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10 Covid Deaths In Delhi In 24 Hours, 2,136 New Cases

NEW DELHI, Aug 12: Delhi on Friday reported 2,136 new Covid cases and 10 deaths due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate stood at 15.02 per cent, according to data shared by the health department.

This is the tenth consecutive day when the capital logged more than 2,000 cases in a day.

Delhi on Thursday reported 2,726 fresh COVID-19 cases and six fatalities due to the viral disease, while the positivity rate stood at 14.38 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.

While on Wednesday, Delhi had reported eight fatalities due to the coronavirus infection, the highest in nearly 180 days, and 2,146 cases with a positivity rate of 17.83 per cent.

2,146 New Covid Cases, 8 Deaths In Delhi, Positivity Rate Spikes To 17.83%

NEW DELHI, Aug 10: Delhi on Wednesday reported eight fatalities due to coronavirus, the highest in nearly 180 days, and 2,146 new cases with a positivity rate of 17.83 per cent, according to data shared by the health department here.

The national capital had on February 13 reported 12 deaths due to the viral disease.

On Tuesday, Delhi had reported 2,495 new coronavirus cases with a positivity rate of 15.41 per cent and seven fatalities.

The national capital saw 1,372 infections and six deaths on Sunday as the case positivity rate rose to 17.85 per cent, the highest since January 21, it said.

The government did not release the daily health bulletin on Monday.

On January 21, the positivity rate stood at 18.04 per cent.

The fresh cases on Tuesday came out of 12,036 COVID-19 tests, the health department bulletin stated.

With the fresh infections and fatalities, Delhi's caseload increased to 19,75,540 and the number of deaths rose to 26,351, it said.

Delhi had reported 2,423 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 14.97 per cent and two deaths, the data updated on Sunday said.

On Saturday, it recorded 2,311 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 13.84 per cent and one fatality.

On Friday, it logged 2,419 cases with a positivity rate of 12.95 per cent, while two people died due to the disease.

On Thursday, the city saw 2,202 cases with a positivity rate of 11.84 per cent and four deaths.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 2,073 COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 11.64 per cent and five fatalities.

On June 25, six people succumbed to the disease.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Delhi stands at 8,205, down from 8,506 the previous day. As many as 5,549 patients are in home isolation, the bulletin said.

Of the 9,405 beds reserved for COVID-19 patients in various Delhi hospitals, 536 were occupied. Beds at Covid care centres and Covid health centres were lying vacant, it said.

There are 259 containment zones in the city, it added.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Delhi had touched the record high of 28,867 on January 13 this year during the third wave of the pandemic.

The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the third wave of the pandemic.

Canada Confirms 957 Monkeypox Cases

TORONTO, Aug 7: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) confirmed 957 cases of monkeypox in the country.

The health agency said that of the confirmed cases as of Friday, 449 cases are from Ontario, 407 from Quebec, 81 from British Columbia, 16 from Alberta, and two each from Saskatchewan and the Yukon, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the wake of the World Health Organization and the United States' declaration of monkeypox as a public health emergency, questions are being raised about whether Canada should follow suit.

A PHAC official said that the federal government has treated monkeypox as a priority since the beginning of the outbreak in May, local media reported.

According to the report, the agency has deployed more than 80,000 doses of Imvamune vaccine to provinces and territories and is supporting decentralized testing by providing control material and protocols to lab partners around the country.

Experts say monkeypox is a viral disease that can spread from person to person through close contact with an infected person, including through hugs, kisses, massages or sexual intercourse.

Scientists Restore Blood Flow, Revive Cells, Organs In Dead Pigs

PARIS, Aug 3: Scientists announced Wednesday they have restored blood flow and cell function throughout the bodies of pigs that were dead for an hour, in a breakthrough experts say could mean we need to update the definition of death itself.

The discovery raised hopes for a range of future medical uses in humans, the most immediate being that it could help organs last longer, potentially saving the lives of thousands of people worldwide in need of transplants.

However it could also spur debate about the ethics of such procedures -- particularly after some of the ostensibly dead pigs startled the scientists by making sudden head movements during the experiment.

The US-based team stunned the scientific community in 2019 by managing to restore cell function in the brains of pigs hours after they had been decapitated.

For the latest research, published in the journal Nature, the team sought to expand this technique to the entire body.

They induced a heart attack in the anaesthetised pigs, which stopped blood flowing through the bodies.

This deprives the body's cells of oxygen -- and without oxygen, cells in mammals die.

