Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee                                                                               Dated:12 April,2020

Pune firm first in India to get government funding for Covid vaccine

NEW DELHI: The Union science and technology ministry will fund a Pune-based firm to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 which is expected to enter phase-1 trial in 18-20 months. Seagull Biosolutions is the first company the government is financially backing for coronavirus vaccine efforts. It will also produce at-home test kits for Covid-19 that can detect even asymptomatic infections.
For both purposes, Seagull will use its existing Active Virosome Technology (AVT) which can develop novel Active Virosome agents to induce antibodies. The firm is developing two kinds of agents to produce 19 types of neutralising antibodies to fight the new coronavirus. While the first agent will express the S protein — which mediates attachment of the virus to the host cell surface receptors — the other will express structural proteins of Covid-19....read more


COVIDences: How does the disease agent compare to previous strains?

(Source: DHS Science and Technology, Master Question List for COVID-19 (caused by SARS-CoV-2), Weekly Report, 18 March 2020)
Genomics (Part 12)
What is known?,There have been no documented cases of SARS-CoV-2 prior to December 2019.
Preliminary genomic analyses indicate that the first human cases of SARS-CoV-2 appeared between 10/19/2019 and 12/17/2019.1-3....read more


CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster 45

What is the meaning of cleaning and disinfecting
Cleaningis the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. The germs are not killed, but by removing them, cleaning lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfectingrefers to using chemicals, such as EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process may not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can diminish the risk of spreading infection....read more


Do we get a human birth each time we die?

As per Vedic sciences, Hindu philosophy believes in rebirth unless your Sanchit and Prarabdha Karmas are totally exhausted.
It also believes in liberation wherein once your past karmas debt is over, you do not take a rebirth.
On the other hand, Garuda Purana says that you can take rebirth in animal species, which means you can be born like a donkey or a dog. Vedic science, on the other hand, says that once you get a human body, you will either be liberated or only get another human body....read more


Health Sutras By Dr K K Aggarwal

Frequent hand wash with soap and water


Medbytes

       


Healthcare News Monitor

How Trump’s hydroxychloroquine demand changed the game for Indian pharma companies
The Print- Himani Chandna

When the US drug regulator placed Indian generic pharma firm Ipca Laboratories under an import ban on 15 June 2017 after its facility failed USFDA’s routine inspection, not a lot of questions were raised. The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) routinely goes after Indian drugmakers, and Ipca, with an annual income of Rs 3,700 crore, isn’t a big fish. But questions were raised on 20 March, when the USFDA peremptorily and somewhat inexplicably lifted the ban, and Ipca Labs happily notified this to the stock exchanges. What brought about this sudden change of heart in the USFDA? The mystery wasn’t as deep as it appeared. How IPCA gained because of Trump: During his 19 March White House coronavirus briefing, US President Donald Trump declared hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a seven decade-old anti-malarial drug, as a Covid-19 “game-changer” the world had been waiting for. Indian companies produce approximately 70 per cent of the global output of this cheap old drug. Until 2014, Ipca Labs held a 60-per cent market share in HCQ supplies to the US. However, after the ban, Zydus Cadila became the largest player with a 32-per cent market share. After Trump’s announcement and the subsequent lifting of ban, on cue arrived a large US order to Ipca and Zydus Cadila. Following this, and some early Chinese and French clinical pointers, the Indian Council of Medical Research recommended HCQ as a preventive treatment for health personnel and family members handling Covid-19 patients on 22 March.

60 pharma companies given permission to make hydroxychloroquine in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand Network

In view of the huge demand of hydroxychloroquine medicine amidst the threat of corona virus spread in the world, 60 pharma companies have been approved in the state government to manufacture this drug. All companies have been approved by the Drug Controller to manufacture hydroxychloroquine. With this decision of the government and the Health Department, the shortage of hydroxychloroquine will be removed, while India will also be able to supply the medicine in many countries including America, Spain, Brazil. Explain that the demand for hydroxychloroquine drug used in the treatment of malaria has increased rapidly to deal with the coronavirus disease. In countries like America, Spain, Brazil, Italy, this drug is being sought. Though hydroxychloroquine is produced on a large scale in India, but due to the manner in which the coronavirus has spread across the country, the Central Government had stopped its exports recently. However, now the government has opened it up afresh. In view of the huge demand for the drug in the country and the world, the Uttarakhand Drug Controller has approved 60 drug manufacturers operating in many areas of the state including Haridwar, Kashipur, Rudrapur, to manufacture this medicine. Drug Controller Tajwar Singh says that with the approval, not only will the manufacture of hydroxychloroquine drug be accelerated, but its acute shortage can also be overcome immediately. Ever since the Covid-19 virus has spread, the demand for hydroxychloroquine drug is increasing rapidly. Apart from the capital Dehradun, there is a huge demand of medicine in other districts of the state.

