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India records highest single-day spike, surpasses China toll

India is currently in the fourth phase of lockdown which is till May 31. Cases spiked at record rate during the lockdown 4.0 that allowed much relaxation.

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New Delhi, May 29 : India on Friday not only recorded its largest jump in new cases as it added 7,466 new Covid patients in 24 hours, emerging as the ninth worst-hit country in the world by pandemic, but it also surpassed China’s toll of 4,638 so far as it recorded 4,706 deaths.

While China was the first country to report disease last December and recorded over 84,000 total cases so far, India that reported its first case in January end, now has 1,65,799 cases that is more than Turkey’s (1,60,979).

The only good news for India is that it has shown a 42.88 per cent recovery with 71,105 of the patients who contacted the disease being cured and sent back home. In the past one day, 175 deaths were also reported.

Delhi and Tamil Nadu showed jump of around 1,000 cases as Maharashtra continued to contribute a lion’s share, it was still the worst hit state that reported 59,546 cases so far. Tamil Nadu now has 19,372 and Delhi 16,281 cases.

Gujarat reported 15,562 cases, Rajasthan 8,067, Madhya Pradesh 7,453 and Uttar Pradesh 7,170.

Kerala which had almost flatten the curve, is witnessing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, there are now 1,088.

Number of cases have spiked in the North East, with Assam having 856 cases.

Other States and UTs have also reported steady increase and West Bengal now has 4,536 cases, Telangana (2,256), Punjab (2,158), Jammu and Kashmir (2,036), Bihar (3,296) and Andhra Pradesh(3,251).

India is currently in the fourth phase of lockdown which is till May 31. Cases spiked at record rate during the lockdown 4.0 that allowed much relaxation.

Cities

Scribe suffering from Covid jumps off 4th floor of AIIMS, condition critical

The doctors at AIIMS claimed that the journalist was having hallucinations for the past one week. They also claimed that he was in depression.

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New Delhi, July 6 : A 37-year-old journalist, who had tested positive for Covid-19 a few days ago, jumped from the fourth floor of the AIIMS trauma centre where he was receiving treatment, doctors said on Monday. His condition is stated to be critical.

The police said that the journalist has been admitted to the ICU in critical condition. The doctors said that he has received multiple fractures. The incident occurred at around 2 p.m.

“The 37-year-old man was admitted to the Covid-19 ward in the Taruma Centre on the fourth floor on June 24,” DCP (South West) Devender Arya said.

The journalist was kept in the isolation room of the Covid-19 ward on the fourth floor of the trauma centre building. The hospital staff informed that an iron grill that covered the window of the toilet was found removed. “We assume that he jumped off the window after removing its grill,” said a hospital staff.

The doctors at AIIMS claimed that the journalist was having hallucinations for the past one week. They also claimed that he was in depression.

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Disaster

Preliminary trial success, Covid vax could be out by Dec: Bangladeshi scientist

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Dhaka : Claiming success in preliminary animal modelling trial of Covid-19 vaccine, Globe Biotech Limited has claimed to be the first company from Bangladesh to have a Covid-19 vaccine under development. It says it is aiming for a December 2020 availability of the vaccine in the market.

They received the result after conducting the preliminary trial on five rabbits from June 10 to June 28, says Dr Asif Mahmud, Assistant Manager and incharge of Research and Development, Globe Biotech Limited, in an exclusive interview to IANS.

Earlier, he led the team to claim success in preliminary trial for the vaccine in national capital Dhaka on Thursday afternoon.

Excerpts from the interview of scientist Dr Asif Mahmud

Q: Globe Biotech is a research company in Bangladesh. Is it a branch of any MNC in the world?

A: No, in fact, Globe Biotech Limited is a Biological Drug Discovery Company in operation in Bangladesh since 2015. The project was started by our CEO Kankon Nag and COO Dr Nazneen Sultana. We have prepared 18 bio similar. We are also working on our own Nobel drug. After completing the animal trials of 6 bio similar, we have applied for Ethical Approval through our PRO at the Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) in Dhaka. We have that ability and experience to invent a vaccine against this pandemic. Under the supervision of our CEO and COO, after a Covid-19 patient was reported in Bangladesh on March 8, we shifted our focus to SARS-Cov2 and started 3 new projects. Number one — we will do kit development; number two — we will do vaccine development for the country; and in the last — the biological molecule development.

Q: Is the research by Globe Biotech independent? Or is your research done under the supervision of any other country?

A: Globe Biotech is researching independently. Under the supervision of our CEO and COO, both of whom supervised the team from Canada. They are experienced in this matter. Dr Kankon was directly involved in the HIV vaccine project. He is using that experience here. We are conducting research under their direct supervision. A 12-member scientific group started research on March 18 under the leadership of both.

We have taken some 76 genome sequences under consideration, wherein we found that a sequence (numbered 614) has a mutation point that they have used for amino acid bonding.

Q: Which method did you follow for the research you are undertaking? And how do you make sure it will work to protect people from Covid-19?

