Sunday, May 22, 2022

Health

Onset of third Covid wave in Delhi as fresh cases cross 5,000-mark

Delhi on Tuesday reported 5,481 fresh Covid cases, the highest single-day rise after May 16, when the city logged 6,456 infections. The new cases have pushed the infection tally to 14,63,701. According to a source in Delhi health department, it is the onset of the third Covid wave in the city where three deaths were reported in last 24 hours, taking death toll at 25,113. Meanwhile, the Covid infections has climbed at 8.37 per cent, highest in last seven months. As per the Health department, the city had recorded 8.41 per cent positivity rate on May 17. The number of active Covid cases have jumped to 14,889, the highest since May 27. Delhi had recorded the highest of 16,378 active Covid cases on May 27. The capital has, so far, detected 382 cases of new Covid variant Omicron. Of these, 57 have been discharged from the hospital.

BTS members RM, Jin recover from Covid-19, to return to work

Two more members of the K-pop supergroup BTS -- RM and Jin -- were confirmed to have fully recovered from the new coronavirus and released from isolation on Tuesday after Suga. "Members RM and Jin were released from isolation at noon as they were confirmed to have been fully recovered from Covid-19."
"The two showed no serious symptoms of the virus during the isolation period," the agency added. "Jin had mild symptoms, such as a mild fever at the early stage of treatment at home, but soon fully recovered."

Vaccination for 15-18 years population begins in Odisha

Amid rise in Covid-19 cases, the vaccination drive for the 15 and 18 years old population began in Odisha on Monday. A total of 939 dedicated vaccination centres have been set up across the state for the teenage population. Children who have not registered themselves online on the CoWIN portal for the vaccination, can receive the vaccine by doing on-spot registration at the centres, said state nodal officer for Covid-19 vaccination, Bijay Panigrahi.

Aus PM rules out funding free rapid Covid tests

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday ruled out government funding free rapid coronavirus tests. Morrison said that the federal government cannot afford to continue spending on preventing the spread of Covid-19 at the same rate it did in 2020 and 2021, reports. "We've invested hundreds of billions of dollars getting Australia through this crisis," he told Seven Network television. "But we're now in a

84% of Delhi's Covid cases of Omicron variant: Jain

As many as 84 per cent cases of Covid seen in the last two days of December 2021 are of the Omicron variant, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Monday, but stressed that there was no need to panic. Of total genome sequencing reports from Delhi's three labs - ILBS, LNJP and NCDC, 84 per cent have reported the Omicron variant, he said at a press conference. He said that Delhi had reported 3,194 Covid cases on Sunday and the Covid positivity rate has gone to 4.59 per cent.

B'desh to administer 40mn doses of Covid vax every month from Jan

Bangladesh will administer 40 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines every month from January next year, a Minister has said. "We are taking the initiative to give vaccines in every ward of the country starting next month. Hopefully, we will be able to meet our targets by next May-June," Zahid Maleque, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, was quoted as saying in a report of leading local news agency UNB. Maleque said that Bangladesh has been praised by the world for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. On the spread of the new Omicron variant, the Minister warned that vaccines alone will not contain its surge.

Immunity post Covid infection persists for about 9 months: ICMR

The durability of immunity post the Covid infection persists for about 9 months, Indian Council of Medical Research Director General, Dr Balram Bhargava, said on Thursday. The whole SARS CoV2 virus infects an individual in natural settings, and elicits three kinds of responses - antibody mediated, cell mediated immunity, and immunological memory, he said. "Based on several global and Indian scientific researches, if you get an infection, you are generally protected for 9 months," he said at press briefing on the Covid situation. Immunological memory to SARS CoV2 lasted for 8 months in the natural settings as per a study in the US, published in journal Science. Another study from China says that antibody and cellular immune responses persists more than 9 months after infection, while the longitudinal investigation in the US of multiple studies have shown that antibody responses persists for more than 13 months post infection, he added. About three studies from India - two by the ICMR and one from Bombay conducted on 284, 755 and 244 patients, respectively, Bhargava said that immunity persists for up to 8 months, 7 months, and 6 months respectively.

Russia adds 29,558 Covid-19 cases

Russia has reported 29,558 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 10,046,454, the official monitoring and response centre said Monday. Meanwhile, the national Covid death toll has increased by 1,121 to 290,604, while the number of recoveries grew by 28,561 to 8,769,916.

Nearly 150,000 students in Vietnam's Covid-19 hotspot return to school

Nearly 150,000 students from 9th and 12th grades in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), the country's largest Covid-19 hotspot, returned to school on Monday after a long time of learning online due to pandemic restrictions.

