THURSDAY Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said Phase III interim analysis results of its coronavirus vaccine Covaxin has shown high efficacy against Covid-19 22 25,800 APRIL, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in People between 18 and 98 years of age took part in Covaxin’s phase-III trial facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard ZERO CHANCE OF HOSPITALISATION The vaccine maker noted that the second interim data of the Phase III study also showed that chances of hospitalisation due to the infectious disease were reduced by 100% after taking the Covaxin jab. The efficacy against asymptomatic Covid-19 infection was 70%, suggesting decreased transmission in Covaxin recipients, Bharat Biotech said in a statement HOW MANY? NEUTRALISES DOUBLE MUTANT VARIANT DISCREPANCY IN MP TOLL DATA Covaxin neutralises multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the UK, Brazil and South African variants, and effectively works against the double mutant strain, too, ICMR said Govt figure of death consistently less than crematorium record A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 24 PATIENTS DEAD AS O2 SUPPLY HIT Leakage in oxygen storage tank in Nashik civic hospital leads to disruption in supply of air to Covid patients on ventilator support; Maharashtra orders a high-level probe EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mumbai AT least 24 Covid patients who were on ventilators in Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Maharashtra’s Nashik district died after their oxygen supply suddenly stopped on Wednesday . The tragedy was triggered by a leakage in the oxygen storage tank. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the leakage happened due to a technical glitch. “The oxygen storage tank’s outer pipe leaked, resulting in dropping the pressure of oxygen.” India’s daily count more than sum of six top nations INDIA 2,95,041 A comparison of cases reported on Wednesday of 7 countries with highest daily infections Argentina 29,145 SIX NATIONS’ TOTAL Brazil 69,381 2,89,699 Turkey 61,028 Source: OWID US 54,672 France 44,076 Germany 31,397 District Collector Suraj Mandhare said that a pivate company looked after the tank maintenance, adding technicians closed the tank valve preventing more deaths. Some of those who died were on the path to recovery and were due to be discharged from hospital in a few days, their family members claimed. Maharashtra Chief Minister NATIONWIDE APRIL 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 21 2,57,409 1,54,761 1,761 2,95,041 1,67,457 2,023 Covaxin shows 78% efficacy against mild to severe Covid S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi Medical oxygen gas leaks out from a storage unit at Zakir Hussain Municipal Hospital in Nashik on Wednesday | PTI Uddhav Thackeray said he does not have words to express his grief. “How to console the relatives of the deceased? This is an accident but this is a very sorrowful incident,” he said in a statement. The CM also ordered a probe to find out if the tradegy was due to negligence. “A high-level probe will be conducted. No one should do politics over this incident. The entire Maharashtra is mourning over this incident,” he added. Thackeray also announced `5 lakh financial help to the family members of those who died in the accident. PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah also expressed anguish over the tragedy . Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital is run by the Nashik Municipal Corporation, which is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party . Meanwhile, Tope said Maharashtra is facing an acute shortage of medical oxygen. “We produce 1,280 MT of oxygen and all of it goes to hospitals. We are getting 300 MT from other states but we need an additional 500 MT to fulfil the demand as per the present active patient numbers,” Tope said. ‘Do you want to see deaths?’ E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the Centre to “forthwith” provide oxygen by whatever means to hospitals facing its shortage in treating serious Covid-19 patients. The hearing began at 7.30 pm and went on till 10.45 pm. The court used strong words. “You are not exploring all avenues to augment oxygen supply . Beg, borrow or steal. Fact of the matter is there is an oxygen shortage. It is there for us to see. We cannot shut our eyes to it,” the court told the Centre. The bench asked why the gover nment was not waking up to the gravity of the situation. It noted that all hell will break loose with the stoppage of medical oxygen to the hospitals. Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli did not mince words. “We cannot afford to lose lives, that is the bottom line. We are shocked and dismayed that hospitals are running out of oxygen but steel plants are running,” it said, adding, “how the government can be so oblivious of the reality”. The Central gover nment, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, assured the court that it will facilitate supply of the increased allocation of 480 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi and the same will reach the ncity without any obstructions. The court listed the matter for further hearing on Thursday. “We are hopeful that the emergent needs of the hospitals in Delhi would be met so that there are no casualties due to discontinuation of oxygen support till we take up the matter tomorrow.” The court also asked the Delhi government to act immediately to work out the logistics of procuring the remaining quantity of oxygen. “Do you want to see thousands of people dying in the country? Is running steel plants so important and urgent?” the court asked and came down heavily on the Centre . Delhi hospitals back from oxygen brink S O M R I TA G H O S H @ New Delhi THE oxygen situation stayed critical for most of the day here on Wednesday with major hospitals sending SOS seeking immediate replenishment. The situation changed by early evening with the Centre increasing Delhi’s oxygen quota and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal acknowledging it. Max, the largest private sector healthcare provider in NCR Delhi, said it has between 2 and 18 hours of oxygen alone in its network. The group has around 1,400 Covid-infected patients, most of whom require oxygen support. Another issue flagged by many of the hospitals was that the oxygen units were diverted to either Faridabad or commandeered by the city administration or stopped by the local administration at Greater Noida. “At Manipal Hospital, we have 230-plus Covid patients. Our oxygen supplier Linde is willing to supply from its Faridabad unit but Garima Mittal Bharat Biotech said safety and efficacy results from the final analysis will be available in June 2021 | P7 DELHI COVID WATCH APRIL 20 Positive cases Recovery Active cases Deaths Containment zones Tests Positivity rate APRIL 21 28,395 19,430 85,575 277 17,151 86,526 32.82% 24,638 24,600 85,364 249 19,624 78,768 31.28% (Faridabad Deputy Commissioner) has taken control over Faridabad Linde plant... We have only 12 hrs of supplies left,” said Pramod Alagharu, CEO of Manipal Hospitals. State govts can buy Covishield at `400 per dose EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TWO days after the Centre liberalised the Covid19 vaccination policy by allowing states and private hospitals to directly procure the shots from the manufacturer, Serum Institute of India on Wednesday said it will sell Covishield at `400 per dose to states and `600 per dose to private hospitals. Currently Covid vaccination , at private hospitals costs `250. The vaccine will continue to be given free to those above 45 years in the vaccination centres run by the Centre, while states can decide on their inoculation programme. SII said Covishield will still be cheaper than foreign jabs, which cost `750-1,500 per shot. Though a statement by the Serum Institute of India did not mention the change in price to the Centre, in an interview to a TV channel, Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla said the vaccine per dose will now cost a re-negotiated price of `400 per dose to the Centre. Currently, the Centre buys the vaccine at `150 per shot. Meanwhile many have criticised the government for leaving the price control in the hands of private players. “It is not clear how SII is able to declare the price at which it will be selling its vaccine to state governments without engaging in procurement processes,” Malini Aisola of the All India Drug Action Network said, COVAXIN, India’s first indigenously developed Covid19 vaccine so far, has an overall 78 % interim clinical efficacy and 100 % efficacy against serious disease, BHARAT Biotech and ICMR said on Wednesday announcing results of phase 3 efficacy trial. ICMR under the Union ministry of health and family welfare, which is codeveloper of the vaccine, also said that the vaccine has been found to effectively neutralise “most variants” of SARS CoV 2 including the UK, Brazilian and even the double mutant strain, now rampant in few states including Maharashtra. In a joint statement, the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker and ICMR said that the latest efficacy results are based on the second interim analysis by accruing more than 87 symptomatic cases. Due to the recent surge in cases, 127 symptomatic cases were recorded, resulting in a point estimate of vaccine efficacy of 78% against mild, moderate, and severe Covid-19, they announced. The efficacy against severe Covid-19 disease was 100%, with an impact on reduction in hospitalizations and the efficacy against asymptomatic Covid-19 infection was 70%, suggesting decreased transmission in Covaxin recipients. The statement, however, added that safety and efficacy results from the final analysis will be available in June and only then the final report will be submitted for a peer-reviewed publication. Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director, Bharat Biotech, said that the efficacy data against severe Covid-19 and asymptomatic infections is highly significant, as this helps reduce hospitalizations and disease transmission, respectively . Balram Bhargava, DG of the ICMR said he was happy to note that the vaccine works well against most variants of SARS-CoV-2. “These findings together consolidate the position of our indigenous vaccine in the global vaccine landscape.” BOOST TO LAC Border Roads Organisation (BRO) re-opened the strategically important Zoji La on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road on Wednesday | BRO Maoists allege drone strikes, police reject claim E J A Z K A I S E R @ Raipur However, Garima Mittal denied the allegation. Dr Karan Thakur, vice president of Apollo Indraprastha, to had similar supply issues. Luckily they managed to get , oxygen supply by early evening of Wednesday . The fact was corroborated by CM Arvind Kejriwal who tweeted that the Centre had stepped in to save the day . “The Central govt has increased Delhi’s quota of oxygen. We are very grateful to centre for this,” he tweeted. THE outlawed CPI (Maoist) on Wednesday alleged that security forces targeted the rebels using drones on April 19 morning at Bijapur district, about 400 km south of Raipur, a claim denied by the forces. Vikalp, the spokesperson for the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, said in a statement that at least a dozen bombs were dropped on the rebels using drones in Bijapur district. “This was the first airstrike against us around 3 am on April 19. Twelve bombs were dropped between Bottalanka and Plagudem villages in Bijapur. As we had changed our locations, we suffered no loss,” Vikalp stated. The police said the Maoist charges were “totally baseless”. “The security forces in Bastar operate within the legal framework with a single objective of protecting life and property of the native population”, said Sunderraj P IG (Bastar zone). , DO IT YOURSELF GUIDE ‘If symptoms are minor, get tested and stay home if you are Covid +ve’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE W ITH SOS messages flooding social media networks seeking assistance for hospital beds and oxygen for Covid patients in the wake of the unprecedented surge of infections during its ongoing second wave, it is important to realise that not all patients require hospitalisation. TNIE spoke to Dr Jacob John, retired professor of virology at CMC, Vellore and Dr Giridhara R Babu, senior epidemiologist and professor at TAKE YOUR SHOT Total vaccinated Covaxin 1.1 cr Covishield 11.6 cr Our vaccines rock Check out the breakthrough infection chart below, which quantifies the people who got Covid after vaccination. The max percentage is 0.04%, which confirms that the jabs offers a high level of protection. No point in vaccine hesitancy any longer BREAKTHROUGH INFECTION Received Positive after 1st Received 2nd Positive after 1st dose dose dose 2nd dose 93,56,436 4,208 (0.04%) 17,37,178 695 (0.04%) 10,03,02,745 17,145 (0.02%) 1,57,32,754 5,014 (0.03%) the Indian Institute of Public Health, Bengaluru, to guide you on safely managing the symptoms so as to stay safe. Q: Based on what parameters should patients decide whether to stay home in isolation? Dr John: The parameters have not changed much from the previous wave. If you are infected and you have a sore throat, fever, runny nose, headache, loss of smell, it is likely you have Covid-19. Get tested and stay home if you’ re positive. Dr Babu: The person should first be clinically fit and asymptomatic or a mild case with symptoms like mild fever below 100.4 degree F and oxygen saturation above 95%. Senior citizens with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, chronic lung, liver, kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, etc., after proper clinical evaluation. He/she should have a separate room, preferably a separate toilet, too, at their residence for self-isolating and also for quarantining the family contacts. A care giver should be available 24X7. Q: If at home, what are the medicines and other protocols to be followed? Dr John: Have telephonic contact with the doctor. Touch base with the physician every half day if possible. Have a lot of fluids and rest. A strategy that works for many people is buying a pulse oximeter. As long as the saturation stays above 95, there is not much to worry about. Of course, this is possible only for the rich or educated. HOPE INFECTION RATE NEGLIGIBLE AFTER VACCINATION Positive sign in ICMR data, seen as success of inoculation drive PAGE 7
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