The pigs then sat dead for an hour.

The scientists then pumped the bodies with a liquid containing the pigs' own blood, as well as a synthetic form of haemoglobin -- the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells -- and drugs that protect cells and prevent blood clots.

Blood started circulating again and many cells began functioning including in vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidney, for the next six hours of the experiment.

"These cells were functioning hours after they should not have been -- what this tells us is that the demise of cells can be halted," Nenad Sestan, the study's senior author and a researcher at Yale University, told journalists.

Co-lead author David Andrijevic, also from Yale, said the team hopes the technique, called OrganEx, "can be used to salvage organs".

OrganEx could also make new forms of surgery possible as it creates "more medical wiggle room in cases with no circulation to fix things," said Anders Sandberg of Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute.

The technique could potentially also be used to resuscitate people. However this could increase the risk of bringing back patients to a point where they are unable to live without life support -- trapped on what is called the "bridge to nowhere," Brendan Parent, a bioethicist at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said in a linked comment in Nature.

Delhi's 4th Monkeypox Case Found In Foreign National, 9 Cases In India

NEW DELHI, Aug 3: Another foreign national has tested positive for Monkeypox in Delhi -- the fourth such case in the national capital. The patient is a 31-year-old woman. It is not yet known if she travelled abroad recently. Altogether, nine cases of the disease have surfaced in India -- all in Kerala and Delhi.

The woman has fever and skin lesions and is admitted to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital, reported news agency Press Trust of India. Her samples were sent for testing and the results came positive on Wednesday.

Yesterday, a 35-year-old foreigner with no recent history of travel, tested positive for Monkeypox in Delhi.

The man was admitted to the government-run LNJP Hospital. The Arvind Kejriwal government has asked three private hospitals in the city to set up isolation wards for suspected cases and confirmed patients of the disease.

On Monday, the first Monkeypox patient in Delhi was discharged from
the LNJP hospital.

According to the World Health Organisation, Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis -- a virus transmitted to humans from animals. Its symptoms are similar to that of smallpox, but much less severe.

The symptoms include fever, lesions on the body and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to complications. It is usually a self-limiting disease -- the symptoms last for two to four weeks.

The symptoms include fever, lesions on the body and swollen lymph nodes and may lead to complications. It is usually a self-limiting disease -- the symptoms last for two to four weeks.

A list of dos and donts shared by the Union health ministry yesterday says the infected person should be kept isolated to prevent the spread of the virus. There should be no sharing of bedding, clothes or towels.

The anti-Covid protocol of handwashing, masks and use of sanitisers should help in this case too.

5 Covid Deaths, 2,073 New Cases In Delhi In 24 Hours

NEW DELHI, Aug 3: Delhi reported five coronavirus-related deaths along with 2,073 new cases on Wednesday as the positivity rate remained above 10 per cent for the third day in a row. At 11.64 per cent, it was the highest since January 24 when it was 11.79 per cent.

With the fresh infections on Wednesday, the Covid case tally in the national capital rose to 19,60,172 while the number of deaths reached 26,321. A total of 17,815 tests were conducted the previous day to detect COVID-19, the health department data showed.

The positivity rate and daily Covid cases in the city have risen steadily in the last one week. Delhi had reported 1,506 Covid cases, and three deaths on Tuesday while the test positivity rate stood at 10.69 per cent. The day before, the positivity rate was 11.41 per cent.

The national capital had logged 1,891 cases on June 26.

Delhi recorded 1,263 COVID-19 cases on Sunday with a positivity rate of 9.35 per cent. A day before, the city logged 1,333 cases with a positivity rate of 8.39 per cent while three people died from the viral disease.

The city saw 1,245 Covid cases on Friday with a positivity rate of 7.36 per cent, and one death. It had recorded 1,128 cases on Thursday with a positivity rate of 6.56 per cent, while no death was reported.

Delhi currently has 5,637 active cases, up from 5,006 the previous day. As many as 3214 Covid patients are in home isolation.

Of the 9,405 beds reserved for coronavirus patients in various Delhi hospitals, only 376 were occupied on Wednesday. Beds at Covid care centres and Covid health centres were lying vacant, the latest bulletin said.

There are 183 containment zones in the city at present, it added.

Delhi has reported a few cases of the BA.4 and the BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron, which are highly transmissible.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Delhi had touched the record high of 28,867 on January 13 this year during the third wave of the pandemic. The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the third wave of the pandemic.

