<br>The Cabinet has decided to purchase nine million doses of the Sinopharm vaccines and 14 million doses of the Pfizer jabs to vaccinate thoese aged between 18 and 30.At present, Sri Lanka is vaccinating only those above 30 years of age.A Cabinet spokesman said the vaccination programme was initially started to inoculate 14 million by August 9. However the country had received 19.49 million doses and 11.26 million were used as the first dose and 3.25 million doses.Last month, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's senior advisor Lalith Weeratunga stated that the government was planning to vaccinate school children between the ages of 12 and 18 years against Covid-19 using the US-manufactured Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Sri Lankan schools have been closed for nearly one and half years.Meanwhile amidst daily increasing deaths and cases, the governmenthas tightened health guidelines from Thursday allowing only one person to leave the house. The Director General of Health Services, Asela Gunawardena issuing a fresh set of guidelines stated that all private and public education institutions, universities, indoor sports complexes, swimming pools, and spas will be closed from today. Children's parks, carnivals, concerts, beach parties and beach gatherings have also been banned.However hotels and resorts were allowed to open for only 25 per cent of the total capacity, while shopping malls and supermarkets too were allowed only 25 per cent. In addition, an island-wide overnight quarantine curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. will also be in force.For a second consecutive day, Sri Lanka recorded 170 deaths with 3,660 new cases. Health experts, trade unions and all opposition parties are demanding the government to lock down the country for two weeks to save the healthworkers from the fast spreading Delta variant.A number of cities have been voluntarily closed by citizens and traders for a week while the Mayor of capital Colombo urged people to not to enter the city as 98 per cent of those infected there were found with the Delta variant. Rosy Senanayake urged shops except those providing essential services be closed for two week. "We are in a very dangerous situation. Though we have a good health system, our capacity have been exceeded and there only limited number of ICU beds available."In a shocking prediction, the Monash University in Australia in collaboration with World Health Organization's SEAR and Sri Lanka County Office projected that the number of Covid cases would increase up to mid-September at 6,000 cases per day, deaths up to early October coming to a peak at around 220 per day. The joint team which made the estimation using Sri Lanka's Epidemiology Unit data warned that ICU admission will peak at around 275 by early October with cumulative deaths around 30,000 by January 2022.--IANS<br>ksk/<br>
New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) India is opening up too fast and too soon is the majority view as the government expresses concern over crowds at hill stations, as per the IANS CVoter Live Tracker.Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that crowds at tourist spots are worrying. To a question on if India is opening too soon and too fast, 53.31 per cent of the respondents of the IANS CVoter Live Tracker said ‘yes', while 34.34 per cent said that India is not opening up too fast but people are becoming careless. Compared to other states, the Covid-19 cases in Kerala are not decreasing rapidly. To a question if Kerala could become the epicentre of the third Covid wave in India, 45.97 per cent said ‘yes' and 35.91 per cent said ‘no'. The tacker had a sample size of 1,314. The CVoter NewsTracker Surveys in India are based on a national representative random probability sample as used in the globally standardized RDD CATI methodology, covering all geographic and demographic segments across all states. This daily live tracker survey is based on interviews of adult (18+) respondents across all socio-economic segments. The data is weighted to the known Census profile. The standard margin of error is +/- 3 per cent at national trends and +/- 5 per cent at regional/zonal trends with 95 per cent confidence level. As many as 50.56 per cent respondents in the tracker said that younger leaders from smaller states like Anurag Thakur and Kiren Rijiju can hope to become national leaders, or even the Prime Minister a few years later. A total of 35.67 per cent respondents said that it is very difficult for younger leaders like Thakur and Rijiju to emerge as national leaders and even more difficult for them to become the Prime Minister in a few years' time. As many as 45.61 per cent of the respondents said that young India needs young politicians and a young Cabinet, while 41.56 per cent said India doesn't need just young politicians and young Cabinet, but a combination of young and experienced leaders. To a question in the survey on if India needs younger and dynamic leaders as Governors instead of retired politicians, 51.05 per cent said ‘yes', while 37.65 per cent said India needs a combination of young and experienced politicians to hold the Governor's post. To a question on if India should crack down on Twitter for not complying with Indian laws, a huge majority of more than 70 per cent said ‘yes'. An overwhelming majority is still wearing masks as 75.06 per cent said they wear masks when they go out while 18.31 per cent said they don't wear a mask. --IANSsan/arm