Israel's Opaganib Covid pill may be potent against Omicron

Israel-based RedHill Biopharma on Tuesday announced that its Covid pill Opaganib is expected to be unaffected by mutations associated with Omicron and other known Coronavirus' variants of concern. Studies on Opaganib have shown an apparent clinical benefit in reducing mortality, getting patients back onto room air and getting them out of hospital faster. Opaganib, if approved, would target an entirely different and sicker patient population than the Pfizer and Merck oral drug candidates, which showed benefit only in non-hospitalised patients at the earliest stages of symptomatic infection. "Opaganib acts independently of mutations to the viral spike protein. We believe that its unique proposed mechanism of action -- targeting a protein in the human cell required by the

Previous Covid infection doesn't seem to protect against Omicron

A professor for South Africas National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the susceptibility of the population is greater because previous Covid infection used to protect against Delta -- but now, with the Omicron variant, it doesn't seem to be the case.

Israel reports third case of Omicron variant

The Israeli Ministry of Health on Thursday reported a third case of the Covid-19 variant Omicron in the country. This is an Israeli vaccinated with three Pfizer shots, who recently returned from England, the ministry noted.

Sputnik V, Sputnik Light will neutralise latest Covid variant: RDIF

The Gamaleya Institute believes that both Sputnik V and Sputnik Light will neutralise the latest variant of Covid-19, Omicron, Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund on Monday. Dmitriev said that the Gamaleya Institute, based on existing protocols of immediately developing vaccine versions for variants of concern, has already begun developing the new version of Sputnik vaccine adapted to Omicron.

Indonesia reports 314 new Covid-19 cases, 11 more deaths

Indonesia on Sunday confirmed 314 new Covid-19 cases, raising its tally of infections to 4,253,412, according to the country's Health Ministry. The death toll from the virus in the country rose by 11 to 143,739, while 331 more people recovered during the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recoveries to 4,101,547.Indonesia started

Delhi logs 32 new Covid cases, no death in five days

The national capital Delhi on Saturday reported 32 fresh cases of Covid-19, pushing the tally to 14,40,637, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department. However, no Covid death has been reported in the last five days in Delhi. The city's death toll stands at 25,095. The death rate stands at 1.74 per cent in the city. The Covid infection rate in the national capital stands at 0.06 per cent. The active case in the city stands at 325 as per the latest health bulletin. With 32 patients recovering in the last 24 hours, the total number of recoveries rose to 14,15,217 so far, the health bulletin said.

187 new cases, 2 deaths as Covid surges in J&K

More new cases came to light on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir as the Covid spread continued to surge, especially in the Kashmir Valley. Officials said 187 positive cases, 24 from Jammu division and 163 from Kashmir division came to light on Saturday. Two Covid related deaths occurred on Saturday as the total number of people killed by coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir rose to 4,461.

Germany's daily Covid-19 infections reach record high of 65,000

The number of daily Covid-19 infections in Germany continued to rise strongly, exceeding 65,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has announced Daily infections increased by around 15,000 within one week as the country's seven-day Covid-19 incidence rate climbed to 336.9

Prioritise booster dose to healthcare workers: Maha to Centre

Facing the prospects of a probable Third Covid-19 wave, Maharashtra on Tuesday urged the Centre to prioritise a booster jab of Covid vaccine to all healthcare workers. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope made the suggestion to Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya at their meeting in the capital. Besides the booster jabs to the healthcare workers, Tope urged the Central government to roll out the vaccination programme for children below 18 year of age as early as possible.

Prioritise booster dose to healthcare workers: Maha to Centre

Facing the prospects of a probable Third Covid-19 wave, Maharashtra on Tuesday urged the Centre to prioritise a booster jab of Covid vaccine to all healthcare workers. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope made the suggestion to Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya at their meeting in the capital. Besides the booster jabs to the healthcare workers, Tope urged the Central government to roll out the vaccination programme for children below 18 year of age as early as possible.

Delhi reports one Covid death, 36 new cases

The national capital reported 36 fresh cases of Covid on Sunday, sending its tally up to 14,40,424, and one new death, taking the toll to 25,094, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department. With the latest cases and fatality, the Covid infection rate in the national capital stands at 0.07 per cent, and the death rate at 1.74 per cent.

Bahrain approves Covaxin for emergency use

The National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) of Bahrain on Friday approved Covaxin, India's first indigenous vaccine against Covid-19, for emergency use. Covaxin, manufactured by the Hyderabad-based pharma major Bharat Biotech, will be available in Bahrain for people aged 18 years and above after the approval. People travelling from India to Bahrain with vaccine certificate issued in India approved by the WHO will be exempted from the 10-day mandatory quarantine and a pre-arrival negative RT-PCR report.

