Delta Plus variant had been detected in 6-7 districts in the state but the Centre on Tuesday associated just two districts in the state with the variant. NEARLY 10 per cent of Covid19 patients who were previously hospitalised are returning to hospitals with symptoms of ‘long Covid’, say doctors in Hyderabad. Most of them are exhibiting breathlessness, chest pain and cough-like symptoms, causing them to get admitted again. “We can’t say what the disease is exactly , but most patients are admitted based on symptoms like cough, fever, breathlessness, chest pain, etc. In some cases, there’s varying degrees of fibrosis as well,” explained Dr Mahmood, superintendent of Chest Hospital in Erragadda. These second-time patients typically end up in hospital care for 7-10 days before a proper treatment protocol is charted out for them based on laboratory investigations and CT scans. Doctors from Yashoda Hospitals said that in addition to patients with breathing issues, palpitations and chest tightness, they have also been treating a few with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pains. “As per our assessment, those who were affected with severe Covid-19 pneumonia and required a prolonged stay in the ICU are more likely to return with post-Covid symptoms. The best option for them is symptomatic treatment using pain killers for body pains, physical rehab and breathing exercises,” said Dr Viswesvaran Balasubramanian, Yashoda Hospitals. Who’s more likely to have long Covid? Patients who were affected with severe Covid pneumonia and required a prolonged stay in the ICU are more likely to return with post-Covid symptoms, say Yashoda Hospital doctors Owing to the rising number of long Covid cases, the general medicine OP of Osmania General Hospital has now launched a daily session for such patients E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad Surrendered my German citizenship, Ramesh to HC VEMULAWADA MLA Chennamaneni Ramesh, on Tuesday informed the Telangana High Court , that he has sur rendered his Ger man citizenship. The TRS legislator made this submission during a hearing on the petition filed by Congress leader Adi Srinivas, which stated that the MLA possessed dual citizenship, and therefore, must be disqualified as a legislator. After the MLA’s submission, the High Court directed the Centre to file its counter within two weeks and asked both the parties not to seek another extension. It emphasised that they should be prepared for the disposal of the case P4 in the next hearing. YSR a water thief, Jagan a bigger thief: Vemula EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad TELANGANA Roads and Buildings Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy said that a confrontation with the Andhra Pradesh government was inevitable as the latter was constructing irrigation projects on the Krishna river ‘illegally’. Speaking at Divitipalli in erstwhile Mahbubnagar district on Tuesday, Prashanth Reddy alleged that Andhra Pradesh was plundering Krishna waters, which would be detrimental to the interests of Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy, Nalgonda and Hyderabad districts of Telangana. He said that while former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had been a ‘water thief ’, his son and current Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was a ‘bigger thief ’. “We thought Jagan Mohan Reddy was a changed man,” the Minister said. “The Andhra Pradesh government had stated before the NGT that it would not take up the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project without proper environment clearance, but is doing so anyway ,” the Minister said, alleging that YSR had also illegally diverted Krishna waters from Saisailam through the Pothireddypadu Head Regulator. ‘TS will take legal route’ Vemula Prashanth Reddy said that the Telangana government would file cases against Andhra Pradesh’s ‘illegal projects’ before the NGT, and also take up the matter with PM Narendra Modi AN expert panel of the country’s drug regulator on Tuesday approved the phase 3 trial data of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine Covaxin, which has shown an efficacy of 77.8% in preventing Covid-19 infection. This figure is similar to the 78% efficacy claimed by the company in April based on its second interim analysis of phase 3 data, which had also said that the vaccine developed using inactivated SARS-CoV-2 was 100% effective against severe disease. The company has been facing a barrage of criticism due to its long delay in publishing final data of the late stage trials that concluded on nearly 26,000 individuals in March. Sources in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation said that the data from the efficacy trials will now be reviewed by the Drug Controller General of India after being approved by the Subject Expert Committee on Covid-19. The data has not yet been published in a peerreviewed medical journal. Bharat Biotech, which has developed the vaccine with support from the National Institute of Virology-ICMR, had said earlier this month that the final analysis of its efficacy trials will be made public only in July . Its April data showing 78% efficacy, which came after studying 127 symptomatic cases, was lower by 3% as compared to the first interim analysis figure it put out in early March, based on 87 symptomatic cases. Covaxin is yet to receive emergency use listing by the WHO due to incomplete data. NCP president Sharad Pawar (3rd from right) and Trinamool leader Yashwant Sinha (3rd from left) with other leaders at Pawar’s residence | PARVEEN NEGI Oppn agrees Cong has to be in national front R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi REPRESENTATIVES of a clutch of Opposition parties attended a meeting hosted at NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s residence here on Tuesday but , the sense was a national front cannot be cobbled together to take on the BJP if the Congress is out of the frame. The meeting, the participants later claimed, was nonpolitical. Among the attendees were leaders from the Trinamool Congress, Left Front, Samajwadi Party RLD, National , Conference and Aam Aadmi Party. The Congress was not represented as some of its invited leaders excused themselves on personal grounds. Called under the banner of the Rashtra Manch floated by fo r m e r U n i o n m i n i s t e r Yashwant Sinha, the meeting discussed a wide array of issues, including the ongoing farmer agitation, spiralling fuel prices, unemployment, Covid situation and the economic slowdown. “The meeting was called by Yashwant Sinha, not Sharad Pawar. This was not a political meet. We called all like-minded people. We also invited Congress leaders. I called Vivek Tanha, Manish Tiwari, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Shatrughan Sinha for the meeting. They couldn’t come. It’s not true that we didn’t invite the Congress,” said NCP leader Majid Memon. The centrality of the Congress to be part of the national front, since it is in direct fight with the BJP in 200 Lok Sabha seats and is in a tough contest in another 100 seats, did come P8 up for discussion.
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