Hyderabad, July 2 (IANS) Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that there is a need to fast-track genome sequencing of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 to speed up development of suitable vaccines and drugs.He stressed the need to intensify international collaborations by research institutions and to study feasibility of developing a universal vaccine that can neutralise various variants."Specialised research focusing on sequencing would help in timely interventions during the ongoing pandemic. Sequencing, as an adjunctive tool, plays a critical role in identifying the emergence of new viral mutations and thus, helps combat the spread of Covid-19," he said while addressing scientists at CCMB's LaCONES (Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered Species) facility."With SARS-CoV-2 mutating frequently, we are seeing the emergence of new variants that are causing faster transmissibility. This is a cause for concern and calls for stepped up efforts from scientists to neutralise its ability to spread rapidly," he said.Naidu said the need for genome sequencing of new variants becomes crucial in the light of reports of big cats contracting Covid-19 in a few zoos in the country. Species jump of a virus - from humans to animals or vice versa - can lead to new variants and pose fresh challenges in the ongoing fight against the pandemic, he added.He opined that LaCones is rightly positioned to make these linkages at both national and international levels, to understand the emergence of infectious diseases, and prevent such pandemics in the future.He noted that LaCONES is one of the four centres in the country that can test animal samples for Covid-19 infection. It recently released guidelines in collaboration with the Central Zoo Authority and Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change for the zoo frontline workers on Covid-19 investigation for captive animals.He complimented the CCMB for its contribution to the cause of Covid-19 mitigation that includes the establishment of rapid diagnostics, genome sequencing and surveillance. "Research done at the CCMB has also shown that coronavirus spreads through air and that it can be detected in sewage and wild animals. The easy transmission of this virus poses many challenges, and the way in which it might infect new hosts or other species will be an important area of research. This is where the CCMB can take a lead and shed some valuable light," he added.He said that it is now imperative that India pays greater attention to zoonotic diseases that impact both animals and humans. There are many reports that connect climate change to emerging infectious diseases. He hoped the CCMB, the LaCONES, and other research institutes and public health organisations in India would expand their facilities to perform surveillance using rapid genome sequencing platforms.Naidu also appealed to people to shed vaccine hesitancy and take the required doses of the vaccine. The need of the hour is to create awareness among people that vaccines would provide a high degree of protection and even if infected, the disease will be less severe, he said. At the same time, people should not lower their guard. Everyone should follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour by avoiding large gatherings, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and remaining in well-ventilated areas, he added.--IANSms/vd
Amaravati, May 26 (IANS) The first phase of studies into the Covid cure devised by a Krishnapatnam-based herbal medicine practitioner was completed on Wednesday.The studies were organised under the directions of the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS). They were jointly conducted by the Regional Ayurvedic Research Centre in Vijaywada, and the SV Ayurveda College in Tirumala.Officials said that the researchers from the two institutions have completed their retrospective studies. The researchers spoke to 570 persons who had taken the Covid medicine prepared by Anandaiah, a herbal medicine practitioner belonging to Krishnapatnam in Nellore district.According to official sources, the feedback from these people has been transmitted online to the CCRAS.The next phase of research will include toxicity tests, and studies on animals.The Andhra Pradesh government had decided to rope in Central agencies to evaluate the ayurvedic remedy for Covid that a local practitioner claimed to have developed.The medication prepared by Anandiah has been attracting people from the surrounding areas over the last few days. However, distribution of medicine was halted after the Lok Ayukta stepped in following reports that Covid norms were being violated.Anandiah had become a local sensation after people in search of a cure for Covid began landing in droves at his doorsteps, after visuals of his treatment went viral on social media platforms.--IANSpvn/arm
Amaravati, May 21 (IANS) It ended as a no-show for thousands of people who turned up at Krishnapatnam in Nellore district, as District Collector V.N. Chakradhar Babu made it clear that distribution of Ayurvedic cure for Covid would be allowed to resume only after competent medical authorities certify it.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to rope in Central agencies to evaluate the Ayurvedic remedy for Covid that a local practitioner has claimed to have developed.
