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US stocks rally after promising Covid vaccine results from Moderna

Earlier, Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 which is designed to protect against the Covid-19 virus was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults, say researchers.

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New York, Jul 15 : The Wall Street on Wednesday cheered the promising early results from US-based pharmaceutical major Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273, and solid earnings from Goldman Sachs Group.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 338 points in early-morning trading. The S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9 per cent, reports CNBC.

The three main US stock indexes have recovered most of their losses from the coronavirus-led downturn.

Earlier, Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 which is designed to protect against the Covid-19 virus was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults, say researchers.

Moderna stocks surged 17.8 per cent to a record high after the news.mRNA-1273 vaccine is designed to induce neutralising antibodies directed at a portion of the coronavirus “spike” protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter human cells.

In the Phase 1 trial, led by Lisa A Jackson of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, the 45 participants ages 18 to 55 years received the candidate vaccine.Three groups of 15 participants received two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart, of either 25, 100 or 250 micrograms (mcg) of the investigational vaccine.

The results from the first stage of Moderna’s vaccine trial showed the first 45 participants developed antibodies to the virus.

The study showed that regarding safety, no serious adverse events were reported. The interim analysis included results of tests measuring levels of vaccine-induced neutralising activity through day 43 after the second injection.

Two doses of vaccine prompted high levels of neutralising antibody activity that was above the average values seen in convalescent sera obtained from persons with confirmed Covid-19 disease.

However, more than half of the participants reported fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia or pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common following the second vaccination and in those who received the highest vaccine dose.

“The mRNA-1273 vaccine-induced anti-SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified. These findings support further development of this vaccine,” the study authors wrote.

The researchers revealed that Moderna started its phase 2 trial in May and expects to start a phase 3 trial this month.

Russia has claimed to become the first nation to complete clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine on humans, and the results have proven the medication’s effectiveness, the media reported.

As on Wednesday morning, the overall number of global Covid-19 cases increased to more than 13.2 million, while the death toll soared to over 5,77,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Disaster

60,963 new corona cases take India tally across 23L

Notably, the fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die of the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to about two per cent, the Ministry said.

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Jahangirpuri Delhi Coronavirus Test

New Delhi: India’s novel Coronavirus tally crossed the 23-lakh mark on Wednesday with detection of 60,963 new cases in the last 24 hours, while 834 more fatalities took the death toll to 46,091, the Health Ministry said.

Out of the total 2,329,638 cases, recoveries surged to 1,639,599 as a record 56,110 more patients recovered during the period. The recovery rate is nearly 70 per cent now. The active cases in the country currently total 6,43,948.

Notably, the fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die of the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to about two per cent, the Ministry said.

The country had touched the 20-lakh mark on August 7 and added more than 3,00,000 cases in less than five days. The silver lining, however, is that the gap between recoveries and active cases is growing every day. Currently, recoveries are 10 lakh more than the active cases.

As many as 7,33,449 samples were tested on Tuesday, taking the total to 2,60,15,297 samples till date, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total of 5,24,513 cases and 18,050 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu with 302,815 cases and 5041 deaths. The southern state is followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Chief Ministers and representatives of 10 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh for a review meeting.

He mentioned that almost 80 per cent of the active cases are from the participating 10 states, and if the virus is defeated in these states, the entire country will emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.

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Lucknow records highest spike of 831 Covid cases in a day

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Lucknow, Aug 12 : Lucknow has recorded an all-time high of 831 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, as it crossed the 14,000 mark. Medical experts have said that if immediate steps are not taken the state capital may soon cross the 1,000-mark in a day.

Tuesday’s figure took the caseload to 14,221 since the outbreak on March 11, of which 42 per cent (6,043 cases) have been reported till date in August.

About 7,317 patients have also recovered till date, but since the transmission rate is higher than recovery, active patients have swelled to 6,743. Though asymptomatic cases are allowed home isolation, the increase in active cases added to the pressure on Covid hospitals.

Prof T.N. Dhole, senior virologist and ex-professor at SGPGI, said moisture in the atmosphere in monsoon is abetting the spread of the virus.

“The surge will continue and we may see more than 1,000 cases daily by August end. The transmission rate would peak in October,” he explained.

Experts cited three main reasons behind the spike — rainy season, negligence of safety protocol and delay in contact tracing.

However, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Rajendra Prasad Singh denied laxity in contact tracing. “More cases are being detected because we have doubled our testing capacity to 5,000 daily which is double in comparison to July,” he said.

King George’s Medical Unit, medicine head and in charge of Covid unit, Prof Virendra Atam said, “I see people across the city crowding markets without social distancing and masks. Hand hygiene is also being neglected which explains the spread of the virus.”

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Disaster

ISKCON Temple in Vrindavan sealed after 22 test COVID-19 positive

The famous temple dedicated to Lord Krishna has been closed to devotees since the lockdown was imposed in March.

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ISKCON Temple in Vrindavan

VRINDAVAN : After 22 persons associated with the temple were found infected with coronavirus, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has decided to seal the temple in Vrindavan and restrict movement. The announcement comes a day ahead of the Janmashtami festival which will be celebrated in the country on August 12.

“Earlier, one person had tested positive, so more testing was conducted and now 22 people tested positive. After that, contact tracing was conducted and sampling is being done; we will isolate those who test positive. Movement of people have been restricted and the temple has been sealed,” an ISKCON official said. He said the 22 people includes priests at the temple.

In the temple town of Vrindavan, authorities of Banke Bihari temple have also decided to keep the shrine closed till September 30. The decision was taken due to repair work on the temple premises, said the authority in a notice.

It also stated that the repair work will be taken up by engineers. Earlier, the temple was closed in the view of COVID-19.

The famous temple dedicated to Lord Krishna has been closed to devotees since the lockdown was imposed in March.

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