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796 new cases, 35 deaths in last 24 hours: Health Ministry

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New Delhi, April 13 : The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday that at least 141 people have recovered from novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Addressing the daily press briefing, Joint Secretary at the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said, “Total number of Covid-19 cases reported so far in the country is 9,152. At least 141 people have recovered in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured persons to 857. A total of 796 new cases and 35 deaths have been reported since yesterday.”

Agarwal told the media that the containment measures taken by the government have started showing results on the field.

“At least 25 districts from 15 states have not reported any new case since the last 14 days. These are Gondia in Maharashtra, Rajnandgaon, Durg, Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, Davangiri, Kodagu, Tumkuru, Udupi in Karnataka, South Goa, Wayanad and Kottayam in Kerala, West Imphal in Manipur, Rajouri in J&K, Aizawl West in Mizoram, Mahe in Puducherry, SBS Nagar in Punjab, Patna, Nalanda and Munger in Bihar, Pratapgarh in Rajasthan, Panipat, Rohtak, Sirsa in Haryana, Pauri Garhwal in Uttrakhand, and Bhadradri Kothagudem in Telangana,” Agarwal said.

He also said that the Aarogya Setu app, a technology initiative taken by the government, has been downloaded by 3.5 crore people so far.

Aarogya Setu is a mobile application developed by the Government of India to connect essential health services with the people.

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Sero Survey In Bhubaneswar: 50% Residents Develop Antibodies To Fight Coronavirus

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Bhubaneswar: Half of the residents of Bhubaneswar have developed antibodies to fight novel Coronavirus. The statistics were revealed by ICMR – Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) Director, Dr Sanghamitra Pati today. Dr Pati said the survey was carried out between October 16 and 18 during which 1,400 samples were taken from all wards of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

As per the results, 50 per cent of Bhubaneswar’s population have been exposed to COVID-19, which means these many number of people now have the antibodies against the viral disease. “The results of the third sero survey corresponds to the status of infection, at least three weeks prior. So, there is much likelihood that exposure of people here to COVID-19 would have increased by now (October-end),” she said.

The good news is that 90 per cent of the people who are exposed to COVID-19 have very less or no symptoms. This implies that their immune system has been successful in fighting novel Coronavirus. Besides, 30 per cent of the people whose samples were collected have been tested through Rapid Antigen or RT-PCR, said Dr Pati.

Only around 2 per cent of Bhubaneswar’s population was found to be exposed to COVID-19 in the first sero survey. In the second survey in the last week of August, 5.1 per cent of the city’s population was exposed. Now, the result of the third sero survey is very encouraging, she said.

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‘Consider Masks As Vaccine Against Covid-19’: Satyendar Jain

Delhi has reported record jumps of over 5,000 Covid-19 cases for the past two days. It reported 5,673 cases on Wednesday and 5,739 on Thursday.

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With Delhi reporting record jumps in Covid-19 cases for two straight days, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Friday emphasised the importance of wearing face masks, saying people should consider them as a “vaccine” against the virus till the time one is available.

The spread of the virus can be stopped to a large extent if everyone wears a mask. Masks have more benefits than a lockdown, the minister said.

Delhi has reported record jumps of over 5,000 Covid-19 cases for the past two days. It reported 5,673 cases on Wednesday and 5,739 on Thursday.

“People should consider masks as a vaccine till there is one. The spread of the virus can be stopped to a large extent if everyone wears a mask,” Jain told PTI.

“A mask has more benefits than a lockdown,” he added.

The Delhi government has cited its new strategy involving aggressive contact tracing and testing as one of the reasons behind the sudden surge in the number of infections in the city.

The Union Health Ministry, however, has attributed the rise to social gatherings during festivities, deteriorating air quality, and increasing incidence of respiratory disorders.

The positivity rate in Delhi also jumped to 9.55 per cent on Thursday as the infection tally mounted to 3.75 lakh. The number of active cases in the city rose to 30,952 on Thursday from 29,378 the previous day.

Twenty-seven more fatalities were reported on Thursday, pushing the death toll in the national capital to 6,423.

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Opportunity for India as Russia ready to produce Covid vax at foreign sites of partners

Putin also slammed the Western vaccines saying they were made from monkey and chimpanzee adenovirus.

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New Delhi: India has a huge opportunity to be the next big hub for vaccine production after Russia announced that it will manufacture Covid-19 vaccines at foreign sites with partners.

Amir Ullah Khan, economist at MCRHRDI of the Government of Telegana, and former senior advisor for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “As Russia is keen to work with other countries, including India, this is a huge opportunity for us to be the next big hub for vaccine production. India has played an important role with the most prominent partnership of Dr. Reddy’s lab with the Russian Development Investment Fund. The lab will conduct clinical trials and provide Sputnik V for coronavirus in India.”

Russia has recently expressed the willingness to produce vaccines at foreign sites. It is very encouraging and a huge opportunity for India which is among the largest manufacturers of generic drugs and vaccines in the world. It is home to half a dozen major vaccine makers which are developing vaccines against the virus that causes Covid-19.

“With India’s increasing experience in manufacturing vaccines and crucial role in product innovation that is affordable, the country is foreseen as a growing vaccine hub. About 60 per cent of all vaccines worldwide are manufactured in India and it can be world’s door to vaccines,” said Gajendra Singh, a public health expert.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia is ready to produce Covid-19 vaccines at the sites of foreign partners.

“Most importantly, we are ready to agree to produce this vaccine or these vaccines at the production sites of our foreign partners. They have this equipment, and I want to emphasise this, not to the detriment of vaccination in Russia itself, since we still have to purchase or develop this equipment, we are ready to work with our foreign partners,” Putin said.

“I just want to remind you that we are generally ready to work more closely with our colleagues in science than we have done so far. We know that many European countries have already signed contracts for the supply of vaccines from the UK,” Putin said.

Putin also slammed the Western vaccines saying they were made from monkey and chimpanzee adenovirus.

“Unfortunately, our colleagues there have experienced some malfunctions, they make their vaccine based on monkey and chimpanzee adenovirus, and our specialists at the Gamaleya Institute make it based on human adenovirus in order to deliver the necessary components to the cells in the human body. And it works effectively. Thank God, without glitches,” Putin said.

Putin added that mass vaccination will start by the end of the year.

“We do not have a single serious glitch in this area. Both the vaccines by Vector and the Gamaleya Institute work effectively. The question is how to mass produce it. The vaccine has already been delivered to all the regions of Russia. I hope that we will be able to start mass vaccination at the end of the year,” Putin said.

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COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.