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How remdesivir can save lives in nations with lower hospital capacity

The mortality rate for Covid-19 in ICUs varies from country to country and hospital to hospital, so the number of lives saved from increased ICU capacity would also vary, the study said.

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remdesivir antiviral drug

New York, July 8 : Amid news that the US has bought up virtually the entire global supply of remdesivir, a new study outlines how the drug could save lives in countries with a lower hospital capacity, such as South Africa, where Covid-19 is beginning to overwhelm intensive care units (ICUs).

The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, estimated that remdesivir”s ability to shorten ICU stays could increase the number of patients treated in South Africa”s ICUs by more than 50 per cent.

“There are many countries with limited ICU capacity that could benefit from this double impact on mortality,” says study lead author Dr Brooke Nichols, Assistant Professor at the Boston University.

For the remdesivir study, the research team used their South African National Covid-19 Epidemiology model to look at the estimated three to six months when severe cases will exceed the country”s 3,450 available ICU beds. If every one of South Africa”s ICU patients with Covid-19 received remdesivir, reducing the average ICU stay, the researchers estimated that the number of patients treated in ICUs from June to December would increase from between 23,443 and 32,284 patients to between 36,383 and 47,820.

The findings showed that the increased capacity of remdesivir could save as many as 6,862 lives per month as the country”s cases peak and the drug could prevent the deaths of as many as 13,647 South Africans by December.

The mortality rate for Covid-19 in ICUs varies from country to country and hospital to hospital, so the number of lives saved from increased ICU capacity would also vary, the study said.

The research team has been modelling South Africa”s Covid epidemic to help the country”s government make informed decisions, and previously predicted that the country”s ICU capacity could be overwhelmed as early as this month. “The hardest-hit province, the Western Cape, exceeded ICU capacity in June,” the study authors informed.

Earlier this month, the European Commission had authorised anti-viral drug remdesivir for the treatment against coronavirus, making it the first drug authorised at the European Union level for the treatment of Covid-19.

Health

PGI-Chandigarh among 17 trial sites for Oxford vaccine Covishield

The permission was granted after the Serum institute satisfied certain requirements sought by the Drug Controller in the design of the proposal.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

Chandigarh, Aug 4 : The PGI Hospital here is among the 17 trial sites in India for conducting the second and third phases of human clinical trials of Covishield, the potential vaccine developed by Oxford University, its director said on Tuesday.

The trials would involve administration of the vaccine to 1,600 healthy adults across 17 sites.

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Director Jagat Ram said, “It’s an honour to be entrusted with this vital responsibility of being one of the sites for phase two and three trials on Covishield vaccine.

“The results of phase one trials in the UK have been encouraging and did not present any serious adverse side effects. Phase two and three trials will be done on a larger human population to see its efficacy and requisite protection against COVID-19 in humans.”

Further detailing, the Director added, “As the results of the trials will have far reaching impact, we will strengthen our capacities, wherever required, to come out with tangible outcomes.

“A core group will be constituted to work out the modalities and comprehensive plan along with timelines to meet the desired expectations of Drugs Controller General of India and contribute towards containing the pandemic to the best of our abilities.”

Earlier, a committee of experts on COVID-19 under Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recommended the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to grant approval to the Serum Institute of India (SII) for conducting the Phase two and three trials.

The permission was granted after the Serum institute satisfied certain requirements sought by the Drug Controller in the design of the proposal.

In addition to PGIMER Chandigarh, the other sites for trials include AIIMS in Delhi, ABJ Medical College in Pune, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna, AIIMS in Jodhpur, Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur, Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam and JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysuru.

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Disaster

COVID-19 pandemic “once in a century”, but still “in our hands”: WHO

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

Geneva, Aug 4 : The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “a once-in-a-century health crisis,” but it is still “in our hands.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference on Monday that the world has never seen anything like this pandemic for decades, and its effects might last for decades more, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Since we started probably recording, this is the first ever coronavirus-caused pandemic which has two dangerous combinations: it moves fast, and at the same time it’s a killer,” the WHO chief explained.

However, he noted, although the crisis is very severe, there are still solutions and hopes.

“I’m not saying there is no solution now. Whatever happens in the next few months or years, I also believe that it’s in our hands,” he said.

“Since the outbreak started, many countries have shown that it can be controlled, or serious transmission can be suppressed,” Tedros said, adding that he has mentioned many such countries in the past, including Spain, Italy, China and South Korea.

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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