Monkeypox: Centre Invites Bids For Developing Vaccine

NEW DELHI, July 27: The Centre has asked vaccine makers to develop a vaccine for Monkeypox, several cases of which have surfaced in the country. Diagnostic kit manufacturers have been asked to develop diagnostic kits for the disease. The Indian Council of Medical Research has asked for bids from both and said it is willing to make the Monkeypox virus strain available.

The vaccine candidate and the diagnostic kit can be developed under the Public-Private Partnership and the last date submission of the "Expressions of Interest" will be August 10, the ICMR said.

So far, four cases of Monkeypox have surfaced in India -- three from Kerala and one from Delhi.

More than 18,000 confirmed cases have been reported in 78 countries, the World Health Organisation has said. Over 70 per cent of the cases are from the European region, and 25 per cent from the Americas.

But there are very few vaccine candidates.

One company -- Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic -- has developed a vaccine for Monkeypox, but there is no efficacy data.

"Bavarian Nordic has 16 million doses, which is part of the US stockpile. The US has donated some of those doses to some other countries," it is said.

Monkeypox Has Been A 'Wake-Up Call', Says WHO Chief Scientist

NEW DELHI, July 26: The outbreak of Monkeypox has been a "wake-up call", Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation, Soumya Swaminathan has said.

In an interview to NDTV, she explained that since 1979-1980, smallpox vaccination programmes have been stopped, indicating that it might have helped the virus to steal a march on the world.

"This Monkeypox outbreak has been a wake-up call for us, because we need to prepare ourselves for deadly outbreaks all the time," she said.

Monkeypox is caused by monkeypox virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus. Its clinical presentation resembles that of smallpox, a related orthopoxvirus infection which was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980.

The World Health Organisation website says the vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme also provides protection against monkeypox. But newer vaccines have been developed, of which one has been approved for prevention of monkeypox.

Dr Swaminathan, however, indicated that using the smallpox vaccine for monkeypox may be useful though more laboratory data is required.

"The vaccine we have today for smallpox, the second and third generation vaccines, but there are very limited doses. Countries have been stockpiling these vaccines in case there is a smallpox outbreak, biological or accidental," she said.

One company -- Denmark-based Bavarian Nordic -- has developed a vaccine for Monkeypox, but there isn't any efficacy data. "There is an urgent need to collect data," she said.

Dr. Swaminathan also said that Indian pharma companies including the Serum Institute of India could have a role in bottling, marketing and distributing the existing smallpox vaccine if it were widely available.

"We have been talking about a pandemic preparedness and one of the things is how quickly we can scale up manufacturing. India will play a very important role just because of the capacity we have. So yes, Bavarian Nordic has 16 million doses, which is part of the US stockpile. The US has donated some of those doses to some other countries... so something we need to explore is if we can get the fill and finish done for example at SII (Pune-based Serum Institute of India), but if we also can transfer technology and start the manufacturing in other sites," she said.

Asked if Monkeypox can be worse than the new mutant virus of Covid, Dr Swaminathan said there can be no straight comparison.

Despite the lack of data, it is clear that Monkeypox is a different virus and will not mutate at the same speed as Covid, she said.

"We need to do the same thing - sequencing and all. We need global sharing of data," she said. "At the moment, we should prevent it from becoming a pandemic. We have caught it early," she added.

So far, four cases of Monkeypox have surfaced in India -- three from Kerala and one from Delhi.

The World Health Organisation, which declared Monkeypox a global health emergency over the weekend, said yesterday that more than 16,000 confirmed cases have been recorded in 75 countries so far.

Monkeypox Declared Global Health Emergency By WHO Amid Rising Cases

GENEVA, July 23: The rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak represents a global health emergency, the World Health Organization's highest level of alert, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said today.

The WHO label - a "public health emergency of international concern" - is designed to sound an alarm that a coordinated international response is needed and could unlock funding and global efforts to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

Members of an expert committee that met on Thursday to discuss the potential recommendation were split on the decision, two sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Reuters earlier, but the final decision falls to the U.N. agency's director-general.

Announcing his decision to declare the health emergency during a media briefing in Geneva, Tedros confirmed that the committee had failed to reach a consensus, with nine members against and six in favour of the declaration.

Previously, Tedros has typically endorsed expert committee recommendations, but the sources said he had likely decided to back the highest alert level due to concerns about escalating case rates and a short supply of vaccines and treatments, despite the lack of a majority opinion.

Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C who follows the WHO, said he applauded the political bravery of the agency.

"It does nothing but burnish the stature of WHO. The right result is clear - not declaring an emergency at this point would be a historic missed opportunity."

So far this year, there have been more than 16,000 cases of monkeypox in more than 75 countries, and five deaths in Africa.

The viral disease - which spreads via close contact and tends to cause flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions - has been spreading chiefly in men who have sex with men in the recent outbreak, outside Africa where it is endemic.

Until now, the label had only been applied to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts to eradicate polio.

The WHO and national governments have been facing intense pressure from scientists and public health experts to take more action on monkeypox.

Cases of the viral disease have ballooned since the committee first met at the end of June, when there were only about 3,000 cases.

At the time, the expert group agreed to reconsider their position on the emergency declaration if the outbreak escalated.

One of the key issues driving a reassesment was whether cases - that are almost entirely proliferating amongst men who have sex with men - would bleed into other groups, particularly children or others who have been vulnerable to the virus in past outbreaks in endemic countries.

On Friday, the United States identified its first two monkeypox cases in children.

Any changes to the virus itself could also spark a rethink, the committee had said.

The group is now split between those who think an emergency declaration would accelerate efforts to contain the disease, and those who do not think the above criteria have been met because the disease has not yet spread to new groups of people or had a high fatality rate, the sources said.

After 2 Monkeypox Cases, Indian Govt Asks For Strict Screening Of Passengers

NEW DELHI, July 18: The Centre on Monday asked ports and airports to ensure strict health screening of all international travellers to contain the spread of monkeypox on the day India reported its second case from Kerala.

The meeting was attended by airport and port health officers and regional directors from regional offices of Health & Family Welfare, the government said in a statement.

"They were advised to ensure strict health screening of all arriving international travellers which can minimize the risk of importation of monkeypox cases into the country. They were advised and re-oriented in clinical presentation of monkeypox disease as per MoHFW's 'Guidelines for Management of Monkeypox Disease'," it said.

They were also advised to coordinate with other stakeholder agencies like immigration at international ports and airports to streamline health screening processes.

Earlier today, a 31-year-old man from Kerala tested positive for monkeypox. He is being treated at Pariyaram Medical College in Kannur and is stable, the state health department has confirmed.

Last week, a man who had returned to Kerala from the UAE had tested positive for monkeypox.

The World Health Organization or WHO said Thursday it would reconvene its expert monkeypox committee on July 21 to decide whether the outbreak constitutes a global health emergency.

According to available statistics, almost all patients affected thus far are male, with a median age of 37, with three-fifths identifying as men who have sex with men, the WHO has said.

The symptoms of monkeypox include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes and a blistery chickenpox-like rash.

It was first found in monkeys in 1958, hence the name. Rodents are now seen as the main source of transmission. It spreads through close contact, both from animals and, less commonly, between humans.

India sees new high in daily Covid tally in 3 months with 8,822 new cases

NEW DELHI, June 15: India on Wednesday saw a new high in around three months in the daily Covid tally with 8,822 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the overall count to 4,32,45,517. According to the health ministry data, a total of 15 deaths have been reported since Tuesday - with the total fatalities due to the virus at 5,24,792.

The active cases currently stand at 53,637. The active cases account for 0.12 percent of the total caseload. The health ministry data mentioned that the recovery rate in the country is currently at 98.67 percent as 5,718 people recovered in the last 24 hours.

According to the data, the daily positivity rate is at 2 percent, while the weekly positivity rate is at 2.35 percent.

A total of 85.58 crore samples have been tested so far for coronavirus, with 4,40,278 tests being conducted in the last 24 hours.

India's vaccine coverage has reached 195.5 crore doses. Over 3.53 crore first doses and over 1.99 crore second doses have been administered for the age group of 12 to 14. Over 5.99 crore first doses and more than 4.72 crore second doses have been given to the 15 to 18 age group. Meanwhile, over 3.61 crore precaution doses (booster shots) have been given to people above 60 years of age, healthcare workers, and frontline workers.

Meanwhile, Delhi is recording a surge in the daily cases and the national capital's daily tally breached the 1,000-mark again. The national capital recorded 1,118 fresh infections on Tuesday. Maharashtra has also been witnessing a huge spike over the last few days.