At a Covid review meeting on Friday, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to get the remedy tested by Central government agencies, in order to decide on its safety and suitability for curing Covid patients.
The Chief Minister said that a team from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) should be sent to Krishnapatnam to conduct an in-depth study of the medicine developed by Ayurveda practitioner Anandiah.
Following an announcement by the YSRCP MLA from Sarvepalli, Kakani Govardhan Reddy, that the Ayurvedic cure for Covid would be distributed from Friday morning, thousands of Covid patients and non-positive persons flocked to Krishnapatnam.
But while some medicines did get distributed initially, the police later stepped in and stopped the process.
The medication, which has been prepared by local Ayurveda practitioner Anandiah, has been attracting people from the surrounding areas over the last few days. However, its distribution was halted after the Lok Ayukta stepped in following reports that Covid norms were being violated.
Anandiah had become a local sensation after people in search of a cure for Covid began landing in droves at his doorsteps, after visuals of his treatment went viral on social media platforms.
Anandiah is giving the medicine free of cost to whoever approaches him. The medicine, in the form of balls or liquid drops, contains natural antioxidants and components such as pepper, ginger, neem, turmeric, and tinospora codifolio, commonly known as giloy.
Apart from Covid positive people, even others who are waiting in vain for vaccines that are in short supply, are turning to Anandiah for Ayurvedic cure, even as there is no scientific evidence that Ayurveda can cure coronavirus.
Taking note of the development, the district administration had formed a committee consisting of officials and AYUSH doctors to evaluate the efficacy of the concoction.
Nellore Collector K.V.N. Chakradhar Babu had said that the committee did not come across any adverse affects in people who took the medicine.
While some samples have been sent for testing to a laboratory in Hyderabad, the results are still awaited.
The Chief Minister, who was appraised of the matter, discussed it in Friday's Covid review meeting, and decided to get the medicine evaluated by Central medical authorities.
Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), May 21 (IANS) With arrangements in place for distribution of an ayurvedic cure for Covid, large number of people have descended upon Krishnapatnam town in Nellore district, since Friday early morning.However, with no clearance from the authorities, people were waiting impatiently for distribution to begin.Sarvepalli Constituency MLA, Kakani Govardhan Reddy of the ruling YSRCP, had earlier announced that the medicine would be distributed from Friday morning onwards.Arrangements such as counters, and queue-lines have been marked at the venue, along with ensuring physical distancing for the people.The medication which is prepared by a local ayurveda practitioner, Anandiah, has been attracting people from the surrounding areas over the last few days. However, distribution was halted after the Lokayukta stepped in following reports that Covid norms were being violated.Anandiah had become a local sensation after people in search of a cure for Covid, began landing in droves at his doorsteps, after visuals of his treatment went viral on social media platforms.Anandiah is giving the medicine free of cost to whoever approaches him. The medicine, in the form of balls or liquid drops, contains natural antioxidants and components such as pepper, ginger, neem, turmeric, and tinospora codifolio, commonly known as giloy.Apart from Covid positive people, even others, who are awaiting in vain for vaccines in short supply, are turning to Anandiah for the ayurvedic cure, even as there is no scientific evidence that ayurveda can cure corona.Taking note of the development, the district administration had formed a committee consisting of officials, and AYUSH doctors, to evaluate the efficacy of the concoction. Nellore collector KVN Chakradhar Babu had said that the committee did not come across any adverse affects in people who took the medicine.While some samples have been sent for testing, to a laboratory in Hyderabad, the results are still awaited.Meanwhile, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy who was appraised of the situation is looking into the matter and expected to decide on the issue.--IANSpvn/in