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Delhi Doctors hold ‘black ribbon’ protest against new quarantine guidelines

The organisers said that if the government does not pay attention to their issues, they will intensify the agitation.

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Doctors black ribbon protest

New Delhi, May 22 : Doctors deployed in Covid-19 duty in all the Central and state government hospitals on Friday sported black arm bands while at work as a mark of protest.

The ‘black ribbon protest’ has been organised by the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) India to express the medical professionals’ disappointment over the revised guidelines for health workers posted in Covid areas, issued by the Union and state health departments.

Deep Chand Bandhu Government Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC), Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital and Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital in the national capital are a few hospitals where the doctors are currently holding the protest by sporting black arm bands.

The organisers said that if the government does not pay attention to their issues, they will intensify the agitation.

Speaking to IANS, FORDA President Shivaji Dev Barman said, “Today’s ‘black ribbon protest’ at work is for the justified demand for adequate quarantine and testing for all doctors and other healthcare workers who are on Covid-19 duty. Since the incubation period of the virus is 2-14 days and many asymptomatic patients are also testing positive, quarantine post duty is a necessity.

“It is necessary to stop the spread of the virus among the family members, colleagues and in the community. We urge the Union Health Minister to revisit the guidelines and make necessary amendments. We will have to intensify the agitation if the issues are not adequately addressed.”

The government on May 15 issued revised guidelines for the health workers wherein it removed with the mandatory quarantine clause for the health workers post Covid-19 duty, except for those who fit in the ‘high risk exposure’ criteria, thereby revoking the facility for all other doctors and healthcare workers on Covid-19 duty.

Padmini Singla, Delhi government’s Health Secretary, also issued similar guidelines for the hospitals run by the Delhi government.

The doctors claimed that this has put the healthcare workers in a dilemma with remarkable consequences. Parv Mittal, RDA President at Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated Hospitals, told IANS: “The healthcare fraternity is fighting a war on two fronts today. One is the obvious (against Covid-19), the other is the fight for quarantine facilities. The new guidelines have augmented the mental stress of the Covid-19 warriors.”

“The symbolic protest is to register our grievances with the policymakers and urge them to reconsider the quarantine guidelines. Quarantine is a measure to prevent the transmission of the virus to our parents, children and the community at large. Let us not jeopardise the excellent work done by the government for containing the Covid-19 outbreak,” he added.

Saksham Mittal, Joint Secretary of FORDA, and Treasurer of the RDA at RML Hospital, told IANS, “The recent guidelines do not consider the possibility of asymptotic carriers and the accidental exposure of a healthcare worker during the stressful conditions of Covid-19 duties. As the incubation period of the virus is 2-14 days, asking the healthcare workers to resume duty or go home the next day just increases the chance of transmitting the disease to our colleagues and family members.

“We need to safeguard doctors, one of the most important pillars of the frontline health workers to fight this pandemic. We demand 14-day quarantine in a quarantine facility.”

Echoing Mittal’s views, Prateek Goel, General Secretary of the RDA at LNJP Hospital, told IANS, “This is to draw the attention of the Union government and the Delhi government so that they can withdraw the ‘no quarantine’ order. We don’t want your ‘Taali’ and ‘Thaali’. We want to serve the community for which we need proper 14 days of quarantine.”

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Researchers design reusable silicone rubber face mask with N95 filter

“We also wanted to maximise the reusability of the system, and we wanted systems that could be sterilized in many different ways,” Traverso added.

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N-95 mask

New York, July 11 : In fight against novel coronavirus, the researchers have developed a reusable silicone rubber face mask with an N95 filter, which they believe could stop viral particles.

According to the study, published in the British Medical Journal Open, the new masks were designed to be easily sterilized and used many times.

The new mask is made of durable silicone rubber and can be manufactured using injection moulding, which is widely used in factories around the world. It requires much less N95 material than a traditional N95 mask.

“One of the key things we recognized early on was that in order to help meet the demand, we needed to really restrict ourselves to methods that could scale,” said study researcher Giovanni Traverso from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US.

“We also wanted to maximise the reusability of the system, and we wanted systems that could be sterilized in many different ways,” Traverso added.

The researchers decide on silicone rubber — the material that goes into silicone baking sheets, among other products — because it is so durable.

Liquid silicone rubber can be easily moulded into any shape using injection moulding, a highly automated process that generates products rapidly. The masks are based on the shape of the 3M 1860 style of N95 masks, the type normally used at Brigham and Women”s Hospital.

The researchers tested several different sterilization methods on the silicone masks, including running them through an autoclave (steam sterilizer), putting them in an oven, and soaking them in bleach and in isopropyl alcohol.

They found that after sterilization, the silicone material was undamaged.To test the comfort and fit of the masks, the researchers recruited about 20 health care workers from the emergency department and an oncology clinic at Brigham and Women”s Hospital.

All 20 participants passed the fit test, and they reported that they were able to successfully insert and remove the N95 filter. When asked their preference between the new mask, a typical N95 mask, and a standard surgical mask, most either said they had no preference or preferred the new silicone mask, the researchers said.