India records 7,240 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths

NEW DELHI, June 9: The single-day rise in new coronavirus infections in the country was recorded over 7,000 after 99 days, registering around 39 per cent jump in daily cases, while the daily positivity rate crossed 2 per cent after 111 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

A total of 7,240 infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours taking India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,31,97,522, while the death toll has climbed to 5,24,723 with eight fresh fatalities, data updated at 8 am by the ministry stated.

The active cases have increased to 32,498, comprising 0.08 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.71 per cent, the health ministry said. A total of 7,554 new Covid cases were reported on March 1.

An increase of 3,641 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 case count in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.13 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was also recorded at 1.31 per cent, according to the data.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,26,40,301 , while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent. The cumulative doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 194.59 crore.

India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19, 2020.

India crossed the grim milestone of two crore cases on May 4 and three crore on June 23, 2021. The eight new fatalities include one each from Delhi and Chhattisgarh and six deaths from Kerala.

First Time In History Cancer Vanishes For Every Patient In Drug Trial

NEW YORK, June 7: A small group of people with rectal cancer just experienced something of a miracle as their cancer simply vanished after an experimental treatment. According to New York Times, in a very small clinical trial, 18 patients took a drug called Dostarlimab for around six months, and in the end, every one of them saw their tumours disappear.

Dostarlimab is a drug with laboratory-produced molecules that act as substitute antibodies in the human body. All 18 rectal cancer patients were given the same drug and as a result of the treatment, cancer was completely obliterated in every patient - undetectable by physical exam; endoscopy; positron emission tomography or PET scans or MRI scans.

Dr Luis A. Diaz J. of New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center said this was “the first time this has happened in the history of cancer”.

As per New York Times, the patients involved in the clinical trial faced gruelling previous treatments to obliterate their cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiation and invasive surgery that could result in bowel, urinary and even sexual dysfunction. The 18 patients went into the trial expecting to have to go through these as the next step. However, to their surprise, no further treatment was needed.

The findings are now making waves in the medical world. Speaking to the media outlet, Dr Alan P. Venook, who is a colorectal cancer specialist at the University of California, said that the complete remission in every single patient is “unheard-of”. He hailed the research as a world-first. He even noted that it was especially impressive as not all of the patients suffered significant complications from the trial drug.

Separately, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a co-author of the paper, oncologist Dr Andrea Cercek, described the moment patients found out they were cancer-free. “There were a lot of happy tears,” she told the New York Times.

For the trial, patients took Dostarlimab every three weeks for six months. They were all in similar stages of their cancer - it was locally advanced in the rectum but had not spread to other organs.

Now, the cancer researchers who reviewed the drug told the media outlet that the treatment looks promising, but a larger-scale trial is needed to see if it will work for more patients and if the cancers are truly in remission.

WHO expert lists 5 measures to stop monkeypox

GENEVA, June 6: The monkeypox virus has been reported in around 30 countries where the infection is not endemic in what is the biggest outbreak of the virus. More than 780 confirmed or suspected infections of the virus have been reported, most of which are in Europe.

As the cases rise, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued new guidelines and measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist, detailed a list of key measures to stop monkeypox after studying the virus epidemiology, sources of infection, and transmission patterns.

The senior health officer suggested increasing surveillance in countries where the virus is not endemic and urged creating awareness about what monkeypox is and how it spreads, especially in countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, and France. The global health body called on governments to ensure that people who are expected to be affected can get appropriate clinical care.

The second step in order to stop the spread of this virus is to stop human-to-human contraction in several non-endemic countries by using public health tools of early identification, which includes isolating cases and talking and listening to communities to find solutions.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove further said that the protection of frontline workers is also important because they are the ones who work at ground level and directly provide services to the public. "It is crucial to supply them with accurate information and appropriate personal protective equipment. Counter measures against this virus should be utilised properly by providing antivirals and vaccines appropriately to those who are more at risk in an equal manner," Dr. Kerkhove said.

WHO is hosting a research and development meeting next week that will cover everything from epidemiology to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccinations, since it is essential to understand what monkeypox is.

While no confirmed cases have been reported in India, a 5-year-old girl's sample was collected for monkeypox testing in Ghaziabad. Meanwhile, Genetic analysis of recent monkeypox cases suggests there are two distinct strains in the US. Many of the U.S. cases were caused by the same strain as recent cases in Europe, but a few samples show a different strain, federal health officials said.

Monkeypox belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae which also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus. Monkeypox typically causes fever, chills, rash, and lesions on the face or genitals. WHO estimates the disease is fatal for up to one in 10 people.



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