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WHO Acknowledges Success of Dharavi Model in Arresting Covid-19 Spread

“Across all walks of life, we are all being tested to the limit,” Tedros said, “from countries where there is exponential growth, to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday acknowledged the success of the steps followed in Mumbai’s Dharavi to contain the coronavirus, saying community engagement and testing is key to breaking the chain of transmission of the disease.

Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia, on Friday reported 12 new cases, taking its tally to 2,359. Dharavi currently has 166 active cases and 1,952 patients have been discharged from hospitals following recovery so far.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the examples of Italy, Spain, South Korea and India’s biggest slum showed that however bad a outbreak was, the virus could still be reined in through aggressive action.

“In the last six weeks cases have more than doubled,” Tedros told a virtual press conference in Geneva.

However, “there are many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control,” said Tedros.

“And some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi — a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai — a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission and suppressing the virus.”

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 555,000 people worldwide since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Friday.

Nearly 12.3 million cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories.

“Across all walks of life, we are all being tested to the limit,” Tedros said, “from countries where there is exponential growth, to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise.

“Only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around.”

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‘Young people play important role in helping stop Covid-19 transmission’

“Working together, all of us, old and young, from everywhere in the world, can overcome this pandemic,”

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Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO

Geneva, Aug 13 : Although most young people are not at high risk of severe disease during the COVID-19 pandemic, they play an important role in the collective responsibility to help stop the virus transmission, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

In celebrating International Youth Day, with a theme of “Youth Engagement for Global Action” this year, the WHO Director-General, together with UNESCO’s Director-General Audrey Azoulay, recognized young people, youth organizations, and youth networks around the world for their collective action during COVID-19, reports Xinhua news agency.

“This pandemic is having a major impact on the future of young adults — not just from the virus itself, but because of its impacts on the economy, employment, education, and the overall health system,” Tedros said, asking young people to “be informed and make choices about their health to prepare for long and healthy lives”.

“It is critical that we engage with young people now to start the journey to understanding their own health.”

He further left three requests for them.

First, he called on organizations, intuitions and governments “to listen, engage and empower young adults as partners in action. Our future is their future”.

“Second, we have to give young people a much larger role in political decision-making. Their voices often go unheard, even though more than half of the world’s population is under 35 years old.

“Finally, and most importantly, to young adults around the world, I say: Think big and be bold. We count on you for your creativity and your fresh ideas…

“Working together, all of us, old and young, from everywhere in the world, can overcome this pandemic,” he added.

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Over 22,000 ‘Make in India’ ventilators given to states: Centre

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New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Centre on Thursday stated that it has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and over 1.28 crore PPE kits to states, union territories and Central institutions free of cost in the last five months. Over 22,000 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have also been delivered.

The Centre has been strengthening the health infrastructure to fight the pandemic and effectively manage it. Along with augmenting Covid-19 facilities, the government has been providing medical supplies free of cost to the states and union territories to supplement their efforts.

“Since 11th March 2020, the Union Government has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and more than 1.28 crore PPE kits to states, UTs, Central Institutions, free of cost. Also, more than 10.83 crore HCQ tablets have been distributed to them,” the government said.

In addition, 22,533 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have been delivered and their “installation and commissioning is also being ensured”.

“Most of the products supplied by the Government of India were not being manufactured in the country in the beginning. The rising global demand due to the pandemic resulted in their scarce availability in the foreign markets,” it added.

As a result, resolve for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ has been strengthened and most of the supplies made by the Union Government are domestically manufactured.

With the combined efforts of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Pharmaceuticals, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and others, the domestic industry has been encouraged and facilitated to manufacture and supply essential medical equipment like PPEs, N95 masks, ventilators, etc., during this period.

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Russia to begin COVID-19 vaccine production within 2 weeks

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COVID-19 Vaccine

MOSCOW, Aug. 12 : Russia will start the production of its COVID-19 vaccine within two weeks, the country’s health minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday.

“First of all, the production facilities in Russia will be oriented towards the domestic market, to meet the need of our citizens,” Murashko said during a news conference.

Russia will offer the vaccine to other countries when it has sufficient amounts, the minister said, adding that foreign nations’ doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine are unfounded.

The platform where the vaccine was created has been thoroughly studied and its authors have accumulated a sufficient amount of scientific data to guarantee its safety, he added.

The world’s first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus was announced by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday during an online meeting with government officials.

The vaccine, named Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, alongside the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Russia plans to produce at least five million doses of the vaccine a month from December through January, according to Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya National Research Center.

He said that the center is also preparing documents to obtain permission to test the vaccine on children.

The vaccine for children will be the same as the one for adults, but will likely be administered in a different dosage, requiring additional testing, Gintsburg added.

So far, Russia has tallied a total of 902,701 COVID-19 cases, including 15,260 deaths and 710,298 recoveries.

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