There has been a sudden jump in the number of cases in the past one month but recoveries are also increasing as the same speed and people are getting better : Dr Harsh Vardhan

The Union Minister for Health and Family WelfareDr. Harsh Vardhan today visited the Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi to take a comprehensive review of the COVID facilities available at the hospital and furtherstrengthen these facilities.

Briefing media after the visit, the Union Health Minister appreciated the vaccination efforts of the Union Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and said that more than 15 Crore doses have been given till date to health care workers, front line workers and people above the age of 45. He said that the new phase of the vaccine drive will start from 1st of May when people above the age of 18 will begin getting vaccinated.

Appreciating the Co-WIN vaccine registrationportal, the Union Health Minister said that seamless registrations are being done through thedigitally and technologically sound portal. The portal witnessed more than 80 lakh people registering themselves withinjust 3 hours from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm yesterday. The Minister further statedthat vaccination is a critical component of the containment and management strategy of the Government. The fight against the pandemic is ongoing and Government is using all its experience to tackle the situation, he added.

Dr Harsh Vardhan further said that there has been a sudden jump in the number of cases in the past one month but recoveries are also increasing as the same speed and people are getting better. He said that India has one of the lowest mortalityrates in the world but each and every death is tragic and painful, therefore, we need to work towards improving diagnosis and help as many people as possible using teleconsultations to provide right advise to the patients recovering at home and provide necessary medications for a speedy recovery.The National Mortality Rate has been falling and currently stands at 1.11%.

The Union Health Minister asserted that the biggest weapon against COVID-19 is following COVID appropriate behavior.

“There is no bigger weapon that wearing a mask, regularly washing hands with soap and maintaining social distancing”.

He said that the Prime Minister, right from the beginning of the pandemic, has been exhorting people to follow COVID appropriate behavior as it is essential in the fight against COVID-19.

The Minister appreciated that the testing capacity in the country has been continuously improving and over 17 lakh tests were done yesterday. Cumulatively, till yesterday, 28,44,71,979 tests have been conducted across the nation with 17,68,190 tests done yesterday. The Minister urged people with symptoms to get themselves tested at the earliest and not to panic.

AYUSH 64, a polyherbal formulation developed by CCRAS, useful in the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 infection

In the middle of the havoc wreaked by second wave of the pandemic, AYUSH-64 has emerged as a ray of hope for the patients of mild and moderate COVID-19 infection. The scientists of reputed research institutions of the country have found that   AYUSH 64, a poly herbal formulation developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Ministry of Ayush is useful in the treatment of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID-19 infection as an adjunct to standard care. It is worthwhile to mention that initially the drug was developed for Malaria in the year 1980 and now is repurposed for COVID-19.

The Ministry of Ayush-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) collaboration has recently completed a robust multi-centre clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AYUSH 64 in the management of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.

AYUSH 64 comprises of Alstonia scholaris (aqueous bark extract), Picrorhiza kurroa (aqueous rhizome extract), Swertia chirata (aqueous extract of whole plant) and Caesalpinia crista (fine-powdered seed pulp). It is extensively studied, scientifically developed, safe and effective Ayurveda formulation. This medicine is also recommended in National Clinical Management Protocol based on Ayurveda and Yoga which is vetted by National Task Force on COVID-19 Management of ICMR.

Randomized clinical study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of AYUSH 64 in mild-moderate Covid-19

Dr Arvind Chopra

Dr Arvind Chopra, Director, Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, Pune and honorary chief clinical coordinator of the Ministry of Ayush – CSIR collaboration informed that the trial was conducted at three centres. KGMU, Lucknow; DMIMS, Wardha and BMC COVID Centre, Mumbai involving 70 participants in each arm. Dr Chopra stated that AYUSH 64 as an adjunct to standard of care (SoC) showed significant improvement and thus lesser period of hospitalization as compared SoC alone.

He also shared that several significant beneficial effects of AYUSH 64 on general health, fatigue, anxiety, stress, appetite, general happiness and sleep were also observed. Dr. Chopra concluded that this controlled drug trial study has provided substantial evidence that AYUSH 64 can be effectively and safely used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 as adjuvant to SoC. He also added that, patients on AYUSH 64 will still require monitoring so as to identify any worsening of disease requiring more intensive therapy with oxygen and other treatment measures provided during hospitalization.

Dr. V M Katoch, Chairman of the MC informed that the committee has carefully reviewed the outcome of AYUSH 64 study and recommended AYUSH 64 in the management of asymptomatic, mild to moderate COVID-19. It is worthwhile to note that this committee has also recommended Ministry to communicate to the state licensing authorities/regulators regarding adding new indication of AYUSH 64 for repurposing in the management of mild to moderate COVID-19.

