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1,684 new cases; closely monitoring 9.45 lakh suspects: Govt

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Jahangirpuri Delhi Coronavirus Test

New Delhi, April : The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday that its robust surveillance system is closely monitoring around 9.45 lakh suspected Covid-19 cases across the country.

Starting from stopping international flights to block the transmission of the infection from abroad, graded steps, including the nationwide lockdown, have been taken to halt the internal chain of transmission of coronavirus, said the ministry.

The Ministry said the total number of confirmed cases in India stood at 23,077 on Monday, while 718 people have succumbed to the dreaded virus so far. As many as 4,748 people have been cured so far and the total number of active cases in the country is 17,610.

“A total of 1,684 new cases were added in the last 24 hours, while 491 people were cured in the same period. The recovery rate of coronavirus patients is 20.57 per cent. No new case has been reported from 80 districts in the last 14 days,” the Health Ministry said.

The official said that through a graded, pre-emptive and pro-active approach, Centre is taking several steps along with the states/UTs for prevention, containment and management of COVID-19.

“As of today, 15 districts in the country which earlier had cases have not reported any fresh cases since the last 28 days. Besides districts already highlighted, three new districts which got added to this list include — Durg & Rajnandgaon from Chhattisgarh; and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh”, said the Health Ministry.

An official of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said that 9.45 lakh suspected cases are either under quarantine or home isolation, and they are being closely monitored.

“Around 9.45 Lakh people are under the surveillance network at present; prompt sampling of these people has been undertaken upon detection of symptoms,” said the official.

He said surveillance networks have been set up at the district level as well, so that household surveys, quarantine and isolation are done as part of the cluster containment plan.

“Our surveillance mechanism was pushed into work even before the first Covid-19 case was reported in India. This played an important role in helping us contain the spread of the infection,” the official added.

Luv Agarwal, Joint Secretary at the Health Ministry, said the decision to impose the nationwide lockdown was a timely one, which has been effective in controlling the spread of coronavirus.

V.K. Paul, Chairman of the Empowered Group 1, added that without the lockdown, there would have been an estimated 1 lakh Covid-19 cases in the country.

“The doubling rate of coronavirus cases is close to 10 days now (in March it was 3 days), and this has happened because the country has changed its behaviour to control the disease,” Paul said.

“Our analysis shows that the lockdown has been effective in slowing the doubling rate of Covid-19, thus saving many lives,” he added.

Disaster

Coronavirus may infect heart cells of Covid-19 patients: Study

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Heart Exercise

New York, July 1 : A team of US scientists, led by an Indian-origin researcher revealed that SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus), the virus behind Covid-19, can infect heart cells in a lab dish.

This suggests it may be possible for heart cells in Covid-19 patients to be directly infected by the virus.

The discovery, published today in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, was made using heart muscle cells that were produced by stem cell technology.

“We not only uncovered that these stem cell-derived heart cells are susceptible to infection by a novel coronavirus, but that the virus can also quickly divide within the heart muscle cells,” said study researcher Arun Sharma from the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute in the US.

“Even more significant, the infected heart cells showed changes in their ability to beat after 72 hours of infection,” Sharma added.Although many COVID-19 patients experience heart problems, the reasons remain unclear. Pre-existing cardiac conditions or inflammation and oxygen deprivation resulting from the infection have all been implicated.

But there has until now been only limited evidence the SARS-CoV-2 virus directly infects the individual muscle cells of the heart.The study also demonstrated human stem cell-derived heart cells infected by SARS-CoV-2 change their gene expression profile.This offers further confirmation the cells can be actively infected by the virus and activate innate cellular ”defence mechanisms” in an effort to help clear-out the virus.

“This viral pandemic is predominately defined by respiratory symptoms, but there are also cardiac complications, including arrhythmia, heart failure and viral myocarditis,” said study co-author Clive Svendsen.

“While this could be the result of massive inflammation in response to the virus, our data suggest that the heart could also be directly affected by the virus in Covid-19,” Svendsen added.

Researchers also found that treatment with an ACE2 antibody was able to blunt viral replication on stem cell-derived heart cells, suggesting that the ACE2 receptor could be used by SARS-CoV-2 to enter human heart muscle cells.

“By blocking the ACE2 protein with an antibody, the virus is not as easily able to bind to the ACE2 protein, and thus cannot easily enter the cell,” said Sharma. “This not only helps us understand the mechanisms of how this virus functions, but also suggests therapeutic approaches that could be used as a potential treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection,” he explained.

The study used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a type of stem cell that is created in the lab from a person”s blood or skin cells. IPSCs can make any cell type found in the body, each one carrying the DNA of the individual. “This work illustrates the power of being able to study human tissue in a dish,” the authors wrote.

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Rahul Gandhi to interact with nurses on July 1

He also attacked the central government for raising fuel prices in the last three weeks, since June 7.

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Rahul Gandhi Video Conf

New Delhi, June 30 : As part of the series of interactions, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will hold a conversation on Wednesday with nurses at the front-line of battle against Covid-19.

“Tomorrow 10 AM onwards, across all my social media platforms, watch my conversation with Indian Nurses from around the world, who are on the frontline of the battle against #Covid19,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted on Tuesday.

Earlier, he interacted with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Nobel Laureate Abhijeet Banerji, epidemiologist Johan Geseicke and industrialist Rajiv Bajaj.

The most recent interaction was with Nicholas Burns, professor of diplomacy at Harvard”s Kennedy School, on June 12 on the impact of Covid-19 on the world order. At the conversation, Burns said, “We are not looking for a conflict with China, but waging of a battle of ideas with China.”

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the day, Rahul Gandhi said, “Coronavirus has caused irreversible damage to the poor, middle and salaried classes; we have demanded the government to implement NYAY scheme even if it is for six months. The government should transfer Rs 7,500 per month to accounts of the poor.”

He also attacked the central government for raising fuel prices in the last three weeks, since June 7.

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AMU hospital tests 8,059 Covid-19 samples in 15 days

“The AMU has fully-equipped labs and dedicated efforts of our doctors and paramedics show positive outcome. Several Covid-19 patients have recovered due to the quality treatment and care,”

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AMU Aligarh Muslim University

Agra June 30 : The JN Medical College and Hospital (JNMCH) of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) tested 8,059 Covid-19 samples, received from Aligarh, Etah and Kasganj districts, in the past fortnight.

Of this, 220 samples (2.7 per cent) tested positive and 7,659 (95 per cent) negative. Another 180 (2.2 per cent) were repeat samples.

Prof Shahid Ali Siddiqui, Principal and CMS of the JN Medical College and Hospital, said all the test results had been dispatched. “The labs at the JN Medical College and Hospital function 24×7 and doctors and paramedics show their commitment and resolve against Covid-19 pandemic by working day and night,” he said.

“The AMU has fully-equipped labs and dedicated efforts of our doctors and paramedics show positive outcome. Several Covid-19 patients have recovered due to the quality treatment and care,” said AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor.

He urged people to strictly follow the guidelines to curb the spread of Covid-19. “Social distancing is the new norm in this time of public health crisis and one has to make it a habit to flatten the curve,” he said.

Haris M Khan, Medical Superintendent and Chairman, Department of Microbiology, JNMCH, said testing of Covid-19 samples was being done on an urgent basis as per the protocol.

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