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People with BP, diabetes at same COVID-19 risk as others: ICMR

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Coronavirus Symtoms

New Delhi, March 25 : As health officials the world over warn that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions face a higher risk of complications due to COVID-19, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has claimed people with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at the same risk of contracting the new coronavirus like anyone else.

In its updated FAQs, the council said that the majority (80 per cent) of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery.

“People with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at no greater risk of getting the infection than anyone else.”

However, the FAQ went on to read: “Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including Heart Failure (weak heart) may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore extra care is advised for these patients.”

According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, over 1.11 lakh infected people have recovered as of Wednesday.

On people with diabetes, the ICMR said that in general, people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of all infections.

“People with diabetes are not at higher risk for acquiring the infection, but some individuals are prone to more severe disease and poorer outcomes once infected,” it noted.

The agency also refuted reports that certain medications for cardiovascular diseases can put people at high COVID-19 risk.

“After review of the available information, the consensus of various scientific societies and expert group of cardiologists is that currently there is no evidence that the two group of drugs- ACE inhibitors (eg. Ramipril, Enalapril and so on) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (eg. Losartan, Telmisartan and so on) increase the susceptibility or severity of COVID-19,” said the ICMR.

In a new study, researchers from Louisiana State University in the US have proposed a novel explanation which is related to the daily medications for cardiovascular diseases taken by most of the elderly.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Travel Medicine, SARS-CoV virus which caused the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2003 and the new SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 pandemic, bind to “angiotensin-converting enzyme 2” (ACE2) receptors in the lower respiratory tracts of infected patients to gain entry into the lungs.

“Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are highly recommended medications for patients with cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease to name a few,” said study researcher James Diaz from Louisiana State University.

“Many of those who develop these diseases are older adults. They are prescribed these medications and take them every day,” Diaz added.

According to the ICMR, these drugs are very effective for heart failure by supporting your heart function, and controlling high blood pressure.

“It may be harmful to stop these medications by yourself. This can worsen your heart condition,” added the Indian medical body.

According to the US CDC, based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

“People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index (BMI)=40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk,” said the CDC on its website.

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Boris Johnson spends second night in intensive care

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Boris Johnson

London, April 8 : UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spends a second night in intensive care as he continues to receive treatment for coronavirus.

The PM is being kept at St Thomas’ Hospital in London “for close monitoring”, Downing Street said, the BBC reported.

Johnson’s condition is “stable” and he remains in “good spirits”, his spokesman added on Tuesday evening.

Speaking at Tuesday’s Downing Street coronavirus briefing, he said Johnson was receiving standard oxygen treatment and was breathing without any assistance, such as mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.

It is understood there will not be a further update on Mr Johnson’s condition until later on Wednesday.

Downing Street also confirmed that the planned review into whether the UK’s coronavirus lockdown measures could be eased would not go ahead this Monday.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for the PM, has said he was “confident” the PM would recover from this illness, describing him as a “fighter”.

Prime Minister was originally admitted to St Thomas’ on Sunday, on the advice of his doctor, after continuing to display symptoms of cough and high temperature 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

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Trump threatens to stop WHO funding as NY deaths pass 9/11 fatalities

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Donald Trump

In his regular press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday evening, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed displeasure with the World Health Organization (WHO), saying it was too “China-centric.”

Trump then threatened to withhold U.S. funding because they disagreed with him on his coronavirus travel ban.

But when pressed by reporters afterward, Trump said, “I’m looking at it.”

The president said that the United States might be getting to the top of the “curve” of the coronavirus outbreak and said he did not see an early written warning about the pandemic from a top White House aide.

Trump further added that evidence shows African Americans are having higher rates of COVID-19 infection in the United States and his administration is actively engaging on the problem of increased impacts on the African American community.

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DRDO disinfection chamber put up at AIIMS for Covid control

Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar, a DRDO laboratory, has designed the full body disinfection chamber called PSE.

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AIIMS

New Delhi, April 8 : A disinfectant chamber developed by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) was on Tuesday put up at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

The chamber uses a solution that is known to kill the Covid-19 virus and help control the spread of the infection.

The system has been manufactured with the help of M/s DH Ltd, Ghaziabad, within a time span of four days. This system can be used for disinfection of personnel at the areas of controlled ingress and egress such as entry and exit to hospitals, malls, office buildings and critical installations.

Vehicle Research Development Establishment (VRDE), Ahmednagar, a DRDO laboratory, has designed the full body disinfection chamber called PSE.

This walk through enclosure is designed for personnel decontamination, one person at a time. This is a portable system equipped with sanitiser and soap dispenser.

The decontamination is by started using a foot pedal at the entry. On entering the chamber, electrically operated pump creates a disinfectant mist of hypo sodium chloride for disinfecting.

The mist spray is calibrated for an operation of 25 seconds and stops automatically, indicating completion of operation. As per the procedure, personnel undergoing disinfection will need to keep their eyes closed while inside the chamber.

The system consists of roof mounted and bottom tanks with a total of 700 litres capacity. Approximately 650 personnel can pass through the chamber for disinfection until a refill is required.

The system has see-through glass panels on side walls for monitoring purpose and is fitted with lights for illumination during night time operations. A separate operator cabin is provided to monitor overall operations.

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