Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 6 (IANS) For the third day in succession, the Congress-led opposition on Friday walked out of the Assembly after state Health Minister Veena George did not relent on granting any relaxation in the newly announced Covid norms.George on Wednesday announced the new guidelines, which say that those who enter shops, banks and other establishments, should have at least one dose of vaccine administered or produce an RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours.On Friday, Congress legislator K. Babu sought leave for an adjournment motion to discuss this issue and slammed the government for the most 'impractical and unscientific norms' set by the government to tackle Covid."There has been huge backlash to the new demand that people should take an RT-PCR test or should have taken one dose of vaccine. With the now announced relaxations, it would only help the police to take on the people and levy fines. This should not be like this. So to help the people, there should be appropriate changes," said Babu.But George said it was the responsibility of a "responsible government to safeguard the people and that's what we are doing"."None should forget the presence of the Delta variant which is there. We the government have to take care of the people and hence we have to abide by the apex court directive also. So in the present circumstances, we cannot give any relaxation as this has been decided by the expert committee," said George.Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said that any government should understand the needs of the people and act accordingly, but this government is not understanding the woes of the people."This government is teasing the people of our state as 57.86 per cent of the population will have to undergo RT-PCR tests if they have to go out of the house and buy their needs from the shop next door. Just look into the maze of activity in social media against these impractical and illogical norms," said Satheesan and led the entire opposition out of the House.--IANSsg/dpb
The majority of Covid patients, even those with severe Covid-related pneumonia, are likely to show signs of improvement in the lungs, both structurally and functionally within three months, showed a study by doctors at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here.
The study, published in the peer reviewed journal Lung India, examined 42 patients with Covid-19 pneumonia requiring oxygen therapy with severe acute respiratory syndrome and a positive Covid swab test. They were followed up over a period of five months.
About 11 (26.2 per cent) patients had moderate and 31 (73.8 per cent) patients had severe pneumonia. The mean age was 58 years. The patients were treated with remdesivir and steroids with the average duration of steroids being about two weeks.
The results of lung function tests and CT scans showed that the lungs recover well and the functioning continues to get better. The majority of these did not require oxygen at the end of the three month study.
"We saw consistent improvement in the lung function and CT scan after three months. Most patients recover very well, and this has also been the case in previous viral pandemics," said Dr Sumeet Singhania, Consultant, Pulmonary Medicine, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, in a statement.
"There is no need for patients with mild to moderate Covid to panic about lung fibrosis as most will continue to get better with no major impact on their lifestyle. It is only in a very small number of patients who have very severe Covid that symptoms like breathlessness persist in the long run. But even in those patients, there will be an improvement with time," he added.
The three-month study also showed improvement in lung functions without any anti-fibrotic therapy, indicating that every patient with Covid-19 infection need not be started on anti-fibrotic medication.
"Anti-fibrotic drugs can slow down the process of fibrosis and not reverse it, and while their role has been proven in chronic lung disease, they are not useful in acute pneumonia or ARDS," Singhania said.
The team now aims to expand the study and have registered around 300 patients. (agency)
New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Covid-19 virus may reach its endemic stage after a while, just like influenza, and the vulnerable population may have to take the vaccine shot annually, said Samiran Panda, Head, Division of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR)."Mutation is normal for all viruses when they proliferate. Experts suggest that the Covid-19 virus will reach its endemic stage like influenza after a while and then the vulnerable population may have to take the vaccine shot annually," Panda said.He explained that influenza, commonly known as flu, was a pandemic 100 years ago but today it is an endemic. "Similarly, in case of Covid-19, we expect that it will gradually become an endemic from its current state of being a pandemic. Currently, we recommend the elderly to take annual flu shots. As the influenza virus keeps on mutating, we simultaneously make minor changes in the vaccine. So, there is no need to panic. The vaccines available now are largely effective against the new variants of Covid-19," he said.Panda explained that the vaccines are not infection preventing, but disease-modifying. Experiments at the ICMR have proved that the vaccines presently available in India are effective against the new variants as well. However, the efficacy may differ for different strains, he said.People are wary that the vaccines that they are receiving now may not be effective after a while, as the virus is mutating rapidly. However, Panda said that it is futile to go for anti-body tests as the immunity does not depend only on anti-bodies. The anti-bodies that are seen using the commercial kits available in the market are not necessarily the anti-bodies that can protect a person from Covid, he added.Panda also said that breastfeeding mothers should get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 without any hesitation. The anti-bodies that are developed in the mother as a result of the vaccination get passively transferred to the baby while breastfeeding and could be helpful to the child, he said.--IANSmiz/arm
