BELAGAVI THURSDAY APRIL 22, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION COVAXIN SHOWS 78% EFFICACY AGAINST MILD TO SEVERE COVID Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said Phase III interim analysis results of its coronavirus vaccine Covaxin has shown high efficacy against Covid-19 ZERO CHANCE OF HOSPITALISATION NEUTRALISES DOUBLE MUTANT VARIANT 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 ■ ■ 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 Bharat Biotech said safety and efficacy results from the final analysis will be available in June 2021 | P7 25,800 PEOPLE BETWEEN 18 AND 98 YEARS OF AGE TOOK PART IN COVAXIN’S PHASE-III TRIAL 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 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 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths APRIL 20 2,57,409 1,54,761 1,761 APRIL 21 2,95,041 1,67,457 2,023 STATE SECOND WAVE BATTLE 15.47% Positivity Rate 0.49% Case death rate 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. Delhi 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 and the Delhi High Court criticising the Centre for poor management and its lopsided priority . 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, put out a statement saying 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 (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. However, Garima Mittal denied the allegation. Dr Karan Thakur, vice president of Apollo Indraprastha, to had similar supply issues. In the Delhi High Court, the Centre was hauled over the coals for the mess. “Why is the Centre not waking up to the gravity of the situation? We are shocked and dismayed hospitals are running out of oxygen but steel plants are running,” the court said and ordered providing oxygen by what ever means forthwith. It said heavens are not going to fall if industries, including steel and petroleum, run on lower capacity till oxygen is imported. O2 units boost output, but storage a bother B A L A C H A U H A N @ Bengaluru AIR cannot be produced from hot air, or out of thin air. But a bit of solid groundwork always helps. A day after Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar met oxygen manufacturers in the state, requesting them to scale up oxygen supply, the latter have almost doubled their output and supply of medical oxygen and are now running at their “maximum” capacity ac, cording to industry sources. “The plants can further accelerate oxygen manufacture, but there is no infrastructure, not only in the state, but also in the rest of the country, to support the additional oxygen availability. There aren’t enough tankers, storage spaces, oxygenated beds, hospitals, health facilities and technicians to make use of inflated medical oxygen supply sourc,” es told TNIE. According to sources, the four oxygen plants in Ballari - Air Water India (for merly known as Praxair India), JSW Industrial Gases Pvt Ltd, Linde India Ltd Pvt Ltd and Bellary Oxygen Company - have doubled their daily output from 200 metric tons (MT) to 400 MT per day “Out of . this, 35 per cent is reportedly being supplied to the neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. The remaining 65 per cent of medical oxygen is reportedly being sup- State govts can buy Covishield at `400 per dose EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 74,60,493 Authorities in Mysuru rope in 220 teachers to keep watch over those in 1,52,281 Many PHCs in B’luru have complained with Saples tested the government over shortage in vaccines; home isolation on Wednesday Cite difficulty in giving the second dose Total Vaccinations achieved so far BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta said spaces on Bengaluru’s outskirts and outside BBMP limits will be created to cremate the deceased 23,558 Karnataka records another big jump in new Covid cases EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru @ 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. THE pandemic’s second wave is picking up furiously in Karnataka with the state breaking its own record of highest daily additions in Covid-19 cases, almost on consecutive days. On Wednesday the state recorded a , whopping 23,558 fresh Covid-19 cases after witnessing 21,794 cases on Tuesday . The third highest day’s addition was recorded on April 18, at 19,067 cases. Consequently, the state’s positivity rate has been spiralling, and was at 5.08 per cent on Wednesday . The positivity rate going up is not a good sign, because this is happening despite the increased number of daily tests. On September 7 last year, when the number of tests had not yet crossed one lakh per day, the state saw its positivity rate peak at 12.54 per cent. However, despite the number of daily tests being considerably increased to over 1.5 lakh at present, the positivity rate has Dedicated 24/7 call centre for oxygen and Remdesivir by the health institutions and citizens. Call 8951755722. Steps taken to add another 11 distributors to supply Remdesivir injections |P4 plied to Karnataka, out of which, at least 40 per cent is said to be given to Bengaluru, where the demand for oxygen is very high,” the sources pointed out. According to government sources, the augmented oxygen supply from Ballari in the last two days has come as a succour to hospitals, which were running short of oxygen to treat Covid-19 patients. CONTINUED ON: P4 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru