Tokyo, Oct 22 (IANS) Tokyo reported 185 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total number of infections in the capital to 29,520.According to the Tokyo metropolitan government's preliminary figures, the latest daily tally marks the third straight day when new cases have been in triple digits, Xinhua news agency reported.The metropolitan government said of those newly infected, the majority were aged in 20s and 30s, although numbers in their 40s and 50s were also comparatively high.The local government added that the number of people who have been hospitalized by the pneumonia-causing virus and designated "seriously ill" as of Thursday totaled 24, based on the Tokyo standard, with the figure remaining the same as the previous day. --IANSint/
These correlations were observed up to 16 days prior to the first reported cases in some states."Our study demonstrates that there is information present in Google Trends that precedes outbreaks, and with predictive analysis, this data can be used for better allocating resources with regards to testing, personal protective equipment, medications and more," said study author Mohamad Bydon from Mayo Clinic -- a health care company in the US."Looking at Google Trends data, we found that we were able to identify predictors of hotspots, using keywords, that would emerge over a six-week timeline," Bydon added.Several studies have noted the role of internet surveillance in early prediction of previous outbreaks such as H1N1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome.There are several benefits to using internet surveillance methods versus traditional methods, and this study says a combination of the two methods is likely the key to effective surveillance.The study searched for 10 keywords that were chosen based on how commonly they were used and emerging patterns on the internet and in Google News at that time.The keywords were: Covid symptoms, Coronavirus symptoms, sore throat, shortness of breath+fatigue+cough, coronavirus testing centre, loss of smell, antibody, face mask and more.Most of the keywords had moderate to strong correlations days before the first Covid-19 cases were reported in specific areas, with diminishing correlations following the first case."Each of these keywords had varying strengths of correlation with case numbers," said Bydon.If we had looked at 100 keywords, we may have found even stronger correlations to cases. As the pandemic progresses, people will search for new and different information, so the search terms also need to evolve," Bydon added.The use of web search surveillance data is important as an adjunct for data science teams who are attempting to predict outbreaks and new hotspots in a pandemic."Any delay in information could lead to missed opportunities to improve preparedness for an outbreak in a certain location," the authors noted.--IANS<br>bu/dpb<br>
Manila, Oct 22 (IANS) Philippines on Thursday reported 1,664 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the country's tally to 363,888, health officials said.The Philippines' health department said that 843 more patients have recovered on the same day, raising the total number of recoveries to 312,333, according to media reports. The death toll has climbed to 6,783 in the country with 38 new fatalities.The department said it has tested over 4.21 million people nationwide. --IANSint/
Beijing, Oct 22 (IANS) China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism has called on tourism authorities across the country to tighten Covid-19 prevention and control measures in autumn and winter to curb risks of sporadic cases and local outbreaks.According to a notice issued by the ministry, outbound group tours continue to be suspended.The ministry asked local tourism authorities to carry out differentiated measures to further implement epidemic prevention requirements, and urged class-A tourist attractions, star-rated hotels and travel agencies to improve regular anti-epidemic measures, Xinhua news agency reported.The ministry also required health monitoring for staff, regular ventilation and disinfection at tourist sites.Local tourism authorities should strengthen cooperation with health and disease control departments and send tourists with suspected symptoms to quarantine as soon as possible to prevent possible virus transmission, read the notice.It also called for enhancing publicity and training to raise awareness. --IANSint/
New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) As Indian government has almost lifted all restrictions imposed earlier to contain Covid-19 pandemic, it has now decided to make a "graded relaxation in the visa and travel restrictions".Under the relief, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will now extend these relaxations for more categories of foreign nationals and Indian nationals who wish to enter or leave India.This graded relaxation will restore with "immediate effect" all existing visas except electronic visa, tourist visa and medical visa.Foreign nationals intending to visit India for medical treatment can now apply for a medical visa, including for their medical attendants. This decision will enable foreign nationals to come to India for various purposes such as business, conferences, employment, studies, research and medical purposes -- a move to kick start the economy and other sectors affected due to pandemic as restrictions were imposed on the visit of foreigners.In view of the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry had taken a series of steps to curtail the inward and outward movement of international passengers since February this year. Therefore, the MHA -- a nodal Ministry which has the authority to give visa and foreign travel approvals -- has now decided to permit all Overseas Citizenship Of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa to enter by air or water routes through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts. This includes flights operated under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air Transport Bubble arrangements or by any non scheduled commercial flights as allowed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. All such travellers will, however, have to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHF) regarding quarantine and other health and Covid-19 matters.If the validity of such visas has expired, fresh visas of appropriate categories can be obtained from the Indian Missions or Posts concerned, the Ministry said. --IANSrak/dpb
Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha chaired a high level meeting to review the various impactful interventions which the Ministry made in the recent months and which have significantly contributed to the preventive steps and management of Covid-19. Principal Secretaries and Secretaries of AYUSH and Health Departments of different States and UTs took part in the meeting held through video confeferencing.
Shri Kotecha appraised the States/UTs about the recently released National Ayurveda and Yoga Protocol for Management of Covid-19, the need to expedite the operationalization of AYUSH Health Wellness Centres approved under National AYUSH Mission (NAM) and the urgent need to improve the expenditure and fund flow at State/UT level under NAM.
The Ayush Grid project of the Ministry, which aims to establish a unified IT backbone for the sector, was discussed in detail. Information about the completion of a cloud based AYUSH Health Management Information System (A-HMIS)which can be put to use by all AYUSH establishments was welcomed by all. The A-HMIS is one among the 14 different pilot projects that have been implemented under the Ayush Gird project. The AYUSH Ministry invited all States/ UTs to make use of this HMIS to streamline the hospital processes in their respective domains.
The need for the States/UTs to focus on early operationalization of AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres as per the target set under Ayushman Bharat was underlined. Possible steps to enhance the pace of expenditure under NAM was also discussed. States/UTs were requested to expedite the action for thorough co-ordination with AYUSH and Health Departments in the States/UTs for early and smooth operationalization of HWCs. It was emphasized that there is renewed interest among the public in Ayush processes and solutions in the post-Covid times, and that it was essential to expand the scope and reach of NAM operations to fulfil this increase demand for Ayush products and services.
Secretary also highlighted the important steps taken by the Ministry of AYUSH in the context of Covid-19. He, however, cautioned that the Protocol should not lead to a false sense of security. He requested the active co-operation and participation of the states/UTs in implementation of the protocol to manage covid-19 pandemic effectively. He also explained that release of such a National Protocol was a landmark in the mainstreaming of Ayush Systems.
The Protocol is developed by expert committees from Research Councils and National Institutes under Ministry of AYUSH and other national research organizations. The protocol is based on knowledge from Ayurveda classics, experience gained from clinical practices, empirical evidences and emerging trends of ongoing clinical studies conducted through various research organizations and National Institutes. The protocol consists of easily available and common Ayurvedic herbs and formulations like Guduchi, Ashwagandha etc. and yoga practices in managing asymptomatic, mild and post-covid stages in addition to prophylactic and preventive care. The Protocol is an important tool to take the people-friendly solutions offered by Ayush Systems to a larger number of beneficiaries.
During the meeting various States/UTs shared their experiences and activities they have conducted in the context of covid-19. The joint efforts and sharing of experiences, it was agreed by all, will lead to the potential of Ayush Systems being tapped on a nation-wide scale for fighting the pandemic.