They also gave the new mask high ratings for fit and breathability.The researchers are now working on a second version of the mask, which they hope to make more comfortable and durable. They also plan to do additional lab tests measuring the masks” ability to filter viral particles.

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Remdesivir linked to reduced death risk in severe Covid-19 patients

The mortality rate for patients treated with remdesivir in the analysis was 7.6 per cent at Day 14 compared with 12.5 per cent among patients not taking remdesivir.

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remdesivir antiviral drug

New York, July 11 : New data revealed by Gilead Sciences has shown that its antiviral drug remdesivir reduces death risk of severe Covid-19 patients by as much as 62 per cent when compared with standard care alone.

This is an important finding that requires confirmation in prospective clinical trials, Gilead said on Friday about the results presented at the virtual COVID-19 conference as part of the 23rd International AIDS Conference.

The analysis included 312 patients treated in the Phase-3 SIMPLE-Severe study and a separate real-world retrospective cohort of 818 patients with similar baseline characteristics and disease severity who received standard of care treatment in the same time period as the SIMPLE-Severe study.

Patients were primarily located in North America (92 per cent, remdesivir cohort vs. 91 per cent, standard-of-care cohort), Europe (5 per cent vs. 7 per cent) and Asia (3 per cent vs. 2 per cent).

The analysis demonstrated that remdesivir treatment was associated with significantly improved clinical recovery and a 62 percent reduction in the risk of mortality compared to standard of care.

Findings from the comparative analysis showed that 74.4 per cent of remdesivir-treated patients recovered by Day 14 versus 59 per cent of patients receiving standard of care.

The mortality rate for patients treated with remdesivir in the analysis was 7.6 per cent at Day 14 compared with 12.5 per cent among patients not taking remdesivir.

“This comparative analysis provides valuable additional information regarding the benefit of remdesivir compared with standard of care alone,” Susan Olender of Columbia University Irving Medical Center said in a statement.

“While not as vigorous as a randomized controlled trial, this analysis importantly draws from a real-world setting and serves as an important adjunct to clinical trial data, adding to our collective understanding of this virus and reflecting the extraordinary pace of the ongoing pandemic.”

The results of this comparative analysis add to the previously presented National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, which showed that remdesivir shortened time to recovery by an average of four days as compared to placebo — 11 vs. 15 days.

In the NIAID study, patients taking remdesivir trended toward lower mortality compared with those in the placebo group, but this result did not reach statistical significance –7.1 percent vs. 11.9 per cent.

Due to the current public health emergency, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for remdesivir for the treatment of hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19.

“These data presented at the Virtual COVID-19 Conference shed additional light on the use of remdesivir in specific patient populations, including those that may be susceptible to higher rates of COVID-19 infection, as well as others that are particularly vulnerable, including children and pregnant and postpartum women,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences.

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PM Modi directs for real-time monitoring of COVID-19 situation

The review meeting was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officials.

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PM Modi in All Party Meeting

New Delhi, July 11 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday directed for real- time monitoring of novel coronavirus pandemic at the national level, stressing on guidance to all affected states that have a high test-positivity rate.

The Prime Minister gave the direction during a COVID-19 review meeting he chaired to take stock of the coronavirus situation across the country and the preparedness of different states.

The meeting comes at a time when India recorded its highest single-day spike of 27,114 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and 519 deaths in the last 24 hours. A total of 8,20,916 corona patients have been reported so far in the country, as per the latest Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data. Of these, 5,15,385 patients have recovered while 2,83,407 active cases remain. In all, 22,123 deaths have been reported till now.

Appreciating the concerted efforts of the Centre, state and local authorities in containing the pandemic in Delhi, Modi directed that a similar approach be adopted in cooperation with other state governments in containing the pandemic in the National Capital Region (NCR) area.

The Prime Minister also reiterated the need to observe personal hygiene and social discipline in public places. He advised for widespread awareness on Covid-19 and asked authorities to lay continuous emphasis on preventing the spread of the infections.

“There is no room for any complacency in this regard,” the Prime Minister said.

The successful example of surveillance and home-based care through ”Dhanvantri Rath” in Ahmedabad was highlighted in the meeting and its emulation in other places stressed.

The review meeting was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and other senior officials.

The Prime Minister specifically focussed on worst-hit states like Maharashtra, which tops the coronavirus infections” chart with 2,38,461 cases and 9,893 casualties so far. Tamil Nadu remained the second worst-hit with 1,30,261 cases, including 1,829 deaths. With 2,089 new coronavirus cases and 42 deaths in the last 24 hours, the national capital”s total reached 1,09,140 and 3,300 deaths.

States with more than 10,000 cases include Gujarat with 40,069 cases and 2,022 deaths, Uttar Pradesh (33,700), Rajasthan (23,174), Madhya Pradesh (16,657), West Bengal (27,109), Haryana (19,934), Karnataka (33,418), Andhra Pradesh (25,422), Telangana (32,224), Assam (14,600) and Bihar (14,575) cases.

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