Hyderabad, July 7 (IANS) Tension prevailed near Telangana Chief Minister's official residence here on Wednesday as a large number of outsourcing nurses whose services were terminated tried to stage a protest.The nurses alleged that the government threw them out of the jobs after using their services during Covid-19 pandemic.Demanding their reinstatement, the nurses tried to march towards Pragati Bhawan, the official residence of the Chief Minister in Begumpet. When police personnel stopped the protestors, they sat on the roads raising slogans against the government.Police personnel had a tough time in controlling the situation as some nurses tried to run towards the Pragati Bhawan. Policewomen chased the protestors to stop them for barging in. They were physically lifted and taken to the waiting police vehicles.The nurses were shifted to different police stations. The protestors alleged that a total of 1,640 nurses serving in the government-run hospitals across the state on outsourcing bases were removed from services.Some of the protestors were seen crying while speaking to the media persons. They said the government's action has landed them and their families in crisis."During Covid pandemic, the government said nurses are like gods. Now they left the gods on the road," said a nurse."Despite the risk to our lives, we served the Covid patients. We rendered the services when even their family members were not coming near them. After using our services, the government has dumped us," said another protestor.The nurses were recruited specifically for Covid-19 duties in March last year. They had Tuesday staged a demonstration at the office of Director of Medical Education (DME).Dr Ramesh Reddy, the DME however, said the nurses were well aware of the fact that their posts are temporary.--IANSms/dpb
Tel Aviv, June 22 (IANS) Israel-based biopharmaceutical company RedHill Biopharma's new oral pill called Opaganib has been found effective in patients hospitalised with Covid-related pneumonia, results from a clinical trial has shown.The oral opaganib is associated with a reduction in the need for supplemental oxygen support, earlier time to discharge from hospital and was well tolerated, the company said in a statement on Monday.The Phase II trial analysed data from the 40-patient who were randomised to receive either opaganib or placebo in addition to standard of care (SoC), predominantly including dexamethasone and/or remdesivir.About 86.4 per cent of patients treated with opaganib were discharged from hospital by Day 14 compared to 55.6 per cent of patients treated with placebo. The findings were presented at the World Microbe Forum, taking place online from June 20 to 24."Presentation of these positive data from our exploratory Phase 2 study support our growing confidence that opaganib could be the first novel oral therapy to demonstrate efficacy in the treatment of Covid-19 in a large late-stage study. With the recent completion of enrollment of our 475-patient global Phase 2/3 study, we will have a clearer picture of that in the very near future," said Mark L Levitt, Medical Director at RedHill."Opaganib acts on both the cause and effect of Covid-19 via a unique dual antiviral and anti-inflammatory mode of action. Being host-targeted, opaganib is also expected to maintain effect against the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, which continue to threaten the progress being made against the pandemic and underscore the urgent need for effective Covid-19 therapeutics," Levitt added.Opaganib is orally-administered and has a sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor, with dual anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity. It targets the host and is therefore expected to be effective against emerging viral variants. Opaganib has also shown anticancer activity and has the potential to target multiple oncology, viral, inflammatory, and gastrointestinal indications.Opaganib demonstrated potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, completely inhibiting viral replication in an in vitro model of human lung bronchial tissue.Additionally, preclinical in vivo studies have demonstrated opaganib's potential to ameliorate inflammatory lung disorders, such as pneumonia, and has shown decreased fatality rates from influenza virus infection and ameliorated Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced lung injury by reducing the levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, the company said.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Chennai, May 19 (IANS) Attendants of Covid-19 patients carried out a protest outside the Rajiv Gandhi general hospital here on Wednesday. The protest continued for two hours.The hospital had permitted one attendant each for a Covid-19 patient but around 100 people had thronged the premises of the hospital.Hospital sources said these people were claiming that they were the attendants of Covid-19 patients and police, on checking their credentials and details found that there were four to five attendants for each patient, leading to a huge crowding in hospital premises.Police removed all those who were thronging the hospital premises which led to protest by the attendants. As the attendants tried to enter the hospital again, police set up barricades to prevent them from entering the hospital. As the tension grew, more cops were called in to bring the situation under control. Finally, all attendants who were staying there in excess were removed after checking their credentials.--IANSaal/skp/