Source : PIB

IIT Bombay shows how to solve Oxygen shortage by converting Nitrogen Generator into Oxygen Generator

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has come up with a creative and ingenious solution to addressing the shortage of medical oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country. The pilot project which has been tested successfully relies on a simple technological hack: conversion of PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) Nitrogen Unit to PSA Oxygen Unit!

Initial tests done at IIT Bombay have shown promising results. Oxygen production could be achieved at 3.5 atm pressure, with a purity level of 93% – 96 %. This gaseous oxygen can be utilised for COVID-related needs across existing hospitals and upcoming COVID-19 specific facilities by providing a continuous supply of oxygen.

How can the nitrogen unit be converted into an oxygen unit? ” It has been done by fine-tuning the existing Nitrogen Plant setup and changing the molecular sieves from Carbon to Zeolite” says Prof. Milind Atrey, Dean (R&D), IIT Bombay, who led the project.

“Such nitrogen plants, which take air from the atmosphere as raw material, are available in various industrial plants across India. Therefore, each of them could potentially be converted into an oxygen generator, thus helping us tide over the current public health emergency”, he added.

The pilot project is a collaborative effort between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers, Mumbai, who deal with PSA Nitrogen & Oxygen plant production.

A PSA Nitrogen plant in the Refrigeration and Cryogenics Laboratory of IIT was identified for conversion, to validate the proof of concept. To undertake this study on an urgent basis, an MoU was signed between IIT Bombay, Tata Consulting Engineers and Spantech Engineers to finalise a SOP that may be leveraged across the country.

Source : PIB

Oxygen Express Operations expand to Haryana & Telangana after Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi

  • Oxygen Express Operations of Indian Railways continued to bring relief to the States as its operations expanded to the States of Haryana & Telangana after Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.
  • Continuing the momentum, there are three more trains on the run either carrying Liquid Oxygen or on the way to the loading plants. It is expected that cumulative liquid medical oxygen (LMO) carried by Indian railways will reach almost 640 MT in next 24 hrs.
  • Uttar Pradesh received its Oxygen express no. 5 carrying 76.29 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) today in 5 tankers. 1 Tanker was offloaded in Varanasi while remaining 4 tankers are offloaded in Lucknow. Train no. 6 is already on its way to Lucknow and is expected to arrive tomorrow i.e. 30 Apr 2021 carrying 33.18 MT LMO in 4 tankers. Another empty rake is expected to leave Lucknow today for bringing next set of oxygen tankers.
  • Haryana will receive its first Oxygen express as a train with two tankers is expected to leave Angul (Orissa) today. Empty rake from Faridabad to Rourkela is also on its way and is expected to reach tonight. Continuous stream of Oxygen trains to Haryana will ensure oxygen replenishment to the Covid-19 patients in the state.
  • Telangana Govt. has also requested Indian Railways for Oxygen express. An empty rake is on its way from Secunderabad to Angul with 5 empty tankers and is expected to reach Angul tomorrow.
  • Railways is in full preparedness for providing oxygen transportation services to all the states in need. In the ongoing operation, States provide tankers to the Railways. Railways then proceeds in fastest feasible mode to bring the Oxygen supplies from the locations and delivers it the requisitioning State. The deployment and use of this Oxygen is done by the State Government.

Source : PIB

As the State is under curfew, I suggest the government take full advantage of the situation and start door to door compulsory vaccination of all 18 plus population : H D Kumaraswamy

H D Kumaraswamy, Former Chief Minister of Karnataka :

  • Karnataka has close to 7 crore population of which the population of persons in the age group 18-44 is about 37 percent making it the largest chunk at 2.59 crore. At two jabs a person we would need 5.19 crore vaccine doses.
  • This is in addition to ongoing vaccine demand for 45 plus population which is 28 percent of the states’s tally at 1.96 crore persons requiring 3.9 crore doses.
  • Many in the 45 plus age group have not yet received even the first dose due to lack of vaccine supplies. And most from the 45-60 age group haven’t received the second dose. Does Government of Karnataka and Government of India have enough supplies to walk the talk?
  • Its a welcome decision to impose stringent restrictions during corona curfew but what steps is the government taking to ensure adequate vaccine supply?
  • As the state is under curfew, I suggest the government take full advantage of the situation and start door to door compulsory vaccination of all 18 plus population so as to instill confidence in the population as well as to arrest the spread of covid.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri at Sunrise

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