4 lions in Singapore's night safari test positive for Covid-19

Four Asiatic lions at Singapore's Night Safari have tested positive for Covid-19, the Straits Times reported on Tuesday evening, quoting the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS). The AVS, which is under the National Parks Board, said that the four lions, as well as an African lion at the Singapore Zoo, had exhibited mild signs of sickness including coughing, sneezing and lethargy on Saturday and Monday respectively.

Singapore to end free Covid treatment of unvaccinated people

Covid-19 patients who are "unvaccinated by choice" will be responsible for their medical bills as the government will no longer bear their costs, Singapore's Health Ministry said. The government has, so far, been covering the cost of Covid-19 care for all Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders, excluding those who tested positive after returning from overseas travel. This was done to "avoid financial considerations adding to public uncertainty and concern when Covid-19 was an emergent and unfamiliar disease", the ministry said in 

First public challenge by WHO to Turkmenistan's claim of zero Covid cases

A senior World Health Organization official has cast doubt on Turkmenistan's claim that it has zero Covid cases, the BBC reported. "[It] has been spreading worldwide as a pandemic for almost two years now," said Catherine Smallwood, a senior WHO emergencies officer, adding: "From the scientific point of view, it's unlikely that the virus is not circulating in Turkmenistan."

Tanzania targets daily Covid-19 vaccinations of up to 100,000 people

Tanzanian authorities has said that between 80,000 and 100,000 people will be vaccinated daily against Covid-19 during the second phase of the inoculation campaign. A statement by the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children on Saturday said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Abel Makubi, revealed the acceleration of the vaccination in a meeting with Regional Medical officers

Young people in Japan diagnosed with anorexia up 60%

The number of young people diagnosed with the eating disorder anorexia in Japan has increased around 60 per cent in fiscal 2020 compared with a year earlier, likely due to growing anxiety and pressure amid the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported Wednesday. A survey released last month by the National Centre for Child Health and Development found that 28 boys and 230 girls under 20 years old were newly diagnosed with the eating disorder in fiscal 2020 through March this year, both up over 60 per cent from the previous year. Nine boys and 132 girls were newly hospitalized for anorexia, increased from six and 93 respectively compared with the previous year. The survey also found some hospitals lacked available beds for those in severe conditions despite the uptick in patients, as their beds were used to treat Covid-19 patients. The centre conducted the survey in two months

Odisha to start 'Har Ghar Dastak' vax campaign from Nov 2

In an aim to ensure second dose of Covid-19 vaccine due to the beneficiaries, the Odisha government will launch the 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign from November 2, an official said on Monday. During the 'Har Ghar Dastak' vaccination drive, frontline healthcare workers including Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers and ANMs, with the help of self help groups, NGOs and PRI members, will visit every household, said State health and family welfare director Bijay Panigrahi.

Sri Lanka to provide free tea plants to boost growth

The Sri Lankan government said that it will provide free tea plants to any grower who wishes to engage in tea plantation from next year aimed at boosting growth of the sector. Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana told a media briefing that it takes nearly four years for the tea bushes to produce yield, therefore the growers often become discouraged in engaging with the tea industry. "The growers have come forward to cultivate tea adopting the new system. By adopting this plantation method, it will be possible to make a revolutionary change in the tea industry within the next three years," the Minister said.

Covid killed more people in US than HIV/AIDS did in 40 yrs

Covid-19 has become the deadliest pandemic in the US history, claiming more lives than HIV/AIDS claimed in 40 years, according to a news website. The US government's initial approach to both HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 was "denial and indifference". When AIDS rampaged through communities in parts of the US in the early 1980s, the federal government looked the other way and even slashed spending on public health agencies

Kerala sees 8,909 new Covid cases, 65 deaths

Kerala on Saturday registered 8,909 new Covid cases was registered after 86,111 samples were tested in the past 24 hours and the test positivity rate was 10.34 per cent, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement. He also said that 8,780 turned negative while there were 80,555 active cases in the state, of which 9.8 per cent were in hospitals.

Indonesia reports 633 new Covid cases; 43 deaths

The number of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 633 within a day to 4,237,834, with the death toll adding by 43 to 143,120, the country's Health Ministry said on Thursday. According to the ministry, 1,372 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of patients recovering from Covid-19 to 4,079,120.