THE transport strike by over 1.1 lakh employees of staterun road transport corporations, including over 30,000 employees of BMTC, which had put commuters to great hardship, was finally called off on Wednesday . The staffers had been on strike since April 7, demanding salaries on par with the 6th Pay Commission recommendations and that they be considered as government employees. The honorary president of the Karnataka State Road Transport Employees’ League, Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, told TNIE that the strike has been called off temporarily in the light of the spike in Covid-19 cases and also since the matter is listed in the High Court on Thursday . While hearing a bunch of public interest petitions, the High Court on Tuesday had noted that it was the worst time to take recourse to strike when the common man needs the service the most. THE tiger census this time could well be different. Elephants may also be counted alongside and the exercise will be more scientific. The Ministry of Environment and Forests is also thinking of genetic analysis in order to create a database which may help in solving poaching and other wildlife-related cases. This was discussed at a meeting of officials from tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, heads of forest departments from all states, officials of the Recoveries Fresh cases in B’luru Urban APRIL 20 APRIL 21 21,794 1,59,158 149 4,571 13,782 23,558 1,76,188 116 6,412 13,640 crossed 5 per cent and going north. The figure had fallen to 4.63 per cent on April 4, after which it has been steadily increasing - indicating that the infection spread is only gaining speed. Not surprisingly, the growth in the Covid-19 tally on Wednesday was 1.96 per cent, considering the tally was 11,98,644 on Tuesday This is the . biggest growth in percentage recorded in the second wave. An indicator to the speed of the infection spread is the day’s positivity rate going up to as high as 15.47 per cent against 1,52,281 tests reported on Wednesday But the case fatali. ty rate - the percentage of day’s deaths to the cases added on the day - was just 0.49 per cent. CONTINUED ON: P4 E X P R E S S N E W S S R V I C E @ Bengaluru THE Karnataka Government is looking to prohibit small hospitals with less than 30 beds from treating Covid-19 patients. At a joint press conference on Wednesday Health Minister Dr K Sud, hakar said that hospitals without enough infrastructure to treat Covid-19 patients are posing a huge challenge. “The government will issue an order prohibiting hospitals with less than 30 beds from admitting and treating Covid-19 patients. Small hospitals with 20 -30 beds should only give treatment to non-Covid patients. We will issue an order to this effect. If these hospitals don’t have the infrastructure or ability to arrange oxygen, but admit patients because the reimbursement from the government is high, it may lead to loss of lives and the government will not tolerate that,” Dr Sudhakar emphasised. Adding that JSW Steel had agreed to provide additional oxygen supply to the state, the Health Minister said that there won’t be any shortage anymore in Bengaluru. “Jindal company has agreed to stop its production if it has to, and supply additional oxygen. About 32 metric tons to one and 8 metric tonne to another institute has been sent from the additional 40 metric ton supply from Jindal CONTINUED ON: P4 Steels,” he said. COUNTING THE BIG CAT ministry and from theWildlife Institute of India, earlier this month. They also deliberated on how the tiger census, scheduled to be held post monsoon, should be undertaken in the wake of the Covid-19 situation. “It was a preliminary meeting and nothing has been finalised as of now. Discussions were held on genetic and DNA analysis of elephants and tigers. It was discussed how to take it up on an experimental basis in some areas, as against the census, which covers the entire terrains. Nothing has Fresh cases Active cases Deaths Hosps with less than 30 beds HELPLINE can’t admit Covid-19 patients FOR OXYGEN, REMDEVISIR Transport corporation staff finally call off strike Genetic analysis may be part of tiger census this yr B O S K Y K H A N N A @ Bengaluru STATEWIDE concretised so far. It was just a thought process,” a senior official from the Karnataka Forest Department told The New Indian Express. In the case of tigers, identifi- cation is easier because of each one’s unique stripe pattern. But that is not the case with elephants and hence, genome sequencing is being discussed. “Though doing multiple things at the same time will be a tedious task, it has its pros and cons. There could be jumbling of data. There should be adequate staff and proper technical support. If it is done together, then time, manpower and resources are saved. A final call is yet to be taken, but discussions have started and experts are also being consulted,” the official said. EXPRESS READ PM Modi to speak at climate summit New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will speak on the opening day of a two-day virtual summit to be hosted by United States President Joe Biden on the climate crisis on April 22-23. US cop Chauvin guilty of killing George Floyd Washington: A US grand jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges he faced over the custodial death of African-American George Floyd last year.
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