Andhra Pradesh: As COVID-19 Cases Rise, so Do Concerns About Lack of Equipment
The Wire- Gali Nagaraja

The government of Andhra Pradesh has gone full steam to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, as K.S. Jawahar Reddy, special chief secretary of the Department of Medical and Health on Tuesday confirmed that the state is now in the “initial stages” of community transmission. Up to April 1, only 44 positive cases were reported in the state but the numbers surged to 348 with four fatal cases as on April 10, according to the government’s media bulletin. Initially, only persons with foreign travel history tested positive for the virus, after which some of their family members got infected. After more than half a dozen people who had no history of foreign travel were found to have the viral infection, the government started looking at the possibility of stage-III transmission. If the Centre decides to lift the lockdown, the Andhra Pradesh government is planning to continue restrictions on movement in identified and potential hotspots. The lack of sufficient labs for testing suspected COVID-19 cases stares at the nearly 1 lakh doctors, paramedics, nurses and the other health workers engaged in containing the virus. Kurnool in Rayalaseema region, is one of the hotspots in the state and witnessed a sudden rise of cases in the span of a week. It does not have a virology lab for testing COVID-19 cases. The samples are collected and referred either to the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) in Tirupati or to Anantapur district for confirmation. West Godavari, the native district of health minister Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas aka Nani, also does not have a testing lab. But officials recently declared a locality named Tangellamudi, on the suburbs of Eluru city as a “red zone” after it saw a spurt in COVID-19 cases. Samples are being sent to Vijayawada for confirmation. West Godavari registered 14 cases, six from Tangellamudi area alone.

Coronavirus Outbreak: 'Operation SHIELD' Makes Delhi's Dilshad Garden Covid-19 Free; Here's How
ABP Live- IANS

Delhi government's 'Operation SHIELD' has completely stopped the transmission of coronavirus in Dilshad Garden with no new cases reported in the last 10 days, Delhi's health department said. Dilshad Garden -- a densely populated area of the national capital had the potential to become a hotspot even before Nizamuddin Markaz became one, after a woman infected at least eight people, including a mohalla clinic doctor. The government used Operation SHIELD -- Sealing, Home Quarantine, Isolation and Tracking, Essential Supply, Local Sanitisation, and Door-To-Door Checking -- to control the spread of the virus, the Delhi Health Department said. A total of 123 medical teams screened more than 15,000 people living in 4,032 houses and hospitalized the coronavirus suspects. According to the Delhi Health Department, a 38-year-old woman along with her 19-year-old son returned to Delhi on March 10, from Saudi Arabia. On March 12, she developed fever and cough and went to a doctor in Mohalla Clinic. On March 15, the woman was taken to the GTB hospital where the doctors referred her to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital. On March 17, she tested positive for coronavirus and on March 18 the authorities traced that she had met nearly 81 people after returning from Saudi Arabia. On March 20, her brother and mother also tested positive. On March 21, the infection spread to her two daughters and on March 22 the clinic doctor who first saw her was also tested positive, the Health Department said. Soon after she tested positive, Operation SHIELD was launched in Dilshad Garden. "The Delhi government made Dilshad Garden a containment zone and Operation SHIELD was activated after the woman tested positive and infected eight others, including a mohalla clinic doctor," the Health Department said. The Delhi government traced all the people who came in contact with the woman and quarantined them. "Under SHIELD, curfew was imposed in parts of Dilshad Garden and Old Seemapuri. The Delhi police and the Delhi government worked together to make this plan a success", the Health Department added. District Administration officer of Shahdara, S.K. Nayak, who overviewed the whole operation, said when the woman tested positive for COVID-19, the administration rushed to her residence to ask her family for names and addresses of people who had visited them since March 10 -- the date of her return from Saudi Arabia.