China pledges an additional 2 mn Covid vaccines to Nepal

China on Tuesday announced that it is providing an additional grant of two million Covid-19 vaccines to Nepal. During a telephone conversation with his Nepali counterpart Dr Narayan Khadka on Tuesday, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement to provide the Vero Cell vaccines manufactured in China. China, so far, is the largest provider of vaccines to Nepal - both as grants and commercial deals. As of now, Nepal has administered 8.3 million China-made Vero Cell Covid vaccines manufactured by Sinopharm. Out of this, half were gifted by the Chinese government. According to the Ministry 

Air pollutants increase risk of stillbirth, premature deaths: Expert

Rising air pollutants are causing stillbirth and premature death of newborn among women living in polluted ambience, said Jugal Kishore, Director, Professor and Head of Department, Community Medicine, Safdarjung Hospital. He said that exposure to high levels of PM2.5 causes premature death among newborns even 1 to 2 weeks after birth, and sometimes causes premature birth too. "The air pollutants go to the placenta through blood and block the vessel that causes stillbirth and premature deaths to newborn," added Kishore. Kishore said these are

Delhi logs 15 fresh Covid cases, infection rate drops to 0.03%

The national capital on Monday reported 15 fresh Covid cases, taking its tally to 14,39,405, as per the Delhi Health Department bulletin. However, no fatality has been reported in the city in the last eight days. The city's death toll stands at 25,089, and the death rate continues at 1.74 per cent. Delhi has recorded two deaths due to the infection in October so far. The Covid infection rate has declined to 0.03 per cent and the recovery rate stands at 98.23 per cent. The active cases tally in the city

Latvian president tests positive for Covid-19

Latvian President Egils Levits has tested positive for Covid-19, his office said on Thursday. On returning from a visit to Sweden on Wednesday evening, the president took a rapid Covid-19 test, which came positive. Levits will now take a RT-PCR test to verify the diagnosis. Levits was scheduled to welcome Estonia's new president Alar Karis who arrived in Latvia for a visit on Thursday. The Latvian president personally contacted his Estonian counterpart

Russia reports record daily Covid-19 deaths

Russia has confirmed 973 Covid-related fatalities over the past 24 hours, the highest daily count reported in the country since the start of the pandemic, bringing the national death toll to 218,345, the official coronavirus monitoring and response centre said on Tuesday. A total of 28,190 new infections were registered, taking the nationwide tally to 7,832,964. The number of recoveries increased by 20,706 to 6,894,285. Meanwhile, Moscow reported 4,699 new cases, taking the city's total to 1,688,376. The Russian capital has launched 20 free rapid coronavirus test spots and each facility can test about 200 people a day. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said last Friday that

Knee replacement surgeries fell 40% in India due to Covid: Experts

There has been a 40 per cent decline in knee replacement surgeries in India due to Covid, said experts here on Monday, ahead of the World Arthritis Day on October 12. The elderly have seen an increased vulnerability for Covid infection with poor outcomes for survival, with a higher risk associated among those with pre-existing medical conditions. Besides diabetes and other comorbidities, elderly with pre-existing arthritis and osteoporosis also experienced debilitating painful symptomatology during Covid.In elderly, osteoarthritis is most common form of knee arthritis. It is a bone degeneration disorder which leads to joint pain and stiffness in old age. Another common reason of knee pain among the elderly is osteoporosis -- the most common locomotor disability.

Delhi records 23 fresh Covid cases, infection rate at 0.05%

The national capital on Monday reported 23 fresh Covid cases, taking the total tally to 14,39,218, as per the Delhi Health Department bulletin. However, no fatality has been reported in the city in the same time span. The city's death toll stands at 25,089, and the death rate at 1.74 per cent. Delhi has recorded two deaths due to the infection in October so far. The Covid infection rate in the national capital has declined to 0.05 per cent. The active cases tally in the city has also registerd a decline and stands at 369. With a 98.23 per cent Covid recovery rate, the active Covid cases rate stands at 0.025 per cent.

NZ mandates Covid vaccination for teachers, health workers

New Zealand has mandated Covid-19 vaccination for teachers and health workers, the two workforces that are critical to preventing the spread of the virus, a Minister said here on Monday. High-risk workers in the health and disability sector are required to be fully vaccinated by December 1, and to receive their first dose by October 30, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement.

Confirmation of a new 'Drug-resistant' variant of malaria in Africa

Scientists have confirmed the presence of malaria parasites in Africa that can weaken the anti-malarial drug's ability to quickly treat people with the disease.Plasmodium falciparum has developed resistance to derivatives of artemisinin -- the main component of first-line treatments for malaria, revealed the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.The resistance in Africa arose independently of the resistant parasite strains seen in southeast Asia. This means the strains now in Africa can become a 'super resistant' parasite."The independent emergence and local spread of clinically artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum has been identified in Africa. The two kelch13 mutations may be markers for detection of these resistant parasites," the scientists wrote in the paper.The study, conducted in Uganda from 2017 to 2019, focussed on 240 people with malaria who were given intravenous artesunate -- a potent derivative of artemisinin -- three times over the course of a day, followed by a standard three-day course of ACT pills. Typically artemisinins are administered without partner drugs to people only when they have severe malaria.

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