A: We went for the SPR method for the tests. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a phenomenon where electrons in the metal surface layer are excited by photons of incident light with a certain angle of incidence, and then propagated parallel to the metal surface. It is an optical technique utilised for detecting molecular interactions. Actually, we have set a vaccine target. We have analysed the sequences from all the databases we have worldwide, including the sequences in Bangladesh. We set the target by our analysis. We have modified that target according to our needs. We have set multiple targets.

We have placed multiple delivery systems in consideration.

By applying the delivery system we have done an animal trial on rabbits.

By this we have got a very good antibody titer. And those antibodies have shown strong binding affinity with our antigen. We have additional candidates, some of which we have presented to the press. But the company is yet to apply for a patent or any publication; and before the patent is ensured it would not disclose the data received from the trial. We have said that we need to convert the data from the preliminary animal trial into a regulated animal trial. That we will do within the next 6 to 8 weeks. Then we will apply for Ethical Approval.

Q: This 6 to 8 weeks period, to get proof of animal trial? Or, for trial on humans?

A: No, we have already got proof of antibody generation in the preliminary animal trial. Now, it needs to be converted to a regulated animal trial. Because, for human trial, we have to submit it to the regulatory body for Ethical Approval. Regulated trials will require some further characterisation. Then, we will apply for human trials.

Q: Did you inform about your research to the drug administration of the country?

A: Not yet. There is no role of the regulatory body now. When we do a regulated animal trial, of course, we go to the regulatory body.

Q: What are your expectations? When will the vaccine be released?

A: We have already formulated the regulated animal trial guidelines and the tests would be concluded within four to six weeks. Thereafter, the company will seek Ethical Approval from the Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) in early September, when the data from the Regulated Animal Trial reaches us within 6 to 7 weeks.

And then, we will apply for market authorisation to the regulatory authority in December within three months after completing the phases 1, 2 and 3. If everything goes smoothly, we expect to be able to bring our vaccine to the market by December.

Q: If you get government support, do you think success for you can be faster or smoother?

A: Obviously! This will be the first discovery of this vaccine in Bangladesh. The first task always comes with more obstacles and hindrances. We will remove the obstacles with the support of the government and will bring the vaccine to the market in due course.

(Sumi Khan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Maharashtra sees respite as daily Covid tally goes back under 7K mark

Sunday’s figures mean roughly one death recorded every 10 minutes and a staggering 273 new cases notched every hour in the state.

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Mumbai, July 5 : Maharashtra’s Covid-19 situation improved a bit with the state recording 6,555 new cases – down from Satuday”s highest of 7,074 cases – and fatalities dropped sharply to 151 from 295 a day earlier, health officials said here on Sunday.

With Sunday’s fatalities, the state death toll climbed to 8,822 and total cases zoomed to 206,619 till date, both being the highest in the country.

At the current number of cases, Maharashtra has overtaken Germany which ranks 15 on the Worldometer with 197,418 patients. In June, the state had recorded more daily patients than the UK, and overtaken Canada and France in terms of total patients.

Sunday’s figures mean roughly one death recorded every 10 minutes and a staggering 273 new cases notched every hour in the state.

The recovery rate in the state inched up to 54.08 per cent, while the mortality rate stood at 4.27 percent.

July has seen three-digit deaths and over 6,000 cases daily.

The Health Department said of the total number of cases, 86,040 are active cases.

On the positive side, 3,658 fully cured patients returned home on Sunday, taking the number of those discharged to 111,740.

Of the 151 fatalities, Mumbai alone notched 69 – pulling up the city death toll to 4,899 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients shot up by 1,287 cases to touch 84,524.

There were 31 deaths in Pune, 16 in Thane, 11 in Aurangabad, 10 in Jalgaon, four each in Palghar, Dhule and Solapur, and two in Nashik.

Given the grim situation in Thane, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has launched a tour of some of the worst-hit towns in the district and called for more tests, ventilators, ICU beds, and other facilities to curb the Covid cases and fatalities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The MMR (Thane division) continues to be tense as deaths and cases continue to pile up, with a total of 6,401 Covid-19 fatalities and a whopping 3,941 new patients pushing up the number of positive cases to 145,769.

Thane cases have shot up to 47,935 with 1,270 fatalities – to emerge as the second worst-hit district after Mumbai in the state. on Saturday, Thane had recorded its highest ever 179 cases, outstripping the Mumbai toll for the first time since the pandemic outbreak.

Pune district comes third with 28,142 patients and 872 deaths till now.

The Pune division (comprising Pune, Solapur and Satara districts) remains behind Thane and the MMR with 32,693 patients and 1,216 fatalities.

The next major region of concern is Nashik division with 589 fatalities and 11,477 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad division with 323 deaths and 7,709 cases, and Akola division with 143 fatalities and 3,128 cases.

Kolhapur division has notched 55 deaths and 2,308 patients, latur Division had 51 fatalities and 1,225 cases, and finally, Nagpur division recorded 19 deaths and 2,177 cases.

Among the eight divisions in the state, as many as four – Kolhapur, Latur, Akola and Nagpur – recorded zero fatalities on Sunday, though there were new cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home quarantine increased to 604,463 now, while those in institutional quarantine increased to 46,062.

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