24 Covid-19 patients die in Nashik hospital after oxygen tank leaks
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; At least 24 Covid-19 patients who were on life support died at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik due to a severe oxygen shortage following a massive gas leak from the main storage tank.
- The death toll in the incident reached 24 after two more patients died overnight, a senior district official said.
- Two other patients, who were on a ventilator, died overnight. They couldn’t get enough oxygen earlier in the day when their supply cut off due to a leak in the tank, collector Suraj Mandhare told PTI.
- Earlier today, attributing the cause to a faulty valve in the tank, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said an investigation had been ordered to determine negligence in the incident.
- Sources said the crash happened around noon.
- A massive leak from an oxygen tank caused an interruption in the vital oxygen supply for at least half an hour, leading to the deaths of several ventilated patients.
- A team of firefighters was dispatched to the scene of the accident to contain the leak.
- Tope said 157 patients were receiving treatment in the hospital, 61 of whom were in critical condition and required oxygen.
- The tragedy comes at a time when Maharashtra, India’s worst-hit state in terms of Covid-19 cases and deaths, is reeling from a severe shortage of oxygen.
- Along with Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur, Nashik has seen massive spikes in Covid-19-related cases and deaths in both waves of the pandemic.
Serum Institute sets Covishield price at ₹ 400 per dose for states
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; From May 1, the Serum Institute of India (SII) will sell Covishield to state governments at a dose of ₹ 400 and to private hospitals at a dose of ₹ 600, Adar Poonawala, executive director of SII said on Wednesday.
- The Center would continue to purchase the vaccine at the rate of ₹ 150-200 per dose, which would result in a three-tier pricing structure.
- The vaccines, however, would not be retailed for 4 to 5 months, and in the meantime, businesses and individuals could only obtain these vaccines through “state-supplied machines,” their statement added.
- On Monday, announcing the vaccination for everyone 18 and over, the Center said vaccine companies could sell half of their batch of approved vaccines on the open market, clearing the way for states to buy them directly without intervention. of the Center.
- However, states have expressed reservations. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said such a policy would place an additional burden on state finances.
- Congress, left slam center on differential price of Covishield vaccine
- Congress on Wednesday criticized the Center for the differential price of the Covishield vaccine, and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh called it “appalling” that the Center could buy it for 150 rupees per dose, but States should pay. 400 rupees per dose.
New line of coronavirus discovered in West Bengal
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; With elections underway in West Bengal, scientists are reporting the emergence of a new coronavirus lineage that could comprise up to 15% of the state’s genomes from January to March.
- The new variant, B.1.618, has a major mutation called E484K, found in several of the internationally identified variants of concern, which helps it evade the immune system and possibly compromise the effectiveness of the vaccine.
- On April 8, INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium), a group of 10 Indian laboratories working across the country on sequencing the genomes of coronavirus patients, named a “double variant mutant” as B.1617, which contained two mutations, E484Q and L245R.
- Although more studies are underway, it is suspected that this variant, whose mutations have also been found in variants in other countries, could play an important role in the nearly one-month exponential increase in cases.
- Which now records more than 270,000 new cases infections per day, the largest in the world, and overload India’s healthcare infrastructure to its limit.
- B.1.618 was first isolated on October 25, 2020 and more recently on March 17.
- Variants carrying some of the mutations associated with B.1.618 have also been found in the United States, Switzerland, Singapore and Finland.
- While mutations occur in all parts of the coronavirus genome, key changes in the spike protein, which help the virus to better attach itself to cells in the body, are more closely monitored.
- In the case of B.1.618, there are four characteristic peak protein mutations associated with increased infectivity and immune leakage.
Updated data from the phase 3 trial of Covaxin shows an efficacy of 78%
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; Covaxin’s efficacy has dropped a bit more, to 78%, compared to the 81% reported in March.
- On Wednesday, Bharat Biotech, through a press release, announced the results of an interim analysis of its phase 3 trial.
- The efficacy against the severe disease Covid-19 was 100%, according to the company, but against the protection against asymptomatic infection by Covid-19. it was 70%.
- The analysis involved a data set of 127 Covid-positive volunteers.
- The safety and efficacy results of the final analysis will be available in June and the final report will be submitted for a peer-reviewed publication.
- Professor Balram Bhargava, Secretary of the Department of Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said: “I am also glad to see that COVAXIN works well against most variants of SARS-CoV-2. These findings together consolidate the position of our indigenous vaccine in the global vaccine landscape. “
- So far, around 11 million doses of Covaxin have been administered as part of the vaccination campaign in India, well below the nearly 117 million doses of Covishield.
India again ranked 142nd in press freedom
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; The Global Press Freedom Index 2021 compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a French NGO, again placed India 142nd out of 180 countries.
- And this despite the fact that for a year, under the leadership of the Cabinet Secretary, an index watch cell worked to improve the world ranking.
- He even organized a meeting between the ambassador to France and RSF officials to push for a classification change.
- In 2016, India’s ranking was 133. Since then, it has steadily dropped to 142 in 2020. According to the RSF report, India is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists trying to do their job correctly.
- They are exposed to all kinds of attacks, including police violence against journalists, ambushes by political activists, and retaliation from criminal groups or corrupt local officials.
- Fearing such an unfavorable assessment, in February last year, on the instructions of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, the Runway Monitoring Unit was established in 18 ministries to find ways to improve the position on 32 international runways.
- The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been entrusted with the revision of the press freedom index.
- According to the report of this Index Monitoring Unit, on April 26, the Additional Director General of the BIP wrote for the first time to the president of RSF, Pierre Haski, to request research criteria from which he established the index, for a better understanding of the ranking.
- This was followed by a meeting of the ambassador to France, Javed Ashraf, with the RSF general secretary, Christophe Deloire, and the head of the Asia-Pacific office, Daniel Bastard.
- The minutes of this September meeting are part of the Cell’s report.
- Ashraf said that the government’s openness to being criticized and questioned on issues such as the economy, international affairs and defense agreements like Rafale are indicators of press freedom.
- However, RSF representatives questioned the prolonged internet ban in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019, which lasted for almost a year.
EU reaches major climate deal ahead of Biden climate summit
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; The European Union (EU) has reached an interim climate agreement that is expected to make the 27-nation bloc climate neutral by 2050, and member states and parliament agreed on targets on the eve of a virtual summit that will host the American President Joe Biden.
- As part of the interim agreement reached after officials negotiated overnight, the EU also commits to an interim target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels.
- The United States, the world’s second largest polluter after China, is preparing to announce its new goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- The deal has yet to be formally approved by member states and the legislature, but Wednesday’s deal is expected to do little more than a rubber stamp.
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-04-2021; The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 1,57,95,955 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a death toll of 1,83,671.
- The Goa government announced a 10-day nighttime curfew in the state starting Wednesday and imposed restrictions on restaurants, cinemas and casinos following the increase in Covid-19 cases.
- The government has also announced the postponement of the upcoming 10th and 12th standard exams of the Goa Council of Secondary and Higher Education.
- The curfew, from 10 p.m. At 6 a.m., it will go into effect on Wednesday April 21 and will remain operational until April 30, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said.