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20,000 ex-NHS staff return to fight virus: UK PM

Johnson’s announcement on Monday comes a day after England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said on Sunday that it could be six months before life returns to “normal”, the BBC reported.

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Boris Johnson

London, March 30 : Some 20,000 former staff of the UK’s National Health Services (NHS) have returned to work to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed in a video posted online on Monday.

Thanking the doctors, nurses and other former professionals who have returned to the NHS, as well as the 750,000 members of the public who have volunteered to help the country through the pandemic, Johnson said in the video posted on Twitter: “We are going to do it, we are going to do it together,” the BBC reported.

“One thing I think the coronavirus crisis has already proved is that there really is such a thing as society,” he said, while contradicting the view of late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, that “there is no such thing as society”.

Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for the virus last week, said the public appeared to be obeying the restrictions set out by government to slow the spread of the virus, adding that train use was down 95 per cent and bus use down 75 per cent.

In another development, a Downing Street source confirmed on Monday that Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s chief adviser, has developed symptoms of the virus and was self-isolating at home.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive for the disease.

Johnson’s announcement on Monday comes a day after England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said on Sunday that it could be six months before life returns to “normal”, the BBC reported.

Harries said this did not mean the country would be in “complete lockdown” for half a year, but distancing measures would be reviewed every three weeks and reduced gradually over a period of around three to six months.

However, she said it was “plausible” restrictions could continue for longer.

As of Monday, the UK has reported 19,784 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,231 deaths.

Disaster

First case of community transmission reported in Goa: Health Minister

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Panaji, June 1 : Goa reported its first instance of community transmission on Monday, with five persons from a family based in South Goa’s Vasco town, including two minor boys and a pregnant woman, as well as the family’s physician testing positive for Covid-19.

Speaking to reporters Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said, that the area in which the family resided, needed to be treated as a containment zone.

“There is local transmission in Goa (now). I feel it is necessary to declare this as a containment zone,” Rane said, adding that efforts were being made to reach out to people who were in contact of the family as well as the doctor.

Rane also said, that the first person to test positive from the family had travelled outside the state on fish procurement business. The infection was passed on to the rest of the family members.

“He was a fisherman who used to bring fish from outside the state. We are tracking this. Since even the doctor is positive, we have to track everything and cordon off the area. For about 14 days, we will be testing persons from the area,” Rane said.

Rane also said, that a spurt in community transmission could create load on the state”s health infrastructure.

“It is a case of local transmission. Across the country too there is community transmission. Goa can”t be isolated,” the Health Minister said.

“There will be a load on our facilities. We will take steps. This is our first instance (of community transmission). It is my view that containment zone have to be created. And if there are more cases the containment zone will have to expanded,” he said.

With the new spurt in cases, Goa”s tally of active Covid-19 patients in 32.

–IANS

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Delhi has 6,670 Covid beds, around 4k vacant: Govt

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New Delhi, June 1 : The Delhi government has arranged for 6,670 Covid beds across the city with only 2,692 occupied as of Monday morning, as per the data provided by the government in its ‘Delhi corona’ mobile app.

The mobile app, to be launched on Tuesday officially, says as of Monday morning, 58 private hospitals were offering Covid beds, however, 52 of these have zero occupancy.

It says a total of 6,670 Covid beds are ready with 2,692 occupied while 3,978 vacant.

At least seven government hospitals — including central and the city — were offering 3,916 beds, of which 1,862 beds were vacant.

“Till 9 a.m. on Monday, total 2,054 beds were occupied in the seven government hospitals,” the data said.

Among the six private hospitals having patients were — Max Hospital offering 225 beds with 197 occupied. Indraprastha Apollo hospital offers 144 beds and 117 are occupied as of Monday morning.

Sir Ganga Ram City and Kolmet Hospitals offer 120 and 42 beds respectively, and of these 106 and 33 beds are occupied.

The other private hospitals offering dedicated facilities are — Maa Durga Charitable Trust (81 of 100 beds occupied) and Batra (61 of 66 beds occupied).

As per the data, Delhi has a total 302 ventilators, with 38 occupied till Monday morning.

On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the government is developing a mobile app to give information on beds and ventilators availability in the city government hospitals and it will be launched on Monday.

However, on Monday, he said it will be launched on Tuesday. Speaking to the media, he said while the health infrastructure in Delhi has been made adequate, family members of coronavirus patients are still confused about where to take them for treatment.

“They are not sure about the beds and ventilators available in the hospitals. For the convenience of the people and to eliminate such issues, we are developing an app that will be launched on Monday,” he said.

–IANS

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Health

Gilead’s remdesivir shows modest improvement in moderate COVID-19 patients

At day 11, around 76% of the patients in the 5-day treatment group showed improvement in clinical status versus 66% for standard care alone, Gilead said.

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Gilead Corona Vaccine

Remdesivir, the drug developed as a treatment for Covid-19 by Gilead Sciences, helped patients with “moderate” disease recover more quickly when they received it for five days, but the benefit was not statistically significant when given for 10 days, the company said Monday.

Gilead shares fell about 4% in morning trading.

The late stage study of nearly 600 patients evaluated the safety and efficacy of 5- and 10-day treatment with remdesivir in addition to standard care for those with moderate COVID-19 – the disease caused by the new coronavirus – compared with standard care alone.

At day 11, around 76% of the patients in the 5-day treatment group showed improvement in clinical status versus 66% for standard care alone, Gilead said.

Around 70% of the patients who received remdesivir for 10 days showed improvement, “trending toward but not reaching statistical significance,” the drugmaker said.

Further study details than Gilead provided on Monday are needed to explain the difference in the two treatment groups, doctors and analysts said.

Remdesivir is being closely watched after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization last month, citing results from a U.S. government study that showed the drug reduced hospitalization stays by 31%, or about four days, compared to a placebo.

Remdesivir, which previously failed as a treatment for Ebola, is designed to disable the mechanism by which certain viruses, including the new coronavirus, make copies of themselves and potentially overwhelm their host’s immune system.

Dr. Daniel McQuillen, an infectious disease specialist at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, said it was difficult to draw a conclusion on why the patients on the shorter course outperformed those on the longer one until the full data is released.

The trial results “confirm our and others’ anecdotal experience,” McQuillen said in an email. “The drug has promise in hospitalized patients treated early, when the illness is still in its viremic phase,” meaning the virus is circulating in a patient’s bloodstream.

Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said the improvements seen were only modest.

“This incrementally adds to a broader utilization of the drug into a more moderate population inside the hospital, but consensus already understands remdesivir is not a silver bullet,” Yee wrote in a research note.

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