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Adopt tailored solutions to eliminate TB by 2030: WHO

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Male/New Delhi, Sep 11: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told the South East Asian countries to integrate their national plans and mobilise and utilise resources efficiently to reach the Tuberculosis elimination target of 2030, a statment said on Sunday.

The WHO South East Asia Region includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

The global health body said that there is a need for countries to identify the package of interventions best suited to their challenges — whether that means focusing on strengthening TB services, accelerating case detection or investing in research and development.

“All countries face unique challenges, meaning they should each adapt the regional and global strategies to their context,” said a statement issued by the WHO’s South East Asia Region Office.

“We must avoid taking one-size-fits-all approach, and must instead seek out and embrace tailored solutions that meet specific needs and challenges.”

The five-day 70th Regional Committee Session of WHO South East Asia Region concluded in Male on Sunday.

According to the global health body, by planning effectively and making smart, high-impact interventions, countries across the Southeast Asia Region can lift TB’s significant burden and end the disease as a public health threat once and for all.

Although the region accounts for approximately one quarter of the world’s population, it has nearly half the number of new TB cases and close to 40 per cent of TB deaths globally.

In recognition of TB’s outsized burden, accelerating progress towards the 2030 target — which requires a 90 per cent reduction in TB deaths and 80 per cent decrease in TB incidence — is now one of WHO South-East Asia Region’s flagship priority areas of work.

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Disaster

US stocks rally after promising Covid vaccine results from Moderna

Earlier, Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 which is designed to protect against the Covid-19 virus was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults, say researchers.

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Vaccine

New York, Jul 15 : The Wall Street on Wednesday cheered the promising early results from US-based pharmaceutical major Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273, and solid earnings from Goldman Sachs Group.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 338 points in early-morning trading. The S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9 per cent, reports CNBC.

The three main US stock indexes have recovered most of their losses from the coronavirus-led downturn.

Earlier, Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 which is designed to protect against the Covid-19 virus was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults, say researchers.

Moderna stocks surged 17.8 per cent to a record high after the news.mRNA-1273 vaccine is designed to induce neutralising antibodies directed at a portion of the coronavirus “spike” protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter human cells.

In the Phase 1 trial, led by Lisa A Jackson of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, the 45 participants ages 18 to 55 years received the candidate vaccine.Three groups of 15 participants received two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart, of either 25, 100 or 250 micrograms (mcg) of the investigational vaccine.

The results from the first stage of Moderna’s vaccine trial showed the first 45 participants developed antibodies to the virus.

The study showed that regarding safety, no serious adverse events were reported. The interim analysis included results of tests measuring levels of vaccine-induced neutralising activity through day 43 after the second injection.

Two doses of vaccine prompted high levels of neutralising antibody activity that was above the average values seen in convalescent sera obtained from persons with confirmed Covid-19 disease.

However, more than half of the participants reported fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia or pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common following the second vaccination and in those who received the highest vaccine dose.

“The mRNA-1273 vaccine-induced anti-SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified. These findings support further development of this vaccine,” the study authors wrote.

The researchers revealed that Moderna started its phase 2 trial in May and expects to start a phase 3 trial this month.

Russia has claimed to become the first nation to complete clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine on humans, and the results have proven the medication’s effectiveness, the media reported.

As on Wednesday morning, the overall number of global Covid-19 cases increased to more than 13.2 million, while the death toll soared to over 5,77,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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Disaster

Coronavirus crisis may get ‘worse and worse and worse’, warns WHO

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

GENEVA : The raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday.

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way.”

Infections rose above 13 million across the world on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by one million in just five days in a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people.

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Cities

Doctor who managed Goa’s only Covid hospital tests positive

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

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Dr Gomes

Panaji, July 13 : Dr. Edwin Gomes, who had emerged as the face of Goa”s Covid-19 treatment and care effort, and had served as the in-charge of medication of patients at the state’s only designated Covid-19 hospital, has tested positive for the viral infection, a government spokesperson said.

“Dr. Gomes has been admitted to a state government facility for doctors infected by coronavirus,” the spokesperson said.

Gomes, 58, is also the head of medicine at the state”s only medical college, the Goa Medical College, and had last week ended his unbroken 98-day shift at the designated Covid-19 hospital.

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that “four to five” Covid-19 patients who died, were suffering from cancer. “Eight to 10 patients were above the age of 80 years, while one also died of liver failure. The death rate has increased due to co-morbid conditions,” Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat.

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